Tag Archives: Roe v. Wade

GOP embraces judicial activism

Republicans have done what I once thought was virtually impossible, that they would embrace a policy of judicial activism, that they would welcome judges who would, as they used to say, “legislate from the bench.”

We are witnessing — possibly — a case of judicial activism play out as the Supreme Court nears a decision on whether to toss aside what most of the court’s justice have called “settled law.” That would be the Roe v. Wade ruling handed down in 1973 that makes abortion legal in the United States.

Do you see it happening? Of course you do! The whole world is now aware of a draft opinion that suggests that Roe v. Wade isn’t long for this world. If the court follows through on what the draft suggests and tosses Roe into the crapper, then we are going to witness a first-rate case of judicial activism run amok.

The Supreme Court has upheld Roe many times since it became “settled law.” The current court, with its 6-3 super conservative majority, could change all of that.

Let us never forget what Donald Trump pledged when he was elected president in 2016. He said he would “appoint judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade.” In the case of the SCOTUS, he delivered on his promise. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Jeff Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all must have given Trump some assurance they would follow his lead if he nominated them to the court.

Maureen Dowd: There is just too much church in the state (irishtimes.com)

Didn’t presidents usually refrain from applying these so-called “litmus tests” when looking for federal judges? Imagine the outcry from the right had a president vowed to appoint judges who were avidly pro-choice on abortion.

I guess it’s OK these days to declare your intent and to ensure that judicial candidates would in fact pre-judge cases before hearing the merits.

I won’t ring the death knell for a woman to control her body just yet. Still, I am left to wonder what in the world happened to a political party that once thought that judges shouldn’t “legislate from the bench.” Oh, I know what happened. That party was hijacked and turned into something none of us recognizes.


SCOTUS loses ‘trust’?

Think of the irony of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggesting that the nation’s highest court has lost “trust” because someone leaked a draft document that hints that the court is poised to overturn a landmark ruling that legalized abortion in this country.

Justice Thomas spoke to a judicial conference in Dallas. “When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it,” he said.


Clarence Thomas says Supreme Court changed by leak of draft abortion opinion (msn.com)

Excuse me for laughing out loud. The court also lost trust when one of its members, Justice Thomas, chose to take part in a ruling involving Donald Trump’s role in the 1/6 insurrection. Ginni Thomas, wife of the justice, is an avid Trumpkin and took part at the start of the demonstration that turned into an assault on our democracy on 1/6.

I believe Thomas should resign from the court. He won’t do the right thing. The next right thing would be to recuse himself from any court matter related to the former POTUS’s effort to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election. He won’t do that, either.

Oh, no. Instead, he is going to pontificate about the court losing the trust of the people because someone decided to leak a draft opinion that sets up a monumental battle between pro-abortion rights Americans and those who would make it a crime for a woman to decide to terminate a pregnancy.

Trust? Clarence Thomas has no moral standing to talk about whether the Supreme Court has lost it. Whatever loss it has suffered is due largely because of the associate justice himself.


Biden is MIA over protests

President Biden needs to step up and issue some stern words of condemnation for those who are threatening bodily harm to Supreme Court justices over their draft opinion on Roe v. Wade.

You know the story by now. Someone leaked a draft opinion stating that the court could overturn the landmark abortion-rights ruling later this year. It has prompted stern and passionate push back from those who want to see the 1973 ruling stand as written.

They have marched in front of the home of the author of the draft document, Justice Samuel Alito, and some protestors have said out loud that physical harm should come to Alito and other conservatives on the court.

Hold on, here! I join them in their anger over the draft opinion. I part company over the calls for violence. So should President Biden, who sadly hasn’t said anything publicly about language coming from some of the protestors.

As we have learned painfully from the horrific events of 1/6, words do matter.


Don’t pack SCOTUS!

The infamous Roe v. Wade draft opinion that leaked out of the Supreme Court has prompted progressives to call for a SCOTUS “reform” that would add justices to the nine-justice panel.

Let’s take a breath for a moment.

I, too, am appalled at what the draft opinion suggests, that the landmark abortion legalization ruling is likely to be overturned in a formal court opinion to be issued in June or July.

However, I happen to oppose the idea of packing the nation’s highest court more justices. It is a knee-jerk reaction that, in truth, isn’t likely to be approved by the current Congress.

President Franklin Roosevelt floated the idea in the 1930s. Court packing was as unpopular then as it appears to be now.

I am a believer in precedent. Overturning Roe would violate the court’s policy of letting “settled law” stand. Moreover, it would constitute judicial activism that conservatives say they oppose.

But do we really want to take a drastic step such as the one being pitched now to expand the ranks of the SCOTUS? Those who want to pack the court point to the possibility that other rulings — such as the decision to allow same-sex marriage — might be wiped out.

A more rational approach would be to elect congressmen and women more to the liking of those who are appalled at the draft opinion. Over time, there could be sufficient pressure applied to Congress and to the courts to keep their mitts off issues that should be allowed to stand as they were delivered.

Pack the court? Now? No.


Reactions to leak tell us plenty

Could there be a more graphic illustration of the differences between the two major American political parties than their reaction to the leak of a draft opinion regarding the probable fate of Roe v. Wade?

Someone on the U.S. Supreme Court staff likely leaked the document to Politico, which then revealed it to the world. The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, suggests the court is ready to overturn the landmark January 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.

Conservatives have hailed the opinion. Liberals (such as me, your friendly blogger) have condemned it.

The back-story reaction, though, is most telling. Conservatives want the leaker’s head on a platter. It’s the thought that someone would violate the court’s privacy that has the right-wingers all worked up. Liberals, meanwhile, are less concerned about the leak than the contents of the opinion. I’m on the libs’ side.

Of course, I was surprised that it became known via a leaked document. It’s never happened before.

But, geez, there weren’t any national secrets revealed! Indeed, the privacy invasion strikes many of us as ironic, given that the SCOTUS’s conservative majority doesn’t seem at all concerned about a woman’s privacy in determining whether to end a pregnancy. But leak a draft document? The world is coming to an end!

I realize this is just one example of the chasm that divides the two major parties. It’s just too damn bizarre to ignore.


RBG spoke wisely

God bless the memory of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The nation is beating itself senseless over a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that proposes to do the very thing that Justice Ginsburg feared.

The opinion suggests the court should toss aside Roe v. Wade, the ruling that legalized abortion in January 1973. Doing so, I fear, would turn women into “less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

The fight has commenced. The U.S. Senate will vote next Wednesday on legislation that provides federal protection for those seeking an abortion. It isn’t likely to pass, given the Republicans’ strategy to filibuster the bill. Since it takes 60 votes in the Senate to end a filibuster, such a move is virtually doomed in a 50-50 Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, though, wants to put his GOP colleagues on the record in opposing granting women the right to control their own bodies. Go for it, Mr. Leader.

Justice Ginsburg would be proud


‘Pro-choice’ is not ‘pro-abortion’

Pay attention, folks, because I have something to declare to you that needs to be said.

I am appalled at the draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that suggests that the court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. I am less concerned about the source of the leak and more concerned — indeed fearful — of the contents of the draft opinion.

My declaration is this: My pro-choice position on abortion does not make me pro-abortion.

I hope we are clear on that. You see, my concern about what the SCOTUS might do deals with the intent to deny women the right to govern their own lives, their own bodies and deny them the right to make painful decisions.

The court appears to be leaning toward giving that authority to sanctimonious legislators in states that want to ban abortion, only excepting pregnancies that put the mothers’ lives in danger. Rape victims? Or those who are impregnated by a family member? Forget about it! They have to remain pregnant for the full term and then give birth to a child.

The trend is being set in states everywhere. Republican-led legislatures are set to pounce on what the SCOTUS might decide in a few weeks when its term ends. They will enact what they call “trigger laws” that take effect if the court tosses Roe v. Wade aside.

Only women who are pregnant should be able to make these decisions. They can consult with their loved ones, their clergy, their physician. Indeed, the idea that is being kicked around to make receiving an abortion a felony is beyond belief.

Could I counsel a woman to get an abortion? No. I could not do such a thing. That, moreover, is not even close to my call.

If the high court goes through what the draft opinion suggests, then women all over this nation are going to face a dark and frightening future.

They deserve the right to make these difficult choices on their own.


Have we awakened?

Hands down, there can be no doubt that abortion is the most contentious issue of our time, which makes me wonder whether the infamous leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court has awakened Americans to the right of women to control their bodies.

The draft document recommends that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court ruling that legalized abortion, be overturned.

The question is worth asking. Does this draft energize Americans? Does it make them force Congress to enact a law that codifies abortion, giving the procedure federal protection? Does it prod Americans to act in a way that countless lives lost to gun violence couldn’t?

I admit to having a sliver of doubt. My hope, though, is that Americans — namely women across the land — will stand and fight for their right to determine whether to carry a pregnancy to birth.

They are rallying all over the nation. In Dallas tonight, thousands of Texas residents are marching downtown to protest the draft opinion. The draft document is not law. We won’t know how the court rules until the summer, when the court term ends.

The draft opinion, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, gives us a clear and present hint on how the court is tilting.

I want to add as well that every public opinion poll I’ve seen tells us that a solid majority of Americans believe that women deserve the right to make these gut-wrenching decisions for themselves, that they oppose (mostly male) legislators making them.

Let the alarm bells keep ringing.


Here is the consequence

Donald J. Trump told us brazenly before his term as president and during it as well, that “elections have consequences.”

We are now witnessing how those consequences play out.

The U.S. Supreme Court has just confirmed that a draft opinion was leaked to Politico in which the justices in a narrow 5-4 poll among them have determined that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. If the draft opinion becomes law, then we can say “goodbye” to a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.

The consequence occurred when Trump was able to nominate and win confirmation by the Senate of three justices.

First came Neil Gorsuch, whom Trump nominated after Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama’s nomination in 2016 of Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump won the election that year and McConnell then paved the way for a Senate confirmation.

Then came Brett Kavanaugh, whom Trump nominated to succeed the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Finally, we saw the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump nominated just weeks before the 2020 election to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Trump told the nation he wanted to end Roe v. Wade. He said he would select justices who would follow his edict. So much for judicial independence, eh?

All of this serves to remind Americans concerned about the power of presidential appointments to the federal bench. This is a consequence of a presidential election that give many millions of Americans cause to worry about our nation’s future.


Who leaked it? Who cares?

Now that the world has gotten a probable first look at what the U.S. Supreme Court will do to a landmark ruling on abortion, I want to declare that I am far more concerned about what the draft opinion states than I am about who might have leaked it to Politico.

The 98-page draft opinion written by conservative Associate Justice Samuel Alito declares that Roe v. Wade is “egregiously wrong” and should be overturned. The draft opinion, which is far from the final ruling, has sent shock waves through the nation. States such as Texas are likely to enact what they call “trigger laws” making abortion illegal if the high court follows through on the draft opinion later this year.

Texas would make abortion a felony and would punish a woman who received an abortion with time in prison, along with the doctor who provided the service. That is disgraceful on its face.

Here is a thought for us to ponder. If the state is going to send women and doctors to prison for terminating a pregnancy caused by a rapist or a lecherous uncle who committed an incestuous act, then we need to seriously stiffen the penalties for the men who commit those acts. The Texas abortion ban wouldn’t take rape or incest into account.

How does life without parole sound?

As for the leak that came from the court, I agree it is unprecedented. For my money, it doesn’t seem all that difficult to determine who did the deed. My hunch is that it came from a clerk who works for one of the three liberal justices on the court. If we’re going to sic the FBI on them, then grill the clerks and their assistants first to get to the bottom of it. There ain’t that many of them on the court staff, so it shouldn’t take too long.

However, as I stated already, the contents of the draft document are alarming in the extreme. I am not looking forward to what the SCOTUS has to say on this matter when they ring the bell for the end of the current court term.