Ketanji Brown Jackson remarks on her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tag Archives: U.S. Supreme Court
“The best thing to do when faced with voter suppression – and my friends, this is what voter suppression looks like – the best thing to defeat it is to go vote. The best thing to do is fight back.”
“Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, so we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation.”
Letitia James, New York State Attorney General, in a statement released January 18 in which she alleges former President Donald Trump and his family inflated the value of his properties and misstated his personal worth in representations to lenders, insurance brokers and other players in his real estate empire
“History will not remember them kindly.”
Martin Luther King III, the son of the late civil rights leader, comparing Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to the White moderates his father wrote about during the civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s – who declared support for the goals of Black voting rights but not the direct actions or demonstrations that ultimately led to passage of landmark legislation
“COVID is real; COVID is a threat. But even more serious than COVID, as real and scary as it is, is to see thousands and thousands of thousands of voters not being able to vote, and it was on our watch. We refuse to stop. We refuse to turn around.”
Rev. Adolphus Lacey, a pastor in New York’s Brooklyn borough, announcing ongoing voter registration efforts despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies. I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Supreme Court Justice, condemning severe abortion restrictions established by the state of Texas
On September 1, several new laws went into effect here in Texas – 666 to be exact; a number that surely makes evangelicals tremble. Some, like Senate Bill 968, which bans “vaccine passports”, became law immediately when Gov. Greg Abbott signed them in June. Others, such as House Bill 2730, which deals with eminent domain, go into effect January 1, 2022.
Overall, it appears that some of them are designed to oppress the basic human and constitutional rights of certain groups. The Texas State Legislature meets every two years and, in 2019, their principal goal was to loosen gun restrictions even more than they already were. Those of us who aren’t obsessed with firearms (meaning we don’t suffer from Pencil-Penis Syndrome) wondered how much more lax these rules could become. Stupidity never ceases to amaze me, and conservatives in the Texas State House always deliver.
This year’s session, though, has raised eyebrows and tempers across the nation – and mainly because of two of those 666 laws in particular. One deals with voting and the other with abortion. Abortion has always been an open wound for social and religious conservatives. To them it’s worse than the growing economic inequalities in the country, the prescription drug epidemic, or the fact that so many children in the U.S. live in poverty. Pro-life conservatives are “pro-life” – up to the time that baby is born. Once it pops out of the placental oven, it’s pretty much on its own.
Known as the “fetal heartbeat” bill, it is the most ardent assault upon reproductive freedom since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. It bans abortions no matter the circumstance (including rape, incest and danger to the mother’s life) after the sixth week of pregnancy, which is usually before most women learn they’re pregnant. It bears that moniker because an embryonic heartbeat allegedly can be detected at the sixth week. In reality, the heart hasn’t developed by that point; only the muscles that eventually will become the heart have formed. The term is misleading. The sound of a heartbeat is generated by the opening and closing of the heart valves. Those valves haven’t formed yet at 6 weeks. When someone detects this so-called “fetal heartbeat”, it’s the sound generated by the ultrasound machine. But self-righteous conservatives in the Texas State Legislature don’t see it that way. It doesn’t conform to their narrow view of reality. In other words, a group of (mostly male) politicians have decided they know more about human development and reproductive health care than actual medical professionals.
But the “fetal heartbeat” law goes even further – allowing anyone who assists in an abortion after that sixth week to be held liable as a criminal accessory and sued for up to $10,000. This isn’t aimed strictly at those in the medical industry. Giving a woman a ride to an abortion clinic, for example, opens them to criminal charges under this law; which means cab drivers are subject. Perhaps comforting a woman after the abortion could be considered criminal. Would a plumber who repairs water pipes in a women’s health clinic be deemed a criminal? It’s not the state that would bring the charges; the $10,000 penalty is for any individual who files suit under the law. Thus, if someone is upset (gets their feelings hurt) because of an abortion, they’re entitled for up to $10,000 compensation.
I’m upset there’s so much stupidity in the world. Where’s my financial compensation?
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to abortion rights when it refused to take up the new Texas law for consideration. Previously, it’s overturned similar laws passed by other states. But for the past few years, conservatives have been pushing these draconian measures for the mere sake of having the High Court review the Roe v. Wade decision and ultimately overturn it. The Court’s refusal to examine this Texas law is a blatant nod to right-wing extremists who feel divinely appointed to control other people’s lives.
The other new law gaining notoriety is Senate Bill 1, which targets the voting process. SB 1 limits the early voting period and bans 24-hour and drive-through voting. The drive-through voting idea was proposed last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections. Perhaps the most alarming feature of this law is that it allows poll watchers greater access. Voter intimidation is not just rude; it’s felonious. But don’t tell that to Abbott and the rest of the Republican mafia in Texas who symbolize ongoing efforts by conservatives nationwide to undermine the right to vote – the very genesis of democratic societies. It’s something we’ve tried to instill in other countries, such as…well, Iraq and Afghanistan. But, just like the World War II generation moved Heaven and Earth to stop fascism in Europe, yet did nothing to end it here in the U.S., conservatives want people in developing nations to be able to vote in clean and fair elections – without putting the same amount of effort at home.
Like most of the nation, Texas is still in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic with a resurgence of infections and increasing hospitalizations. This past February the Texas power grid system almost completely collapsed with the onset of Winter Storm Uri. Scores of people died. Much of the rest of the state’s infrastructure – mostly roads and bridges – are in dire need of repair or replacement. And, of course, all those children in Texas and across the nation who are uninsured…doesn’t pro-life also mean taking care of them?
The new gaggle of laws has a few other gems – good and bad. HB 1535 allows people to utilize marijuana for medicinal purposes. SB 224 simplifies access to the Supplemental Assistance Program for older and disabled citizens; individuals can forgo the normally required interviews and have a shortened application process. Now this measure is what I would deem pro-life!
On the other hand, we have HB 2497, which establishes an “1836 Project” committee produce educational materials dedicated to Texas history. In 1836, the Battle of the Alamo launched Texas’ separation from México. It’s in contrast to the “1619 Project”, which examines U.S. history from the arrival of enslaved Africans.
Moreover, HB 3979 limits teachers from discussing current events and systemic racism in class. The bill also prevents students from receiving class credit for participating in civic engagement and – wait for it – bans teaching of the aforementioned “1619 Project”.
I attribute these social studies bills as efforts by White conservatives to undermine the true history of the United States; that Native Americans were more civilized and intellectual than many realize; that the “founding fathers” weren’t devout Christians; and that the Civil War really was about keeping an entire race of people enslaved and not states’ rights. Like the presidency of Donald Trump, it’s a strike back against decades of progressive thought and ambition.
I never know what to think of these right-wing fools in elected office. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put up that sign on my front lawn offering free rides to abortion clinics.
“The Church says their position has always been very plain. If children want to be around gay adults, they can become altar boys.”
I’ve often noted that conservatives can be incredible hypocrites. For years they said no divorcee would be elected to the presidency. Then they got Ronald Reagan, the nation’s first divorced Chief Executive, whose wife was the nation’s first divorced First Lady. They dubbed Bill Clinton a draft dodger and condemned him for protesting against the Vietnam War while he was in college. Then they elected George W. Bush who earned a comfortable spot in the Texas National Guard in 1968 and failed to complete his tenure. They also elected Dick Cheney who claimed he had “other priorities” during the 1960s.
Conservative hypocrisy has reared its bigoted head once again – this time in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rick Scott and Tommy Tuberville submitted the correspondence to Garland complaining about what they perceive to be a double standard in punishment by the U.S. Department of Justice against the January 6 Capitol Hill rioters. In contrast, they declare, many of the various protestors to the George Floyd killing who became violent haven’t met the same degree of discipline.
In part, the letter states:
“DOJ’s (U.S. Department of Justice) apparent unwillingness to punish these individuals who allegedly committed crimes during the spring and summer 2020 protests stands in stark contrast to the harsher treatment of the individuals charged in connection with the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. To date, DOJ has charged 510 individuals stemming from Capitol breach. DOJ maintains and updates a webpage that lists the defendants charged with crimes committed at the Capitol. This database includes information such as the defendant’s name, charge(s), case number, case documents, location of arrest, case status, and informs readers when the entry was last updated. No such database exists for alleged perpetrators of crimes associated with the spring and summer 2020 protests. It is unclear whether any defendants charged with crimes in connection with the Capitol breach have received deferred resolution agreements.”
Please. Spare me the anxiety.
The five angry White male senators don’t seem to understand the difference in the two events. While some of the Floyd protestors devolved into rioting and vandalism, the original intent was to demonstrate against police violence; a recurring dilemma in the U.S. The intent of the Capitol Hill rioters, however, was to disrupt congressional business and kill someone – most notably Vice-President Mike Pence.
Conservatives have warned about threats to national security posed by Islamic vigilantes and illegal immigrants for as long as I can remember. But, these weren’t the people who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, as Pence oversaw certification of the 2020 presidential election. The rioters were mostly White people – many of them former military and/or law enforcement – from across the country who felt their dear leader, Donald Trump, had been cheated out of a second term by a corrupt electoral system. I can almost hear Al Gore and Hillary Clinton laughing.
But I don’t recall bands of angry liberals storming Capitol Hill in January 2001, demanding Al Gore be lynched. I also don’t remember seeing similar renegades bursting into Capitol Hill in January 2017, calling for Joe Biden’s head. And it’s obvious to most of us with more than half a brain that the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections were fraudulent. Yet conservatives denounced anyone voicing their disdain to those two events as whiners and sore losers. We were justified, though, in protesting. But we never got violent. No one smashed windows, kicked in doors and hollered for blood to be spilled. Neither Al Gore nor Hillary Clinton stood before angry supporters, urging for violent retribution against Congress.
It’s ironic, however, that Merrick Garland is in a leadership position. Five years ago President Obama nominated him to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans – who held a majority in the Senate – refused to grant Garland the decency of a fair hearing. Yet, they rushed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett last year, following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Again – hypocrisy in action.
“This is what they do to Trump. It’s not going to work with me. I won’t back down because I am very religious and I know God is watching over me. This started with COVID. The Obamas funded that Wuhan lab to make COVID. Then the impeachment process. They’ve used every avenue possible to cheat, they used Dominion. Dominion software was created to cheat. I have a binder from Dominion that proves this. There’s so much more that will be exposed.”
– Mellissa Carone, former IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems in Michigan, on SarahPalin.com
Carone worked on Election Night last month in Detroit and claims the amount of fraud at that one vote-counting center alone should be enough to overturn the election in President Trump’s favor.
“The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, has decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law. Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable. This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”
To non-Americans, the term “Union” is basically a reference to the 19th century U.S. Civil War, which long-time conservatives still describe as a states’ rights issue, when in reality, it was about the right of southern states to keep human beings enslaved.
“We’ll go to the floor on Friday the 23rd and stay on it until we finished. We have the votes.”
– Sen. Mitch McConnell, on the Senate voting to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court
“The courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.”