Nel's New Day

July 2, 2022

Supreme Court Destroys Constitution, Part II

[Mass Shootings: July 1, 2022 – In Allen (KY), population under 200, a man killed three law enforcement officers and a service dog while injuring at least five other people. Deputies had tried to serve a warrant related to a domestic violence incident. Many police officers have opposed the loosening of gun laws; this tragedy is only one example of their reason. July 2, 2022 – In Chicago’s Loop, two people were killed and three others wounded in the same area where four people were shot in May. Four other people were wounded in West Garfield Park.

A few slightly more positive Supreme Court rulings:

Concepcion v. United States: Prison inmates can more easily get shorter sentences, using a bipartisan 2018 federal law to reduce racial disparities in prison terms for cocaine crimes. Trial judges asked to resentence inmates may examine a wide range of factors, some of them not related to crack cocaine offenses. Appellate courts disagreed about what judges should do. The 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th circuits allow district courts to consider variables if they wish. The 5th, 9th, and 11th circuits cannot consider any intervening case law or update sentencing guidelines and aren’t required to consider personal circumstances of a prisoner during resentencing. Again, a person’s rights depend on location.

The 19-year sentence for possessing at least five grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute for Carlos Concepcion was determined by previous state court convictions making him a federal career offender. The 2019 First Step Act might have made him eligible for a shorter term. One of his earlier convictions had been thrown out, and others were no longer considered violent crimes under SCOTUS decisions. The judge refused any changes to his sentence. Brett Kavanaugh wrote the dissent for the four justices, including Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, and John Roberts, saying that the majority misconstrued the 2018 law.

Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety: A military veteran’s lawsuit can continue against his former state-agency employer; five justices rejected sovereign immunity shielding Texas. When state trooper, Le Roy Torres, was called to active duty in Iraq, his lungs were damaged by the burn pits disposing of toxic waste. He was honorably discharged but couldn’t perform the responsibilities of a state trooper, and the Department of Public Safety refused Torres’ request for assignment to a comparable job. He sued because his rights under a 1994 law had been violated. A state court of appeals agreed with the department’s excuse of state sovereign immunity, but the Supreme Court ruled that states had waived their rights under the 1994 law, enacted under congressional war powers. The majority cited “unbroken line of precedents,” which some of them ignored in other opinions. Dissenting were Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas, who maintained states retained immunity in state, not federal, courts. The solution was for Torres, but no for the confusion of sovereign immunity doctrines.

Remain in Mexico Policy: President Joe Biden won, at least briefly, when the Supreme Court sent a case back to a federal court in Texas debating whether immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. must stay in Mexico until courts can hear their cases—sometimes as long as five years. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) established the Migrant Protection Protocols in January 2019. Five justices—Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joining the three more liberal justices—ruled against Texas and Missouri to keep the policy in existence. Biden has the right to terminate DDT’s program until the lower court rules, but individual states can keep pushing for the program’s continuance. The five justices stated that the Biden administration acted lawfully.

Dr. A. v. Hochul: On the last day of this past year’s SCOTUS session, six justices told New York state it could keep its coronavirus vaccine requirement for health-care workers that lacked a religious exemption. Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas dissented. Thomas wrote the 16 health-care workers suing to be exempt on the basis of religion object to vaccines “because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.” Vaccines to not contain these cells. As with tests for rubella vaccines, the coronavirus vaccines were checked for efficacy with fetal cells, using one elective abortion over 50 years ago. Contrary to Clarence’s citing a lie about coronavirus vaccines, they contain only messenger RNA, genetic material instructing cells to make proteins used to train the immune system to fight off the virus along with lipids to help RNC cross cell membranes, salt, sugar, and other substances to help stabilize the other ingredients.  

Thomas may have lost lost—temporarily—the vaccine battle, but he has much bigger plans. And all he needs are laws from states to contest existing Supreme Court decisions. One major plan is to destroy LGBTQ rights from Lawrence v. Texas (2003) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). Overturning these two cases would blocks any same-gender relationships under the false guise of sodomy in the first case and eradicates marriage equality in the second. Texas AG Ken Paxton, currently indicted for a number of alleged fraudulent and unethical actions, is only too happy to be complicit: he said he would defend his state’s sodomy law, now defunct after Lawence.  Running for election this fall, Paxton said he could support a law outlawing intimate same-sex relationships. The state law charges someone with a Class C misdemeanor if the person “engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.” The rationale has been that sex is only for procreation, but laws typically don’t affect opposite-sex couples although they can also engage in sodomy, “sexual intercourse involving anal or oral copulation.”

Andrew McDonald, a senior associate justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court, pointed out Thomas’ hypocrisy. Biracial marriage is not in the long list of constitutional rights Thomas threatens to overturn although an Indiana member of the U.S. House raised that specter. In a Facebook post, Andrews wrote about the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia (1967), permitting the Black justice to marry a white woman in Virginia:    

“Mr. Justice Thomas had much to say today about my loving marriage. Oddly he didn’t have much to say about his ‘Loving’ marriage.”

Thomas has also attacked Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court decision making contraception a U.S. constitutional right for married couples. Single couples didn’t have the same right until 1972, in the Supreme Court ruling in Eisenstadt v. Baird. The decision in Loving, like those in Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawence, and Obergefell, was partially on the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Three justices–Barrett, Gorsuch, and Thomas–may join a far-right legal group to allow states to remove religious freedom by declaring that states are exempt from the First Amendment declaring “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Their position is that Congress can’t establish a religion but that states can. Some theocrats, including the far-right group America First Legal, argue that states have the constitutional right to decide “whether and to what extent they will establish religion within their borders.”

The others in the six conservative Supremes claim they have no intention attacking any other rights. Yet legislators promised not to remove rights with laws to prohibit the “non-existent” critical race theory in public schools before they attacked books about LGBTQ people, sex, women’s rights, etc. Rochelle Garza, the Democrat running against Paxton in November, tweeted:

“Roe was just the first—they won’t stop till they roll back all of our civil rights.”

Freedom of the press also seems to be on Thomas’ cutting board after his dissent to denial of certiorari warranting a review of Coal Ridge Ministries Media v. Southern Poverty Law Center. Thomas wrote that the court should “revisit” (aka “overrule) New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). Public figures—like Thomas—could much more easily sue—and threaten—the press which would lose its ability to be at all critical about these figures such as elected officials—and judges. Destroying the free press, DDT’s desire, is just one more piece of authoritarianism.

DDT’s Supreme Court made a 180-degree turn this year when it opposed the “stare decisis,” “to stand by things decided” to make very slow changes to keep social stability through consistent and evenly applied law. Important reversals of former SCOTUS rulings in the past, such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka desegregating public school, moved the country to individual rights. Two major rulings this past week overturned the 1913 gun safety law and erased the policy for agencies to successfully operate with the intent of eliminate any federal regulation of business. No longer can government effectively respond to climate change, and future laws may move that restriction to all federal agencies. The six Supremes voting in favor of this law knew that the Senate filibuster would block any legislation from dealing with crises and destroy the U.S. standing in the world.

Eugene Robinson likens the U.S. Supreme Court’s socially conservative majority to a “secretive and unaccountable junta in long black robes.” He explained:

“Junta is a strong word, but considering that one-third of the justices were appointed by former President Donald Trump—the most authoritarian and dangerously corrupt president in U.S. history—it doesn’t seem like an exaggeration.”

To be continued.

June 30, 2022

Supreme Court Destroys Constitution, Part I

The swearing in of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson onto the U.S. Supreme Court makes two firsts for the high court: she is the first Black woman to be a justice, and the high court has four female justices for the first time in history. The 116th justice, she replaces Stephen Breyer who retired just before her being seated. Jackson was appointed in February and faced rugged confirmation hearings, rife with racism and transphobic questions and statements from Republican senators. The 53-47 vote approving her appointment was largely on party lines. Her swearing-in came immediately after the high court announced a large number of controversial rulings, many of them removing the rights of people in the U.S. [Photo: Jackson takes a judicial oath from Breyer, right, while her husband, Patrick Jackson, holds two bibles.]

On the last day of June, the activist conservative Supreme Court completed its release of opinions, promoting guns, opposing pro-choice, and supporting other pro-death positions. As the six Supremes twist the Constitution for their own purposes, they following their only rationale: they can do it.

Three of this week’s decisions:

West Virginia v. EPA:  Like the multiyear strategy by GOP officials, conservative legal activists, and funders to rewrite law in Roe v. Wade, the GOP-appointed justices curbed the EPA’s ability to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by ruling that the EPA lacks broad authority to shift energy production from coal-burning power plants to cleaner sources such as solar and and power. As Justice Elena Kagan said in her dissent, the majority didn’t even “see what the new rule says” before ruling. In fact, there was no rule after the D.C. Circuit Court rejected one from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Kagan also wrote:

“The subject matter of the regulation here makes the Court’s intervention all the more troubling. Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

Kagan noted that the conservatives’ impositions on EPA’s authority “fly in the face of the statute Congress wrote.” The majority stated that “it is simply ‘not plausible’ that Congress enabled EPA to regulate power plants’ emissions through generation shifting. But that is just what Congress did when it broadly authorized EPA in Section 111 to select the ‘best system of emission reduction’ for power plants.” Regarding the conservatives’ claim that they are textualists, she wrote, “The current Court is textualist only when being so suits it.”

The current court examines an executive branch policy that was never enacted and follows this court’s pattern of obstructing EPA’s efforts, beginning with staying the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan—an unprecedented action. This rule had set a goal for each state to limit carbon emissions but permitted states to determine how to meet those goals.

The decision is dangerous not only for refusal to delay climate warming in this one respect but also denial of the EPA ability to fight the climate crisis overall. The Clean Air Act, originally signed by President Lyndon Johnson and amended by presidents of both parties, has saved “millions of lives and trillions of dollars.” According to experts, the ruling can set the U.S. back years and have deadly, costly impacts. About 25 percent of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions come from generating electricity with coal about 20 percent of U.S. electricity.

According to Kagan, the majority isn’t following precedent but making up justifications. “The Court has never even used the term ‘major questions doctrine’ before.” This ruling states that biggest issues should be settled by Congress, not agencies, with no definition for the biggest issues. Justices  assigned technical decisions to unknowledgeable lawmakers instead of experts. The activist conservative justices could also apply the “Major Questions Doctrine” to all areas such as health, safety, and consumer protections. In another area, the six Supremes could block IX regulations, such as handling sexual misconduct allegations.

Noted legal expert Rick Hasen wrote about how the self-identified “textualists” deviate from valid textual analysis, proving Kagan’s point about the new opportunist “textualists.” In West Virginia, they failed to use the words of a statute in context with surrounding text, to read punctuation and grammar, and to examine dictionaries and other literature to determine meaning. Hasen wrote, “Instead, the Justices pull a rabbit out of a hat and avoid the words of the statute almost in their entirety.” The justices’ “substantive cannon … comes from the value judgments of the conservative Justices and from nowhere else. These justices are skeptical of broad administrative power, and of executive power generally. These justices know that in a closely divided Congress, its rulings like this will stymie legislative action on issues like climate change or preventing the spread of Covid. And they are fine with that… So much for honest textualism.”

Ardoin v. Robinson: The six Supremes blocked a district court’s order requiring the Louisiana legislature to draw new congressional maps that included a second majority-Black district. The lower court found that the original map likely violates Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. The justices put the challenge to the map on hold until deciding a similar dispute involving Alabama redistricting. With the oral argument on October 4, the old racist maps will obviously be used in the 2022 general election. Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards had vetoed the original map, but the legislature overrode him. Blacks comprise almost one-third of the state’s population, but the Supreme Court map has only one of six districts with a majority of Black voters.

On June 6, a federal judge agreed the challengers had a good case and told the legislature to draw a revised map for two majority-Black districts. Louisiana’s secretary of state Kyle Ardoin asked the 5th Circuit Court freeze the judge’s order, but a three-judge panel with appointments by Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump rejected the request. Ardoin appealed, and the panel set oral arguments for early July. On June 17, however, Ardoin asked the Supreme Court to put the district court’s order on hold by June 20, claiming the 5th Circuit Court’s refusal had  thrown the state “into divisive electoral pandemonium” and created “confusion statewide, all of which undermines confidence in the integrity of upcoming congressional elections.” He added that the “racial gerrymander … is particularly ‘odious.’”

Early voting doesn’t begin until October, over two months away, and the original map is the one that is racially gerrymandering. Yet the six Supremes bypassed the Court of Appeals to ignore a very conservative panel of judges and violate a law. The one-page order from the six Supremes provides no explanation of why they stripped half the Black representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta: Oklahoma—and perhaps other states—now have the authority to prosecute non-Native people committing crimes against a Native person on tribal lands. This conservative majority was only 5-4 with Neil Gorsuch joining the three “liberal” justices. Gorsuch wrote that the Cherokee were promised they would be free from state interference when they were exiled to Oklahoma:  

“Where this Court once stood firm, today it wilts. Where our predecessors refused to participate in one State’s unlawful power grab at the expense of the Cherokee, today’s Court accedes to another’s.”

In 2015, Oklahoma state prosecutors charged Victor Castro-Huerta for the malnourishment and neglect of his five-year-old disabled stepdaughter and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. Castro-Huerta is not Native, but his stepdaughter is. The abuse occurred on the Cherokee Reservation. According to the Supreme Court opinion in McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020), Castro-Huerta could be only federal prosecuted.

The new decision limits McGirt, which declared much of eastern Oklahoma an American Indian reservation and blocked the state from prosecuting Native Americans on these lands which includes much of Tulsa. Instead, offenders are prosecuted in either tribal or federal court. The state is unable to “prosecute anyone for crimes committed on tribal land if either the victim or perpetrator is Native American.” Oklahoma overturns part of McGirt with the opinion that the state can intervene when victims are tribal members.

Native American rights advocate Gentner Drummond won the June 28 GOP primary for Oklahoma AG by defeating John O’Connor, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s choice who he had appointed last year for AG. Drummond had said that he was “not in favor of ripping [away] Native Americans’ rights they have been granted by treaty.” O’Connor called for disestablishing the six recognized Indian Nations in eastern Oklahoma. Drummond also called O’Connor Stitt’s personal attorney, leaving none for Oklahoma.

The ruling applies to all states if Congress doesn’t pass a law opposing that action for a given tribe of reservation. The result is a massive disruption of Indian Country criminal justice, including tribes’ prosecuting non-Indians for intimate partner violence and child abuse. The dissent stated that Congress could easily use a quick reversal as it did in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007).

Lobbyist Grover Norquist said:

“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

The six Supremes have the same goal for the Constitution, and they’ll do it in a much shorter time.

To be continued.

June 27, 2022

SCOTUS Continues Disastrous Rulings, CNN Goes Conservative

Mass Shootings: Last weekend, seven people were killed and 46 injured in 10 shootings of four or more people. Locations were Tacoma (WA); Blakely (GA), San Antonio (TX), Brooklyn, Patterson (NY), Winona (TX), Sutherlin (VA), Minneapolis, Hopewell (VA), and Houston.

Breaking news! The House January 6 investigative committee has scheduled an unexpected hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm EST after announcing none until the week of July 11. The sixth hearing comes after “recently obtained evidence.” No one knows that the “evidence” or the new witness is. One guess is that that rush comes to keep Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and his allies from suppressing the revelation.

One new bit of information is that federal agents used a warrant from the DOJ’s inspector general to seize the phone of DDT’s former lawyer John Eastman, instrumental in developing the illegal plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. U.S. District Court Judge David Carter had called the “likely” criminal conspiracy between DDT and Eastman “a coup in search of a legal theory.”

A federal grand jury in New York issued subpoenas to Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, and its board members. The investigation can delay the merger and caused the company’s stock to drop ten percent, making this year’s loss over half its value.

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District: The current Supreme Court continued its unanimous list of decisions against separation of church of state by ruling that a football coach could kneel to pray after games, possibly coercing his players into following his Christian religion. Writing for the six Supremes, Neil Gorsuch, stated lower courts should no longer follow the “Lemon test” from Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), criticized by religious conservatives, about whether the government’s action might look to a reasonable observer as government endorsement of religion. Overturned is 60 years of the Supreme Court position that the government cannot organize and promote prayer in public schools. Previously the high court had also limited speech rights of on-duty public employees.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent:

“This Court consistently has recognized that school officials leading prayer is constitutionally impermissible. Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents … The Court now charts a different path.”

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State stated:

“Today, the court continued its assault on church-state separation, by falsely describing coercive prayer as ‘personal’ and stopping public schools from protecting their students’ religious freedom.”

Gorsuch’s opinion shows that the six Supremes swallowed the lies of Kennedy’s lawyer. Joined by many people, Kennedy wasn’t “offer[ing] his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied,” but the decision was based on “private” and “quiet” prayer.” The coach inserted “motivational” prayer into his coaching which resulted in a presentation on the 50-yard line, shown in photographs. He also went on a media tour bragging about being a coach who “made a commitment with God” and inviting everyone to come pray with him on the field in what a federal appeals court called a “stampede.” The school principal “saw people fall,” and the district was unable “to keep kids safe.” Crowds knocked down members of the school’s marching band. Gorsuch claimed that only the opposing team players joined Kennedy—which makes no difference.

Other pro-Christian opinions from the six Supremes are mandating states to include religious private schools in public tuition grants, access of a spiritual adviser for a person being executed, and the requirement that Boston fly a Christian flag at city hall if secular groups have that privilege. In banning abortion, Alito said that states should have the rights to make their own laws, but their decisions in religion and gun safety are opposite to this statement.

Ruan v. United States and Kahn v. United States:  Doctors may now overprescribe drugs after the government is forced to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the doctor knew or intended to prescribe drugs in an unauthorized manner. The ruling overturned the conviction of two physicians accused of operating opioid “pill mills” in Alabama. Xiulu Ruan made over $4 million in four years when he dispensed almost 300,000 prescriptions, many of them for opioids, in a pharmacy connected to his medical clinic. Practicing in Arizona and Wyoming, Shakeel Kahn operated mostly on a cash-only basis and accepted property for payment including firearms. The convictions were returned to the lower courts for review. Samuel Alito, who voted for the decision, wrote that the court’s “radical new course” may cause “confusion and disruption.”

Clarence Thomas dissented from the Supreme Court’s refusal to revisit New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) that creates a higher bar for public figures to claim libel. He opposes the rights of the media “to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity.” Earlier Neil Gorsuch had also urged justices to revisit the decision. Public figures such as Thomas must show “absolute malice” to succeed in a libel dispute against people or the media. Thomas ranted against the Southern Poverty Law Center calling Coal Ministries a “hate group” because it claims “homosexuals say yes” to pedophilia and promotes other anti-LGBTQ lies, called the SPLC position a “blatant falsehood.” He wrote that the group “has nothing but love” for homosexuals despite the leader emphasizes literature that pushes LGBTQ people to be executed.  

The six Supremes justify overturning Roe by saying “the law offered no protection to the woman’s choice in the 19th century.” That could be the justification for overturning everything—desegregation, biracial marriage, mandatory sterilization, male ownership of wives—the list could be endless. Declaring precedents “egregiously wrong,” the six Supremes are making the United States into a place with rights only for adult straight Christian conservative white men. Everybody else is screwed.

Judges in Louisiana and Utah temporarily blocked the states’ anti-abortion “trigger laws,” those immediately going into effect to block abortions. Louisiana has passed multiple trigger laws since 2006, and which ones go into effect or what conduct is prohibited is not clear. In Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, and Texas, trigger laws are also being challenged. Mississippi AG Lynn Fitch had already certified the state’s trigger law, meaning that all abortions, except to save the pregnant woman or in a confirmed case of rape, will be illegal.

The high court has four more cases to announce this term, one determining clean water and the power of agencies. The others are President Joe Biden’s overturning DDT’s border policy “Remain in Mexico,” refusing immigrants entry from Mexico; EPA regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants; and weakened work protections for veterans with disabilities.

Note: CNN used to be a useful alternative to MSNBC for a take on the news—until Chris Licht was hired to replace Jeff Zucker as the head of CNN. Licht said he wants CNN to be “a beacon … by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics in journalism.” Friends with GOP former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Licht watched the Super Bowl with GOP pollster Frank Luntz and wants to showcase more conservative guests.

After Roe was overturned, CNN immediately aired commentary from these “experts:

  • Mary Szoch, the director of the center for human dignity at the anti-abortion rights and anti-LGBTQ rights Family Research Council who talked about how “American needs to reckon with” the “60 million unborn children’s lives taken by the abortion industry.”
  • Jeffrey Toobin, who exposed his penis during a Zoom meeting with colleagues at The New Yorker and masturbated.
  • Democrats for Life, that “seeks to elect anti-abortion Democrats,”—not a major player in the political world.

Licht told producers to stop referring to DDT’s accusations of a stolen election as the “big lie,” its common nickname. A CNN insider said:  

“It’s worrisome that we’re being told how to talk about one of the worst things that ever happened to American democracy. We have to call lies, lies, whether they’re small lies or big lies. Is there any lie bigger than that lie?”

Reporters such as Brian Stelter and Jim Acosta will be forced out if they don’t keep to Licht’s “less partisan coverage.” The influence seems to come from parent company Warner Bros. Discovery with DDT-donor John Malone calling the shots. Instead of raising ratings, Licht wants to generate revenue by sponsored segments inserted in news broadcasts, meaning the “news” comes from big business, and a paywall for part of CNN’s website, reducing CNN’s audience.

Not a blueprint for a “beacon.”

June 24, 2022

SCOTUS Religion Consumes U.S., Destroys Women

[Mass Shooting: June 23, 2022 – In Philadelphia, two men were killed, another went to the hospital in critical condition, and a fourth suffered non-fatal leg wounds.]  

According to the website of the U.S. Supreme Court, “the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law.” This court is failing. The six Supremes (SS) overturned Roe v. Wade (1973), possibly the worst decision since Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), which ruled that Blacks cannot be citizens even if they are “free.” After almost 50 years of moderate freedom, all women able to become pregnant can be childbearing slaves, incubators for the males who impregnated them—even molesters and rapists.  

The Supreme Court bucked popular opinion in only three major rulings during the past 60 years: permitting flag burning in Texas v. Johnson (1989), the 1966 court ruling for Miranda requiring law enforcement to inform suspects of their rights to be silent and seek an attorney in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), and supporting mandated integration busing of Black children to white schools in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971). Congress immediately passed the Flag Protection Act, overturning the Supreme Court, and on June 23, 2022, the SS overturned Miranda by removing the ability to sue law enforcement by not reading them these rights.

All three of these unpopular decisions expanded the rights of people; these SS vastly shrink people’s rights, favoring the U.S. minority of evangelical Christians, big business, and law enforcement—although police prefer not to have unfettered concealed carry of weapons. In the 21st century, the majority of Supreme Court justices uses religion and politics, not the law or constitution, to determine their decisions. Their inexcusable rational for “no” is “it’s not in the constitution” and the reverse for “yes.” 

Technically, Chief Justice Roberts only voted to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, but he’s still complicit in the plot against women’s rights because he said Roe should be overturned. Within hours after the ruling, abortion is illegal in 10 states, another seven will soon join the ban, and four more within weeks. The number changes minute by minute. (The map is from early June 24, 2022.) Other states will charge into legislation to take the rights from women in their states, resulting in women losing their rights in half the “united” states. Women’s health will be dependent on where they live, how much money they have, and who their supporters are, exaggerating the current problems of healthcare which also ties into their race.

Roe prevented states from banning abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy and limited the ability to regulate abortion during the second trimester. In 1992, the high court ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey changed the trimester guideline to fetal viability. Samuel Alito, who wrote the decision, claimed the right to abortion doesn’t exist in the U.S. Constitution. As in his opinion, he repeated his ignorance of history demonstrated in the leaked draft by stating that the right to abortion “was entirely unknown in American law” until the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 as a fake excuse that “the Constitution and the rule of law demand” the question of abortion return to the states. And his “historical rationale” for overturning Roe from directions by a medieval judge and a 17th-century witch-burner,

Alito has wrongly argued that contraception could prevent almost all unplanned pregnancies. He complained about nonexistent “barbaric” medical procedures but refers only to the fetus and not the pregnant woman who will die without an abortion or who is carrying a dead fetus. For emotional reasons, anti-abortionists uses the term “baby” for any embryo, zygote, and fetus to create a sense of guilt.

Brett Kavanaugh, who violated the law as a judge when he tried to prevent an undocumented girl incarcerated at the southern border from obtaining an abortion, tried to appear “moderate.” He claimed that today’s ruling “does not outlaw abortion throughout the United States.” The SCOTUS majority hates precedent, however, and this ruling, joined by a concurring opinion from Clarence Thomas, endangers federal rights to contraception and marriage equality, words also not used in the constitution. He didn’t mention biracial marriage, but with a White wife, Thomas won’t go there. (Thomas’ wife leads the SS.)

Alito argued that no other rights are at risk, that abortion is unique because it deals with “potential life.”  The religious view that contraception is a type of abortion, as five justices granted in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014), makes all rights to contraception easy pickings for the SS. Roe is also based on Griswold v. Connecticut, which granted a federal right for married women right to birth control. The SS have claimed that privacy isn’t included in the constitution; all rulings remove that right—unless it deals with a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) says Roe’s overturn “will work out for everybody.” Praised for his choice of three justices, he answered, “God made the decision.” Former VP Mike Pence, a 2024 presidential hopeful, wants a national ban on abortion, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another presidential wannabe, is enthusiastically calling for abortion restrictions in her state.

The dissent from Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor explains that, according to the ruling, “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

In the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino wrote how much worse women’s lives will be than before Roe:

“We have entered an era not of unsafe abortion but of widespread state surveillance and criminalization—of pregnant women, certainly, but also of doctors and pharmacists and clinic staffers and volunteers and friends and family members, of anyone who comes into meaningful contact with a pregnancy that does not end in a healthy birth. Those who argue that this decision won’t actually change things much—an instinct you’ll find on both sides of the political divide—are blind to the ways in which state-level anti-abortion crusades have already turned pregnancy into punishment, and the ways in which the situation is poised to become much worse…”

Tolentino describes many of the ways women have already been criminally charged and the lengths to which fanatical anti-abortionists will go to hurt women.

“Search histories, browsing histories, text messages, location data, payment data, information from period-tracking apps—prosecutors can examine all of it if they believe that the loss of a pregnancy may have been deliberate. Even if prosecutors fail to prove that an abortion took place, those who are investigated will be punished by the process, liable for whatever might be found.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) described overturning Roe “one of the darkest days our country has ever seen.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) called a hearing in the judiciary committee next month “to explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talked about how the most recently nominated conservatives—three of whom overturned Roe—swore under oath that they “respected authority” and the “precedent of the court, that they respected the right of privacy in the Constitution.” In the past two days, Pelosi said, the court contradicted itself in its rulings. In overturning a 1913 New York law, the same SS ruled that states cannot make laws “governing the constitutional right to bear arms,” Pelosi said. “Today, they’re saying the exact reverse, that the states can overturn a constitutional right for 50 years, a constitutional right for women having the right to choose.”

She concluded, “Their hypocrisy is enraging, but the harm is endless.”  

About the ruling, Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) praised the SS who “rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states.” That description doesn’t fit a myriad of other decisions that force Supreme Court rulings on all the states. Recently, the SS ordered that state courts can order the execution of innocent people and that states must pay tuition at religious schools. 

Youngkin’s “power of the people” didn’t appear in the religious decision. A May CNN poll showed 66 percent of people don’t want a complete overturn of Roe compared to 34 percent who do. Back to 1989, no more than 36 percent have wanted the ruling overturned. Seven in 10 people think the decision to have an abortion should be left up to a pregnant person and their doctor rather than being regulated by law.

Both Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressed disappointment in Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, saying they trusted what the two justices said during the confirmation. Manchin further said that, although a Catholic and pro-life, he has “come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else’s definition of pro-life.” These senators, however, are not known for following through.

Republicans have what they said they wanted. Now they head into a vast swamp of problems they created—high infant mortality, lack of care for women and children, increased need for prisons by criminalizing all connected to any abortion, expensive health and life care for fetuses unable to permanently function without ventilators and other needs, more divorces, greater crime, need of support for child care, the growth of poverty, and increased need for foster care as Republicans take children from mothers because of GOP-legislated child abuse. Texas already has a law criminalizing parents who allow transgender children any medical care connected to their gender dysphoria. The GOP’s pattern of dealing with these problems: nothing and whining nonstop about lazy people who won’t work and women who have children only to get undeserved taxpayer money.

Rejoicing Republican women may not want to be in jail when their miscarriages are assumed to be a self-inflicted abortion. Or lacking medication for after a miscarriage from a doctor’s refusal to prescribe it because it’s same as the one causing an abortion. Or their names on data bases the minute anyone knows about the pregnancy to make sure they won’t get an abortion. Rachel Maddow has more on her program. 

Much more will be written about this Supreme Court travesty in upcoming days, but that’s it for me on “a day that will live in infamy.” 

The U.S. beacon of democracy is extinguished.

June 17, 2022

Ginni Thomas Corrupts the Supreme Court, the U.S.

The Supreme Court may be at its lowest ebb during modern times with a massive leak of the anti-abortion draft, a California man at Brett Kavanaugh’s house armed with a gun and knife, and protests outside other justices’ homes. Justice Clarence Thomas has decried the situation, blaming the “left,” but his own conflicts of interest, especially those exascerbated by his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, may be the biggest problem of the current court. A poll shows that 61 percent of the respondents want Congress to open an investigation into Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself, following Ginni Thomas’ increasing activism to overturn the 2020 presidential election

Events about Thomas, a major figure orchestrating insurrection events, have been increasingly revealed within the past several weeks. Before the third House January 6 investigative hearing, the one focusing on Mike Pence’s refusal to overturn the 2020 presidential election despite the false theory from John Eastman that it was his prerogative, more coup information about Eastman came out in connection to Ginni Thomas:

  • Eastman’s private December 24, 2020 email stated he knew about an internal “heated fight” at the Supreme Court about hearing arguments on DDT’s overturn attempts.
  • Eastman directly corresponded with Ginni Thomas while they coordinated to keep DDT in the White House after he lost the 2020 election.
  • The House investigative committee, according to its chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), will ask Ginni Thomas to testify before of this information.

Eastman had clerked for Clarence Thomas in 1996 and 1997, and Thomas has strong ties with the Claremont Institute, where Eastman works, having spoken there and regularly quoting the conservative founder. In an 8-1 decision against blocking the release of White House records connected to the January 6 insurrection, Thomas was the one vote to support DDT by opposing the request.

Ginni’s Timeline:   

During 2022, more and more information has come out about Ginni Thomas’ pressure on everyone to overturn the election:

January 2022: Jane Mayer’s seminal essay in The New Yorker established Thomas’ background and her work to politically swing Supreme Court decisions. Thomas’ connection with the Oath Keepers who helped organize the violence at the January 6, 2021 insurrection includes speaking at one of their events.

February 2022: A lengthy piece from the New York Times describes how Thomas worked to bring together the organizing factions behind the January 6 rally and Charles Pierce’s response to Jane Mayer’s essay. Thomas led the C.N.P. Action coalition of leaders from such groups as the Federalist Society, the National Rifle Association and the Family Research Council in “action steps” to pressure state officials in Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania to overturn the people’s votes. Clarence Thomas’ former clerks also tried to overturn the election.

March 2022:  Twenty-nine newly-revealed texts between Thomas and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows before the insurrection communicate her conspiracy theories and urge him and others in DDT’s inner circle to overturn the election.  

May 2022: Communication between Thomas and two Arizona GOP state legislators showed her argument to ignore the voters’ decision to choose Biden for president and appoint their own “clean slate” of electors for DDT.

June 2022: It was discovered that Thomas actually lobbied 27 more Arizona legislators for a total of 29 to set aside the 2020 popular vote and “choose” presidential electors for DDT. That total is more than half the state GOP lawmakers in Arizona. She told them that the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and wrote in her email to them:  

“The nation’s eyes are on you now. Please consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you do not stand up and lead.”

A month later she sent other similar emails to 23 of the Arizona GOP legislators. Her earlier influence with DDT included regular meetings with him and gave him lists of people to hire and fire. Thomas’ email correspondence with Eastman details the plan for overturning the 2020 election, more extensive efforts than previously known. She had also sent a text on election night to Meadows stating, “Do not concede. It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back [sic].”

On January 6, 2021, Thomas also attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and was seen at the Willard Hotel, location of the “command center” where Rudy Giuliani led the group to overthrow the election. She is a friend of the chief of staff for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who sued to force Pence to keep DDT in the White House. The chief of staff also belongs to the private “Thomas Clerk World” email listserv, past and present Clarence Thomas law clerks who support QAnon and who Thomas persuaded to join her overturning scheme. Next year, the House will be safe from Gohmert: he gave up his seat to fail a run for Texas attorney general. He now pushes for “justice” for those attacking the U.S. Capitol on January and accuses of the government in lying about these cases.

Ginni Thomas has long been intimately involved with several conservative groups with connections to the Supreme Court. In 2000, Thomas, then a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation, screened resumes for Bush administration employees while the court had yet to rule on the legality of the Florida recount. Her husband, Clarence, was one of the five justices who put a stop to the recount in Florida, later shown to have a majority for Democratic candidate Al Gore who would have been president with the electoral votes from Florida.

More recently, Ginni Thomas was on the advisory board of the conservative group Turning Point USA, which transported busloads of insurrectionists to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Clarence Thomas was the only dissenter to the case which required DDT to allow the House investigative committee to receive White House documents. It was one of ten election-related cases that Thomas helped decide. In addition, Ginni Thomas openly complained that the U.S. is in danger of falling into the hands of “transsexual fascists.”

Stephen Gillers, an NYU law professor and a judicial ethicist, said:

“I think Ginni Thomas is behaving horribly, and she’s hurt the Supreme Court and the administration of justice. It’s reprehensible. If you could take a secret poll of the other eight justices, I have no doubt that they are appalled by Virginia Thomas’ behavior. But what can they do?”

Clarence Thomas has allied himself with conservatives in his speeches and rejects the “left” in his “we” and “they” terminology. In his talks, he also defends Senate Republicans for refusing President Obama his right to appoint Merrick Garland ten months before the end of his term with no excuse for a GOP Senate who put Amy Coney Barrett on the high court in under two weeks before DDT lost his election.  

Earlier, Republicans tried to push the narrative that she had no influence over her husband, Clarence Thomas, who is the longest-sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court—and one of the most controversial for his possible unethical behavior in that position. In March, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) denied that Ginni would have any influence over her husband’s decisions and condemned Democrats for their demands that Clarence Thomas recuse himself from cases in which she is involved. A question might be if he sticks to his insistence that people are making “spurious accusations about fake ethical problems or partiality.”

After the latest revelation about Ginni Thomas, that she was working with a major figure in DDT’s attempt to overturn the election, Democrats are calling for her husband to resign from the Supreme Court, at the very least recuse himself from election-related cases. Approval of the high court is 36 percent, the lowest it’s been since the Supreme Court put George W. Bush into the White House in a 2000 decision and lower than President Joe Biden’s 39 percent approval rating at this time.  

A MoveOn.org petition to impeach Clarence Thomas has reached almost 238,000 signatures with impetus since the Wednesday hearing revealed emails between Ginni Thomas and John Eastman.

The argument has always been that the president is not above the law. That might be true, but Supreme Court justices, with no ethics guidelines and no oversight, will probably never be brought to justice.

June 6, 2022

Draft for Overturning Roe – An Abuse on Religion, History

It’s June, and the U.S. Supreme Court has 33 cases yet to announce, including the possibility of overturning the almost 50-year-old Roe v. Wade permitting abortion for the first trimester and state regulation for the pregnant person’s health during the second and third trimesters. Samuel Alito’s rough draft for at least five conservative justices relies on mistaken religious, historical, scientific, and constitutional information.  

The cited religious freedom belongs only to Christian evangelicals who believe life begins at conception and fetuses are “babies.” The less religious conservative justices won’t believe constitutional “separation of church and state.” The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In theory, that line should give the same rights to Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Bahais, Buddhists, atheists, and agnostics as to evangelicals. Christian evangelicals,  taking control of law in the U.S., believe everyone must follow strict fundamental Christianity, like Islam shariah law.

Rabbi Robert B. Barr and Rachel Smith of Congregation Beth Adam in Loveland (OH) wrote an op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer arguing that Justice Samuel Alito wants to impose a highly strict interpretation of Christianity on everyone in the United States.

“Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization proposes an alarming erosion of the vital wall that separates church from state—between personally held religious beliefs and our shared government. If the U.S. Supreme Court adopts the draft opinion, the Court will be issuing an historic, precedent-breaking opinion based on the religious beliefs held by many of the current justices. Religion will be dictating public policy.”

Their position is that freedom of religion should not be determined by Supreme Court justices. The op-ed explains:

“The establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits all levels of government from advancing or inhibiting religion. The Constitution prohibits the government from favoring one religious view over another or favoring religion over non-religion, and yet, that is exactly what this proposed opinion will do. This Court’s decision would adopt a narrow religious-based definition of when life begins and impose it on everyone in our nation. While some religions believe life begins at conception, others do not. Yet, the Court will impose one set of religious beliefs on everyone.”

According to Judaism, a fetus is “not a separate and independent life from the pregnant person.” The religion permits abortion if the pregnant person’s physical or psychological health is endangered. According to author Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, scholar in residence at the National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish Talmud declares the fetus as “mere water” for the first 40 days. Overturning Roe imposes one notion about the beginning life on everyone.

Reform Judaism permits abortion in case of rape or incest, when genetic testing determines the fetus has a disease causing death or severe disability, and the birth would be an impossible situation for the parents. Other reasons for abortion are for a single woman, age under 17, and risk to the woman’s health. This difficult decision is made by the pregnant woman with consultation with a trusted person such as a physician or rabbi.

Muslim scholars believe that a fetus is not a life until it’s “ensouled,” according to lawyer and commentator on Islamic law Abed Awad. Islamism allows abortions up to 120 days.

State lawmakers have flagrantly made it clear that they consider abortion a Chrisian issue in their drive to make the U.S. a “Christian” nation of far-right, fundamentalist views:

Louisiana: State Democratic Sen. Katrina Jackson said that “this is a God issue.” Last year, she said, “My goal in this office was to do the will of God… My concern is always, number one, that I not offend God.”

Alabama: GOP Gov. Kay Ivey said, “This legislation states as a powerful testament … that every life is a sacred gift from God.” GOP state Sen. Clyde Chambliss said, “I believe that if we terminate the life of an unborn child, we are putting ourselves in God’s place.”

Missouri: GOP State Rep. Holly Rehder gave her reason for forcing victims of rape and incest to remain pregnant: “We can do that with the love of God.”

Former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and VP Mike Pence echoed the “sacred gift from God” and “sanctity of every human life.”

Extremist anti-abortion laws forces extremist religious perspectives on state laws while all other religious perspectives are overridden. Contrary to the wishes of the Founding Fathers, these legislative laws will impose mandates on everyone, no matter what their religious beliefs are.

In addition to basing his decision on one decision of a minority, Alito demonstrated his weak grasp of history. He wrote:

“An unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.”

In early America, women could “restore their menses” until after “quickening,” the time when the pregnant person feels the fetus kicking and/or stirring which happens between the fourth and sixth month of pregnancy. Shared knowledge during this time, sometimes in published health manuals, gave directions for inducing miscarriages. The Married Lady’s Companion recommended quinine, black hellebore, or juniper; Indigenous women used black cohosh roots; and Black slaves had snakeroot, cotton root, and okra along with drugs sold by traveling salesmen in New England during the mid-1700s.

In writing about “deep history,” Alito used the words of a 13th-century judge who endorsed human slavery and a 17th-century judge who sentenced witches to executions and endorsed marital rape. [Right: Matthew Hale, Alito’s 17th-century legal authority.] 

The first anti-abortion laws in the U.S. passed by some states in the 1820s and 1830s banned drugs to induce miscarriages in women, “then quick with child.” Their purpose was to punish men who tried to escape marrying seduced women by giving them abortifacients and referred only to quickening. Alito ignored this legal history, including judicial rulings that cases could not be brought for abortion before quickening. He ignored this information in an amicus brief from two major professional associations of historians in the United States, representing the views of over 10,000 scholars and teachers. Instead he used the work of only one legal writer, rejected by most scholars because it “distorts the evidence.” 

Alito references laws from the 1860s and 1870s when pregnancies were criminalized because of a small group of self-interested white, male physicians anxious about their status as both doctors and as elite men who formed the American Medical Association. Women saw their treatment as “violent” and excessive, preferring midwives, homeopaths, and other “irregular” practitioners. Male doctors who massaged women’s vulvas to calm their “hysteria” also kept abortions legal to perform them for medical reasons.

The medical men were hostile to women’s activism and middle-class women preferring to restrict their families’ sizes and accused them of wanting “fashion” and politics over motherhood. Dr. Horatio Storer, the medical leader of the anti-abortion movement, wrote that “the true wife” did not seek “undue power in public life . . . [or] privileges not her own.” He and his AMA colleagues opposed women in the medical profession and pushed the racist fear of immigrants taking over the U.S. –the 150-year-old “replacement” theory—because white women didn’t want huge families. Instead, the U.S. would be taken over by “aliens,” Chinese, and Catholics. Alito claimed the words came from just “one prominent opponent,” but Storer was the underlying force driving criminalization of abortions as state and local medical societies used his essays, data, memorials, and letters to persuade lawmakers of the necessity to criminalize abortion at all states.

Prosecuting abortion providers and sometimes women seeking abortions was combined with shaming and punishing them through humiliation investigations. Abortions went underground where it wasn’t regulated, or women performed harmful practices on themselves. Chicago’s Cook County Hospital had an entire ward for septic abortion cases until 1973 when Roe made the procedure legal.

[Information thanks to Leslie J. Reagan, a professor of history and law at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and author of When Abortion Was a Crime and Dangerous Pregnancies.]

The term “opinion” when referring to Alito’s rough draft is accurate: his assertions about fetal development, abortion procedures, and international laws are disputed or are open to interpretation. Even pregnant women know he’s wrong. In the Atlantic, Chavi Karkowsky, a medical doctor in New York City and author of High Risk: Stories of Pregnancy, Birth, and the Unexpected, points out Alito’s separation from reality.

All Alito’s mistakes may not be his own: his rough draft shows an uncanny similarity to a brief by Texan Jonathan F. Mitchell for the state’s anti-abortion law allowing people to sue anyone supporting an abortion, even verbal discussions. Filed for Texas Right to Life, the brief was coauthored by Mitchell’s colleague Adam K. Mortara. The words and ideas are much alike—rejection of stare decisis, the language of the constitution disallowing the right to abortion, and the lack of reason for retaining the “contract” of Roe. Both believe that women won’t lose their autonomy without abortion because they can “control their reproductive lives.” As usual, they use the term “unborn human beings” instead of correct terminology.

The question is whether Alito will fix all these mistakes in his final draft.

May 13, 2022

5th Circuit Denies 1st Amendment Rights, January 6 Investigation Broadens

With no explanation, two Fifth Circuit judges, one nominated by Ronald Reagan and the other by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), supported a new Texas law to control private business. The dissenting judge, appointed by George W. Bush, is considered a “liberal” compared to the rabidly right circuit court. Republicans retaliated against their misguided liberal bias perception of ”Big Tech” by forcing large social media companies to disseminate objectionable speech such as dangerous misinformation, foreign propaganda, and hateful expression and permitting anyone to file lawsuits combatting content moderation. These corporations have lost their First Amendment rights although H.B. 20 sponsors claim the legislation is vital to keep “West Coast oligarchs” from silencing “conservative viewpoints and ideas.”

The GOP permitted “smaller” conservative platforms such as Parler and Gab to keep their First Amendment rights, but large companies are even blocked from posting warnings on their own websites for subjects with violence, vulgarity, disinformation, etc. Targeted companies must also submit a great deal of information to the state about algorithms, curation, and account suspension. Twice each year they must also provide a “transparency report” with every “action” taken against “content.” Anytime a company “removes content,” it must present a complex process of notice and appeal. Another provision prevents companies from blocking spam on emails, allowing users to daily collect $25,000 for impeding “the transmission of an unsolicited or commercial electronic mail message.”

YouTube will be forced to accept neo-Nazi and KKK videos promoting racism; Twitter will have to accept ISIS fighters’ terrorist advocacy; and Facebook must allow Russian propaganda about Ukraine. Only illegal incitement and “unlawful” speech can be suppressed, a very small percentage of hateful or violent expression because even intimidation and promotion of illegal conduct are allowed under the First Amendment.

Currently, large platforms use automated editorial tools to remove billions of posts and comments every year. They lack resources to review and resolve each appeal, especially within the 14-day limit. Companies can stop monitoring content, but all complaints of “illegal content” must be assessed within 48 hours. And the law prevents social media companies from providing services in Texas.

The ruling is completely against the First Amendment rights guaranteed to social media companies, according to the Supreme Court, especially Citizens United which gave rights to almost unlimited political donations because of free speech. “Editorial control and judgment” is speech shielded by the Constitution even if it discriminates against a specific group. While on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Justice Brett Kavanaugh ruled that the government cannot “tell Twitter or YouTube what videos to post” or “tell Facebook or Google what content to favor.” Also, a government cannot force corporations to disclose information in an “unjustified or unduly burdensome” manner.

Last December, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman blocked the Texas law because social media platforms are not “common carriers” like telephone companies and postal services that “merely facilitate the transmission of speech of others.” Common carriers have far greater regulation because they don’t engage in expression and may hold monopoly power. Those carriers, however, don’t exercise editorial control. Pitman followed U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling in Florida on a similar law. Hinkle also ruled that penalizing content moderation violates Section 230, the federal law limiting platforms’ liability over their content.

Judge Edith Jones declared that the plaintiffs, websites, “are not websites.” Although appointed 37 years ago, she’s only 73 and should know better—especially if she’s going to rule on the subject. Judge Andrew Oldham worried that overturning H.B. 20 “would allow phone companies to kick off users.” He formerly clerked for Samuel Alito.

One choice for the tech companies is leaving Texas–except the law prevents them from doing that.

The new Texas ruling immediately lifted an injunction against the law without ruling on its merits, meaning that it can go into effect until future action. Plaintiffs NetChoice and CCIA filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court and asked for amicus briefs. They argue that H.B. 20 is unconstitutional, compelling private businesses to carry speech they would otherwise remove. Chris Marchese, counsel for NetChoice, said:

“The First Amendment prohibits Texas from forcing online platforms to host and promote foreign propaganda, pornography, pro-Nazi speech, and spam. Left standing, Texas HB 20 will turn the First Amendment on its head—to violate free speech, the government need only claim to be ‘protecting’ it.”

Marchese added:

“Texas HB 20 strips private online businesses of their speech rights, forbids them from making constitutionally protected editorial decisions, and forces them to publish and promote objectionable content.”

The request is for the Supreme Court to reinstate the injunction on the law while appeals work through the full Fifth Circuit. Without that happening tech giants such as Meta, YouTube, and Twitter will suffer “irreparable harm.” Justice Clarence Thomas has already said that telephone companies are just like “digital platforms” because they both operate on physical wires. He and the two judges ruling against the tech companies ignore the fact that telephone calls are private; social media messages are designed to be communicated to the world.

The last time the Supreme Court was asked to reinstate an injunction, its “shadow docket” refused to do so, leaving the egregious anti-choice law in place while it is adjudicated. Justice Samuel Alito, liaison to the Fifth Circuit court, is responsible for deciding whether to unilaterally rule or refer the case to the full court.

The Texas case could now be decided on the court’s shadow docket, through which it issues orders without hearing arguments. The decision of whether to take up the case in this way is now up to Justice Samuel Alito, who is assigned to the Fifth Circuit. He will decide whether to rule unilaterally or refer the case to the full court. If the court does take up the case, the decision could come within days.

Did I mention that the law mandates all the social media companies continue to do business in Texas?

The House investigation committee into January 6 insurrection and overturning the election keeps chugging along, and emails from John Eastman, a pet DDT lawyer, reveals more of the corruption. He urged Pennsylvania GOP legislators to recount the state’s vote and trash tens of thousands of absentee ballots to show DDT won. By doing this, legislators would have “some cover” in replacing Biden’s electors with those supporting DDT and overturn the election results. According to his suggestion, GOP legislators could just express a concern with the state’s absentee ballot procedures and use historical data to “discount each candidates’ totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received.” That leaves them “with a significant lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors — perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote.” Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by over 80,000 votes.

The committee obtained Eastman’s emails from the University of Colorado where he was a visiting professor. On December 4, 2020, Eastman wrote Pennsylvania state Rep. Russ Diamond to change the language of his proposed resolution, hiding Eastman’s participation, and explained how to do. Later Eastman said that then-VP Mike Pence could merely refuse to count Biden’s electors on January 6, 2021. The House committee has been in court a number of times trying to get Eastman’s emails sent through another previous employer, Chapman University. 

The House investigative committee has subpoenaed five GOP members: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Jim Jordan (OH), Mo Brooks (AL), Andy Biggs (AZ), and Scott Perry (PA). Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that they learned that these colleagues have relevant information on the January 6 attack “and the events leading up to it.” McCarthy had pulled all his nominations for the committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected Jordan.

The DOJ has opened a grand jury investigation into the classified documents that DDT took to Mar-a-Lago when he moved out of the White House and subpoenaed the documents from the National Archives.

In Georgia, fake GOP electors are cooperating with the criminal probe as prosecutors investigate DDT’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Fulton County DA Fani Willis is attempting to determine their connection with a broader, illegal plot to pressure election officials and overturn Biden’s win of over 11,000 votes. DDT has made his loss the basis for GOP primaries there, especially for governor and state secretary of state, and the incumbents running in the election, Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger wouldn’t give in to his begging.

After Vernon Jones, DDT’s endorsement for Georgia’s governor, quit, DDT moved to supporting David Perdue who lost his senate seat last year to Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue lost support of law enforcement when he denigrated the state troopers in an awkward attempt to blame Kemp, and DDT is growing disillusioned because Perdue came out 16 points below Kemp in the most recent poll. Thursday a judge dismissed Perdue’s lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results, because his evidence didn’t go beyond “speculation, conjecture, and paranoia.”

In a defiant action, DDT’s former VP, Mike Pence, will hold a rally with Kemp on May 23, the night before Georgia’s primary, with Kemp. Pence called his candidate, who refuses to support the lie of election fraud in a “stolen” election, “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.” Headed toward a presidential run, Pence also criticized DDT for admiring Russian President Vladimir Putin.

May 5, 2022

Overturning ‘Roe v. Wade’: The Bombshell

Monday, May 2, 2022, Politico dropped a bombshell: a 98-page draft, supposedly from an initial majority vote for Supreme Court justices and authenticated by Chief Justice Roberts, overturning the 50-year-old decision Roe v. Wade giving women the right to have abortions during the first third of the pregnancy. The article provides extensive information, including Alito’s caustic, non-caring language, and the draft. An analysis of the draft. The biggest leak in SCOTUS’ history, ramifications are overwhelming. 

Republicans who have long sought this action don’t want to talk about the substance of the draft. Instead, they focus on the leak to distract the nation from their corruption of the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Chief Justice John Roberts initiated an investigation, but Republicans demand a DOJ criminal investigation. According to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the leak has done irreparable harm to the nation—as if the court isn’t already doing that.

GOP accusations don’t hold much water: the draft lacks national insecurity information, meaning that a prosecution is unlikely. Republicans, however, manage to play the victim despite the possibility that a conservative is behind the action. Yet their feeling of victimization isn’t the loss of a human right; it’s the act of a leak illustrating this loss. Following the old adage “be careful of what you wish for,” overturning the right to abortion loses GOP political funding. Even worse for Republicans, the GOP could lose the election because 69 percent of the people want to keep Roe.

Samuel Alito, author of the leaked draft, may be avoiding the public eye now. He canceled his appearance at the 5th Circuit Court judicial conference in New Orleans. Both Justice Clarence Thomas and Roberts were also to speak at the 11th Circuit’s judicial conference in Atlanta this week, but no one knows if they will appear.

With Roe overturned, women and children impregnated by rape will be forced to carry the fetus to full term in over half the country, mostly in the South and midwestern states. After the announcement of overturning Roe on Monday, Democrat Carol Glanville defeated GOP Robert “RJ” Regan in a special Michigan House election for a seat always been occupied by a Republican. He received only 40 percent of the votes with almost 8 percent going to write-ins. About rape, Regan said he told his daughters to “just lie back and enjoy it.”  He also called feminism a “Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men” and the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “fake war just like the fake pandemic.” State GOP leaders denounced his comments but didn’t call on him to withdraw because they were positive any Republican could win the election. 

Another male misogynist, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who is being investigated for sex-trafficking of minors and other crimes accused women protesting against the anti-abortion draft of being “under-loved millennials” and “no Bumble matches.” The term refers to a location-based dating app using Tinder’s “swipe right or left” format. He said the women “who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats.” One protester said, “I’ll take my cats over a man like this ANY day. Because they aren’t trying to take away my rights.” He’s up for re-election this fall.

According to the Turnaway Study, denial of an abortion can have negative effects with both health and financial impacts. The research compares women who received an abortion with women denied them because they were just past the legal gestational cutoff.

Issues for those denied abortions:

Worse mental health. These include anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, giving up life goals and staying with an abusive partner. This bad mental health can lead to chronic pain.

Greater health risks for carrying pregnancies to full term. (Two women in the study doing so died after giving birth.) Banning abortion will lead to a 21-percent increase in pregnancy-related deaths, jumping to 33 percent among Black women. Maternal mortality rates have skyrocketed to an all-time high and the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate among developed nations. States with the greatest restrictions on abortions have the highest maternal mortality rates.

Poor credit. Women seeking abortions having the same credit scores before pregnancy suffered far more financial problems after denial.

Debt and bankruptcy.

Children more likely to live in poverty. Women forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term have a four times greater chance of being below the federal poverty level.

Children less likely to achieve developmental milestones.

When women have abortions to wait, their children do better than those of women denied abortions in terms of emotional bonds between mother and child, economic well-being, and less poverty. The current anti-abortion decision is based only on ideological reasons because Roberts specifically ordered justices to ignore data. Dr. Jennifer Kerns, associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, said the leaked document illustrates how the court is no longer a neutral group, “It really lays bare how out of touch their rulings are with people’s lives.”

Michele Norris addressed the issue that most of the media—and Republicans—ignored: What about the children? She wrote:

“The sanctity of human life is all-important right up to the point when that flesh-and-bone child enters a world where programs designed to support women, the poor or households teetering toward economic ruin are being scaled back by a party that claims to be about family values.”

Many states with the most restrictive bans on abortion spend the least for health and economic benefits for expecting mothers and children once they’re born. Evidence comes from state rankings on maternal morbidity, infant mortality, premature birth, child poverty, birth weight, access to health care, day care, food stamps and housing. The Mississippi case, basis for Alito’s draft, ranks dead last in preterm births, neonatal mortality and overall child well-being. George Carlin’s acerbic comic routine is going around the internet. As he says at the finish, “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine, if you’re preschool, you’re f*cked.”

Tanya Lewis concludes the Scientific American article:

“For people who are unable to get their abortion because the Supreme Court just lets states ban abortions, we’re going to see worse physical health, greater economic hardship, lower achievement of aspirational plans, kids raised in more precarious economic circumstances, and people’s lives upended.”

People have misconceptions about abortions. The facts:

Abortions are safe and effective; complications from all types of abortions are rare. Abortion barriers and restrictions passed by health-ignorant lawmakers jeopardize the health of women.

Some state laws require doctors to lie to patients, for example the falsehood that abortions cause cancer, infertility, and mental health issues.

Many women feel relief after an abortion so mental health issues may come from forced pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies can cause significant and long-lasting maternal depression and parenting stress which can last for decades.

Avoiding pregnancy is not easy. Birth control is not 100-percent effective.

So-called anti-abortion “heartbeat bills” are based on falsehoods. The electrical activity which people call a heartbeat at six weeks doesn’t indicate a functioning heart which doesn’t form until 16-18 weeks of development. Even cardiac activity doesn’t equate to fetal survival.

Anti-abortion Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has a concern—her loss of privacy because of COVID contact tracing on cell phones. Trump’s administration started the program two years ago to anonymously track individual’s exposure to the coronavirus. Subscribed users could opt out from notifications that they were at risk of contracting COVID based on proximity to infected people. The CDC did no tracking and bought the program from a company bankrolled by Peter Thiel, DDT’s ally and one the biggest donors to his 2016 campaign. Blackburn appears to have ignored Alito’s draft of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe. It states that neither privacy nor self-determination exists in the Constitution because they are “not deeply rooted in history.”

Barbara Quade, former U.S. attorney general, theorizes that conservatives may have leaked the draft, hoping the release might dull the roar in late June when the actual ruling is released. A leak might also lock in the ruling, with the hope that those voting for the majority won’t have the courage to reverse their opinions which would give the impression “they are caving to public pressure.”

People told Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that she could not trust Brett Kavanaugh’s promises to her during his confirmation that Roe was settled law. She got re-elected despite voting to confirm a person accused of sexual assault for a life-time SCOTUS justice. Now she just can’t understand how both Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch could have lied to her and under oath in hearings. She did point out that the final vote hasn’t come out yet. Will she be stunned about her “betrayal” then?

Roberts’ rogue court will go down in history—not only for denying women their reproductive fights but for erasing many voting rights and letting the wealthy control the election of candidates—such as Peter Thiel donating $10 million to elect J.D. Vance in the GOP Ohio primary. With the overturning of Roe, Roberts’ court can then move on to block any rights to contraception and marriage equality for biracial couples and same-gender couples.

Not satisfied with the Supreme Court destroying reproductive rights for about half the women in the nation, Republicans are laying plans to ban abortion everywhere after six weeks, before most pregnant women are aware of their status. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) would introduce the legislation in the senate—a good look to have a woman take on the task. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) already introduced anti-abortion bills in the House.  

April 20, 2022

Mizelle Legislates from the Bench, Makes Policy

Many stories appear for a couple of days and then disappear, like Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and possesser of sensitive information, receiving $2 billion from Saudi Arabia for a “loan.” Others, however, start small and then, like Topsy, “growed.” The latest in this category is a federal judge in Florida removing the federal mandate for masks on public transport for the entire country as of the moment she issued her ruling.

Actually, the story has a connection to Jared Kushner: Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s husband, Chad Mizelle, works for the Kushner’s company that got the $2 billion. He went there after he left DDT’s Homeland Security department, a position possibly orchestrated by his ally, white nationalist Stephen Miller who set up all of DDT’s immigration programs. Miller tweeted that people should vote Republican this fall to prevent any more mask mandates.

Mizelle, 33 years old when DDT appointed her and she was confirmed by 49 GOP senators 15 days after DDT lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, was rated unqualified by the American Bar Association. Never having been a judge before, she had also never tried a case as counsel or co-counsel in her eight years as a counsel. Thus the ABA declared her “not meet[ing] the requisite minimum standard of experience necessary to perform the responsibilities required by the high office of a federal trial judge.” For a lifetime position.

Mizelle made her decision without any oral arguments, just off the top of her head after she looked at the law and checked a definition in the dictionary. The mandatory mask requirement was based on the 1944 federal law known as the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). As a supposed “textualist,” meaning that only the words at the time of writing matter and definitely not the intent, she checked out a contemporary dictionary—not one from 1944 as other so-called textualists might consider. Her decision was based on one definition of the word “sanitation,” the term she used to overthrow the mandate.

To Mizelle, sanitation “measures that clean something, not ones that keep something clean. Wearing a mask cleans nothing.” She pointed out that masks only stop droplets with virus from going into the air. Mizelle explained that the dictionary had two different definitions: to “clean something” or “keep something clean.” But she liked the first one so she used it for her ruling. Michael Dorf, a law professor at Cornell University, wrote:

“She looks at sanitation and says it has these two meanings. She then goes through an elaborate set of arguments why she thinks the first meaning is the better one. But then she says it’s unambiguous, and therefore the agency isn’t entitled to deference… I was not at all persuaded that she had eliminated the ambiguity.” 

Daniel Walters, a law professor at Penn State University, called Mizelle’s approach “so divorced from the text of the statute that it doesn’t deserve to be called textualism.” He continued:

“You can’t just splice the statute into a bag of words, consult a dictionary, pick out your favorite definition, and call that textualism.”

Adding to the peculiarity of Mizelle’s ruling, she twisted the part of the law which gives the CDC power “to make and enforce such regulations as in [its] judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases.”  An explanation of this statement does use the word “sanitation,” but it also adds “and other measures as in [its] judgment may be necessary.” As Ruth Marcus pointed out in her column about the issue, she could also rule that medical professionals won’t need to wear gloves or a gown, even when operating.

Mizelle wrote she overturned the mask mandate because the public didn’t have notice and a chance to comment. The agency had used a “good cause” with a “public health emergency.” Mizelle said that was insufficient. Despite the U.S. recording almost 82.5 million cases and over one million cases in two years. Not to mention that at least one-third of those with COVID suffer from symptoms of “long COVID.”                   

Like many others, conservative law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University is opposed to the mandate but highly critical of the fallacies in Mizelle’s “reasoning.” He used a graphic comparison, that Mizelle’s ruling would prohibit a regulation to stop people from defecating on the floor of a train or airplane.

“That would not qualify as ‘sanitation’ under Judge Mizelle’s approach because it does not clean anything, but merely ‘keep[s] something clean’ (in this case, the floor).”

Ian Millhiser almost matched that analogy by writing that her definition would not allow CDC to require airlines to fix toilet defects causing sewage to be spewed into the cabin. Instead, the CDC would be forced “to wait until passengers were wading through feces before it could order the airline to clean it up.

Another fallacy in Mizelle’s ruling is her invention of a distinction in CDC regulations between governing “property” and governing “an individual’s liberty interests,” opposite to wording of the statutory text. She claimed that the CDC can regulate only “property” and not the person’s liberty. Yet she relies on provisions that have no distinction between “property” and “individual’s liberty” in the CDC’s ability to make regulations. Mizelle seems to have created that justification out of thin air.

The instant that airline pilots heard about the rule, many of them announced, while airplanes were in the air, that the mask requirement was no longer in effect. Much to the dismay of some travelers, others ripped off their masks and cheered. There are no reports of pilots recommending that people might want to voluntarily continue to wear their masks for the protection of both themselves and others, especially those who are immunocompromised and expected safety for their flights. As one person tweeted:

“Airlines dropping mask mandates mid-flight is such a classic example of capitalism making a mockery of consent. People got on a plane with the understanding others would be masked. Suddenly they’re trapped at 10,000 feet in a COVID deathtrap free for all. Nightmare sh*t.”

One person said:

“We’re still taking off our shoes because of one dude 21 years ago but can’t be bothered to wear masks after 1,000,000 dead from a virus that’s still killing over 500 a day. What a world.”  

A former clerk for Clarence Thomas, Mizelle had a record for dismantling civil rights protections during her two years as counsel to the associate attorney general in 2017 and 2018. According to a leadership coalition of more than 200 civil and human rights organizations, she participated in “rescinding Title IX guidance that protected transgender students, filing a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that businesses have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ customers, asking the Census Bureau to insert a citizenship question on the 2020 form, and arguing in court that the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional.” Her amicus brief for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed a labor union request that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provide emergency standards protecting health care providers and other essential workers.

Mizelle belongs to the far-right Teneo Network and called Thomas “the greatest living American.” In a speech to the conservative Federalist Society, she said that paper money is unconstitutional. If she is as bright as people have claimed, her ruling simply came from her personal disagreement with mask mandates.

After the CDC asked for an appeal to Mizelle’s finding, the DOJ is moving forward to oppose her decision although the mask mandate is currently due to expire in under two weeks. The courts will likely take longer than that to make a ruling, but the serious flaws in Mizelle’s decision make it a dangerous decision about public health in the U.S. According to an Associated Press-NORC poll this week, the majority of people support the mask mandate for shared transportation—56 percent compared to 24 percent opposed. Approval was at 63 percent in a YouGov poll.  

If you consider this too much nit-picking, think about how many DDT judges will control our lives and use their skewed “textualism” to push their far-right agendas. Not one Republican demanding that Ketanji Brown Jackson not “legislate from the bench” has said anything about Mizelle’s bad legislation and avoidance of judicial neutrality. And DDT’s youthful, unqualified judges are with us for their lifetimes.

Although the U.S. undercounts COVID cases with at-home testing, the official number of infections has increased 47 percent in the past two weeks in 34 states and Washington, D.C. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C. have an increase in hospitalizations. And wait until fall when more variants and more cases sweep across the nation.

April 9, 2022

GOP Brings QAnon into the Mainstream

Before the 2016 election, QAnon conspiracy theories caused a man to shoot up a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. He had become convinced it was used for a sex-trafficking operation run by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Six years ago, this insane belief came from the conservative fringe; now it QAnon conspiracy theories are in the GOP mainstream. In recent confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, front and center on three days of television, several GOP senators demonstrated a non-stop obsession with many of these theories, clearly voiced in the multiple false accusations and irrelevant questions.

In a poll last year, 23 percent of Republicans believed that “the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”

Now Republicans say people supporting Jackson prove they are probably pedophiles “grooming” children for child molestation. QAnon supporters are undoubtedly ecstatic with this following and a wide-spread media coverage of their lie about a world-side human-trafficking network run by all Democrats who murder children and extract their glands.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said Jackson “might have” defended Nazis during the Nuremberg trials like the former Justice Robert H. Jackson was assigned chief counsel in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. He added that Jackson “will coddle criminals and terrorists, and she will twist or ignore the law to reach the result that she want.”

GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee laid out the future of the United States if Republicans take over Congress. Jackson cited her soon-to-be predecessor Justice Steven Breyer definition of originalism by following the intent of the constitution—to support democracy. At least five current Supreme Court justices disagree with this position. Two of them, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch, want to remove the requirement that defendants have state-provided legal counsel. Some of them have already hacked away at voting rights and permit an unlimited amount of “dark money” donated to political candidates. The right to abortion is on the chopping block despite 59 percent of people believing it should be legal. GOP senators’ questions gave more federal rights are at risk.

Contraception:

In 1965, the Supreme Court legalized access to contraception in Griswold v. Connecticut, but only for married women. Single women didn’t have legal access until another Supreme Court case, Eisenstadt v. Baird, another seven years—50 years ago. https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/contraceptive-use-united-states

In 2018, 65 percent of women in the United States ages 15 to 49 used contraception. By 2015, 89 percent of all people had found contraception to be acceptable. Yet in the midst of the Jackson confirmation hearings, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) found Griswold to be “constitutionally unsound,” meaning that she would like to see it overturned along with the Supreme Court ruling that preserved much of the Affordable Care Act. 

Supported by seven justices, Griswold ruled that married couples have a right to “marital privacy” in the decision to use birth control and invalidated the 1873 “Comstock Law” in Connecticut. According to many justices, the constitution gives privacy rights in at least five amendments although not explicitly using the term. Currently, however, five justices use the excuse that the word must be in the constitution to give people this right. Blackburn is not alone in her belief; the three GOP candidates for Michigan attorney general want Griswold overturned.

Republicans know that if they overturn Griswold, they might rid themselves of rights coming from Supreme Court rulings such as Lawrence v. Texas (2003) that declared state laws banning “homosexual sodomy” are unconstitutional. Overturning Griswold could also be used to overturn marriage equality, declared constitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). Justice Anthony Kennedy, now replaced by Amy Coney Barrett, wrote that Griswold was “the most pertinent beginning in our decision” of Lawrence. Rick Santorum accused the Supreme Court of “judicial activism” by creating “a new right” in Griswold. In 2019, the National Review called the decision “among the most indefensible bits of jurisprudential acrobatics in the entire American legal tradition.”

Republicans are moving closer to utter control of every part of our lives based on these extreme beliefs, from banning books to banning school curricula on Black history (under guise of racist bans of “critical race theory”) to banning transgender girls and women from school sports to banning discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools.

Interracial Marriage:

In a discussion about Jackson, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) came out against not only contraception but also interracial marriage. He said that the Supreme Court was wrong to override state laws banning Blacks and whites from marrying, the decision in Loving v. Virginia (1967). Braun tried to say that he didn’t really make that statement, that he “misunderstood.” Yet the reporter clearly repeated the question, and he gave the same answer. Comparing Loving to other similar cases, he called it “judicial activism” and called for decisions like interracial marriage be left up to the individual states.  

In his attempted walk back, Braun said he wasn’t a racist, but he didn’t rescind his statement about states rights. Virginia originally argued its ban on interracial marriage didn’t discriminate because it applied equally to both Blacks and whites. The original argument against interracial marriage was “religious,” that God didn’t want different races to mix. State and federal Trump-appointed judges might accept these arguments. Republicans are strongly pushing states’ rights—unless they disapprove of the states’ actions—with no federal interference.

Overturning Loving v. Virginia could be awkward for at least two Supreme Court justices after Jackson is sworn in, however. Both she and Clarence Thomas have white spouses. The U.S. also has a 94-percent approval rating of interracial marriages. 

Same-gender Marriage: 

Overturning marriage equality could be the easiest Supreme Court decision to tackle. Anti-LGBTQ rights were the most popular GOP arguments during the confirmation hearings other than pedophilia—which many Republicans tend to connect with being “gay.” Sen. John Cornyn falsely said that Obergefell “mandates” same-sex marriage instead of permitting it. (People are not required to have same-gender marriages.) He compared the decision to Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) giving “separate but equal” rights to Blacks, saying that both decisions provided rights not found in the Constitution. Plessy has never been overturned although with Brown v. Board of Education (1954) ruled that the “separate but equal” doctrine is unconstitutional for public schools and educational facilities. Cornyn also asserted that Obergefell blocks religious freedom because it allows people to impose their religious beliefs on others.

Cornyn badgered Jackson for several minutes but failed to get her agreement with him in opposing Obergefell. Seventy percent of people in the U.S. support same-gender marriage. Cornyn also failed to force Jackson into a conclusion about the viability of a fetus, now 22-24 weeks. 

Not satisfied with his obnoxious behavior at the confirmation hearings and his rudeness at the final vote of Jackson, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) put out a video further smearing her on the day after the vote when her confirmation was being celebrated at the White House. He was still sulking about President Joe Biden’s choice of Jackson for justice instead of South Carolina judge Michelle Childs. Republicans wanted Childs because of her pro-business, anti-employee history. During eight years of anti-union private practice, she defended employers accused of race and gender discrimination as well as sexual harassment in the workplace.

Graham is the icon of Republicans who defended the blubbering, threatening, angry Brett Kavanaugh, never exonerated of sexual abuse charges, and viciously attacked the courteous, professional Jackson maintained her grace and composure, patiently answer ridiculous questions in between loud interruptions. The entire performative event on the part of GOP senators was sour grapes because a Democratic president could appoint a Supreme Court justice for the first time in 12 years.

Ten years ago, progressive Thomas Mann and conservative Norm Ornstein concluded the GOP “is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” In the past decade, the party has moved much farther to the right, refusing to investigate an insurrection (perhaps because some of them participated in it) and voting to disenfranchise people who might not vote for Republicans. GOP members support Russian President Vladimir Putin and domestic terrorists. The conservative solution to stop abortion is legalized vigilantism. Idaho law, for example, would force rape victims to endure nine months of pregnancy and permit their rapists to collect a bounty if they try to get abortions.

Recent opinions from GOP congressional members eliminate federal protection for civil rights, enabling states to discriminate in any way they wish. They want the system to revert to pre-Civil War days with legalized slavery in some states. With Republicans in control, hundreds of thousands of marriages would be invalidated by the state, and millions of women could be refused any contraception. In many states, teachers are already quitting or being fired because they might refer to Black history of LGBTQ relationships. Parents are threatened with prison for child abuse if they support their transgender children. High on the GOP list is book banning. Republicans want to control all aspects of people’s lives based on extreme beliefs.

Heaven help the U.S. if Republicans gain control of the federal government.

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