The following represents the opinion of the author.
As SCOTUS dons its robes and begins its march back to the 19th Century and beyond, what actions can America’s citizens take to remain where we are - in the 21st Century?
In recent years, Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett ---- did a collective dance through congressional hearings that would have made Fred Astaire proud.
Claiming no prejudices or leanings one way or another regarding Roe V. Wade, they nonetheless stepped neatly into a choreographed conga line behind Justices Thomas, Roberts, and Alito when the first opportunity to tear it down was presented. And so, begins the journey.
According to Alito’s 90-page draft opinion, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”
Let’s see if my math serves me right; the constitution was ratified in June of 1788, which makes it 234 years ago. At a time and place when the founding fathers and mothers were largely unaware of many modern concepts such as abortion, prenatal care, postpartum depression, or any of the practices that mark our current society’s march towards enlightenment.
So technically speaking, Justice Alito is correct. There were no specific references to abortion. Or the death penalty, pornography, the right for non-whites to vote, or the NFL. And yet, as the years passed, we eventually got around to doing something about them, one way or another.
So, what is Justice Alito’s point? There are many rights that “We the People’ have that are an extension of the specific rights outlined in the constitution.
For example, the Second Amendment states: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
But were the founding fathers specifically including AR-15s, Mac-10s, sniper rifles, or concealed weapons, when they drafted that document because there is no mention of them either? Or were they merely stating the obvious, that a well-regulated Militia in the late 18th Century, comprised mainly of average citizens, needed to bear arms to fulfill their duties?
Or say, the First Amendment, that states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It clearly establishes the prohibition of Congress interfering with the establishment of religion, but not clearly enough, with religions interfering with the establishment of a government or having its views influence the application of the Constitution itself. Is it so difficult to posit what the founding fathers were thinking and how it might run both ways?
Alito also stated in his “draft” that, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”
Because the Constitution doesn’t clearly define abortion as a right of privacy or anything else, or that this right even exists? Or that it must it be overruled because it goes against the teachings of the Evangelicals found to be whispering, ever more loudly, behind the GOP, and thus by extension, members of SCOTUS?
Ginni Thomas and her consulting firm seem to have discovered a rip in the constitutional fabric that binds the court together, by actively soliciting members of the White House staff to Release the Kraken and invalidate the 2020 election results, while simultaneously avoiding congressional scrutiny for being the wife of a sitting justice urging others to set the constitution aside.
The walls of the SCOTUS offices must be thicker than those at NORAD, for such actions to not be seen or heard or God forbid, considered illegal, in one form or another.
According to recent surveys, about 80% of Americans believe that abortions should be legal in all cases or legal under certain conditions. Roughly 48-50% (or higher, depending on the survey) believe it should be legal at all times, just so we’re clear.
Approximately 20% believe abortions should be illegal at all times.
Over the past decade, it’s been the GOP’s wish (their right as some might see it) to repopulate the Supreme Court with judges with far-right perspectives. And they accomplished this thanks to Trump and Mitch McConnell and the Evangelical Right.
And being far-right politically and being opposed to Roe V. Wade have been bound hand in hand for the past half-century. Sort of like baseball and beer.
No, Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett were not voted in because they were moderates or because they were found to be impartial, dedicated jurists who would uphold the “hands-off” history of the Supreme Court.
They were voted in because their personal views were apparently in accord with the political and religious teachings of the far-right. Not the moderate GOP. Not your father’s GOP, that proudly walked down the center aisle, willing to seek common ground.
They were voted in knowing that - THOMAS E. DOBBS, STATE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL, PETITIONERS v. JACKSON WOMEN'S HEALTH ORGANIZATION, ET AL. or a case similar to it would be making its way to the Supreme Court and “they” needed to be ready when it came calling.
The thing is, we Americans knew this day was coming. It wasn’t a matter of the writing being on the wall in some obscure location or hinted at in some podcast. Hell, the GOP and assorted PACs and religious backers have broadcasted their intentions far and wide for the past 40-plus years with the zealousness of a, well, Evangelical Preacher on a mission.
The only unanswered ‘trivia’ question, as it were, is why Samuel Alito took 90 pages to make his point? His opinion speaks more to personal triumph and justifications than facts and impartiality. To a resounding, Gotcha, directed to the left, then a need to right a perceived wrong that just happens to have had global support for all those 50 years from the majority of Americans.
With the obvious exception to the above being a few but growing number on the right who feel that the 18th and 19th Centuries had many practical benefits. That they possessed the right paternal perspective that worked best for the running of a country founded on God and Christianity.
Even if it wasn’t.
So, when Justice Alito stated further that:
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Know that you are reading from the GOP’s Book on Political Strategies, (recently updated and annotated by Donald Trump), wherein truth and accuracy are relative to any political objective. The less truth needed to forward an ideal the better. Less for the fact-checkers to refute.
Roe was never wrong from the start. It was never right, from the start either. It was simply the best, most rational, and far-sighted solution to a problem that American men and males, in general, have been effectively dodging since the idea of sex first entered their minds.
What to do with the by-product of sexual relations, when it’s simply an inconvenience?
Like the children’s game of ‘Hot Potato’, this problem has been passed down, passed off, and generally passed along without ever actually being dealt with – until Roe V. Wade.
And now the six wise men and woman of the Let’s get us back to the 19th Century, contingent of the Supreme Court, would like to take that right away because it’s egregiously wrong and exceptionally weak and . . .
. . . again, why?
Because they are leading with their religious heads and not their constitutional ones. Because they are being swayed by their personal beliefs of what life is and isn’t, and not sticking with the facts and truths that they are wont to set aside when those they listen to start talking about their immortal souls rather than the greater good of a country whose constitution they were sworn to uphold.
Do we really need to look beyond our own history to determine what actions need to be taken to protect rights that we once considered to be inalienable?
We fought. We must do the same now. Not with guns. Not with violence. But with compassion, intelligence, and a commitment to what’s right and just – the same traits that most of SCOTUS have long since forgotten and replaced with religious fervor and misplaced righteousness.
Vote in, those that will make a difference. Vote out, those who will not. Protect those that are protecting us and support them. Give voice to opinions that bring truth to the fore and ignore the chattering of magpies on political wires who repeat what they are being told.
Applaud those states that will protect women’s rights and try to convince friends or neighbors in those states who will not, and get them to not alter their minds but simply protect the mothers, daughters, and sisters in their lives.
And if all else fails - withhold the one thing that most far-right men need most and feel is their God-given right to have. Let’s see if abstinence is as meaningful a solution as they’ve been preaching about for years.
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