Coming soon: law v. politics

Front row, left to right: Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Back row, left to right: Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The US Supreme Court reconvened this week and in the months ahead will render decisions on abortion rights and other topics. There’s a 6-3 conservative majority on the court now, and three of those conservatives were appointed by Donald Trump. Despite recent assurances from some of the justices that they will not be political and will base their decisions on the law (Thomas, Roberts, Barrett, Breyer), I have my doubts — especially with the Kavanaugh hearings seared into my brain.

Back in 2012, in a post about abortion, I wrote:

We know about birth control and contraception and family planning and reproductive health. We know about unwanted children, poverty-stricken unwed mothers, irresponsible fathers, ectopic pregnancies, STDs, HIV/AIDS, and a variety of “female conditions,” and we know there are ways to avoid, prevent, or cure them. We know we don’t have to bear and give birth to the results of rape or incest. We know we don’t have to remain “barefoot and pregnant” during our most productive years, serving as mere baby factories for our men. We know we can plan our families and engage in fulfilling lives and careers outside the home if we wish. We won’t go back to the days before we had these options.

I’m waiting to see if the Court knows and acknowledges this and upholds Roe v. Wade, the law of the land since 1973, or if it chooses to send US women back to the Dark Ages. With the Court’s recent refusal to block the draconian new Texas abortion law, I am far from confident.

33 thoughts on “Coming soon: law v. politics

  1. I prefer to think that SCOTUS’ indifference to the TX law was due to the law’s intrinsic folly. That said, I share your lack of confidence in what decisions they will be making this session.

    1. At least US District Judge Robert Pitman stepped forward this week and blocked the law. Don’t know how that came about, but I’m sure a lot of Texas women are glad it did.

      “A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established,” Pitman wrote. “Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, (Texas) contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that.”

      Hope the high court takes that to heart.

  2. “Faith” is the driving force behind the “pro-life” movement. Faith, Merriam Webster says (2 b (1), is “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” So, tens of millions choose to believe that God has an intention for every child who is born defective or unwanted. This is the same God who, according to the bible, is so interested in his creation that he watches sparrows and numbers the hairs on everyone’s heads. Why then are about half of all pregnancies naturally aborted? False starts?

    1. You’d have to ask those who believe in God why s/he is so fickle. Also ask them why, if they are so concerned about the well-being of someone else’s fetus, they don’t step forward to ensure the well-being of the newborn with all medical expenses paid; loving, financially secure adoptive parents (heterosexual couples, of course); child care; pre-school; free education, etc. All those sanctimonious pro-lifers need step up and put their money where their mouths are.

    1. That’s two ways, but who’s counting. Contraceptives can and do fail on occasion, which is one reason safe and legal abortions need to be available. As for no sex, well, if that floats your boat, go for it.

      1. First of all I’m married and can’t have kids so I’m not saying I don’t have sex but it’s an obvious reason how you get pregnant. And there isn’t any proof anywhere but having abortions as late as they do is not murder

        1. Late term abortions are usually done for pressing medical reasons. Whether or not it’s murder is something the pregnant woman — no one else — must decide and live with. Her pregnancy is no one else’s business.

          1. Usually but not always. If someone kills pregnant woman they get either a 3rd-degree murder charge or manslaughter for the unborn child. If you kill someone you go to prison so murder is murder. Those that have abortions hurt far more than liberalists will admit. We need more funds for adoption and planned parenthood. Whether you believe or not God is very real.

  3. johnthecook…Tax payer money should never be used to support or pay for abortions! Our Laws have become so complicated it is near impossible to separate fact from fiction. Critical thinking, logic, deductive reasoning and integrity are missing from those who write our Laws and then want to enforce them on an unsuspecting public. I feel like we are the sheep being led to the slaughter! Are we really that stupid?

    1. John, with respect, I submit that the use of tax-payer money will always be a subjective decision, not an absolute, and no matter what, such things will always upset some. How we decide in this country is, of course, a function of the representive-democratic process. If one accepts that, then one should accept that there will be some decisions made that they don’t like. Other tough decisions include conscription, war, gun laws, consumer protection, child-care, tax brackets, and government budgets. Some form of government is necessary and the alternative is how they do it in Iran, China or Russia. The question of abortion is especially troublesome because it involves religion. If the establishment clause is undermined, and I think that’s happening, it bodes ill for everyone.

    2. When a doctor is involved, abortion is health care. Period. As Jim explains, you can’t pick and choose. You pay taxes. If you don’t like the way your tax dollars are spent, elect different representatives. But yes, I agree that “critical thinking, logic, deductive reasoning and integrity” are sorely lacking in Washington and in state legislatures. But we’re not sheep. We can still vote.

    1. The majority of the court disagreed with him. Hence the Roe decision. I disagree with him in that I think “privacy” most definitely includes what transpires between a woman and her doctor. (HIPAA, anyone?) I can’t think of anything more personal and private except perhaps one’s bedroom. Nor do I see why any state would or should have a “compelling state interest” in what a woman does with her body.

          1. I like your posts. just catching up. The wife was in the hospital eight days And in rehab for 2 1/2 weeks. happy to say, she is now home and doing great! She lost 10% of her weight and looks younger! You just never know what life has in store, yes?

          2. Oh I’m so sorry to hear about Mollie. Must have been tough on you both. Glad she’s on the mend now. You guys have a safe and Happy New Year and give her a hug for me.

  4. I do not agree. It is between a woman and God and the last time I checked God said “Thou shalt not kill.” If it is for health reasons of the woman or life threatening them of course that is different. But to just have an abortion because some is fooling around is wrong. There are plenty of people that would love to adopt. People have become so self-centered and me, me, me and shame people when they do not agree. It is a volatile subject for sure. Thank Hod for his forgiveness.

    1. Our laws do not and should not consider what some people’s religion or god might dictate. Separation of church and state, remember? You can worship as you please, but you can’t inject your religious beliefs into our laws. And, incidentally, you don’t or shouldn’t know why any woman has an abortion. It’s none of your business.

      Just for the sake of argument, have you signed up to adopt an unwanted infant? If not, why not? Career plans? Can’t afford it? Not married? Too young? Hmmm.

... and that's my two cents

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