Tag Archives: Supreme Court

The Only Way to Honor MLK is to Continue on the Path He Started

These days, it’s easy to reference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His “I Have a Dream” speech is iconic and universal.

The problem, as I see it, is that there are too many today who give lip service to his legacy. Specifically to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. On paper, some (ahem, Republicans) will state emphatically that they are for voting rights and protecting the right to vote. In reality, they are constricting the access to the polls for certain populations, knowing that these groups have by a wide margin, have supported their opponents.

When the Supreme Court agreed via Shelby County v. Holder that two sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were unconstitutional, it opened the door to the dangerous situation that our nation is presently in. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would not only strengthen its predecessor but would also hopefully prevent another Shelby County vs. Holder. The issue is that this nation and this Congress is too fractured to protect the ideals that we claim to hold near and dear.

The only way to honor Dr. King’s legacy and memory is to continue where he left off. Though the ground that has been gained is tremendous, the reality is that there are many battles ahead of us.

P.S. Dr. King was also outspoken about antisemitism, a fact that I wish that was not lost to history.

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

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The CA Gun Law to the SC & TX Abortion Laws: Top That

The game of politics can often be ground down to the game of top that.

With a growing number of states (among them Texas and South Carolina) with the United States enacting severe anti-abortion laws, California has responded with its own law.

The proposed bill, according to a press release from Newsom, would allow Californians to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts” for damages — the same injunction-skirting mechanism Texas has used to ban all abortions after six weeks, which has so far been permitted by the Supreme Court.

The lawmakers who have created and enacted these draconian pieces of legislation knew exactly what they were doing. They knew that if their bills were written in a certain way, it would be impossible for the Supreme Court (or any court) to strike it down.

Bravo to Governor Newsom. At least someone is thinking rationally.

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Gutting Roe V. Wade by the Supreme Court Sets a Dangerous Precedent

This coming week has the potential to forever change the United States for the worse. Roe V. Wade could become a shell of its former self if the ruling by the Supreme Court goes a certain way.

A recent ad campaign tells the story of Annie Fitzgerald. Adopted as an infant, she emphasizes pro-life values.

Adoption is wonderful. However, it is not a cure all, as Justice Amy Coney Barrett suggests. As of 2019, there were 424,00 children in the foster system on any given day alone. The question I would ask anyone who is pro-life is are they willing to step in and be the parents these kids need? Or are they all talk and no action?

In Judaism, abortion is allowed, up until birth. If the life of the mother is threatened, then it is permitted to end the pregnancy. Though it becomes a bit murky after that, the message that the decision is up to the woman is revolutionary.

My body, my future, my choice. If you don’t have a uterus, be quiet. If you do have a uterus, you should still be quiet.

At the end of the day, the choice belong to the woman, her doctor, her spouse/partner (if she has one), and her heavenly creator (if she has such beliefs). No one else should be putting in their two cents.

P.S. I am going to end this post with a tweet that says it all.

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Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence Book Review

In 1991, when Anita Hill testified that that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, it was nothing short of earth shattering. Instead of letting the shame destroy her or pretend that it never happened, she took her case to Congress. This brave choice opened the door for victims of similar acts to get justice and ensure that the perpetrators got what they deserved.

Dr. Hill’s new book, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence, was published in September. Building on her very personal history of experiencing gender violence, she explores such subjects such as bullying, rape, the constant threat to the LGBTQ community, and the mind blowing comparison to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. In speaking openly about such topics that are often buried under the rug or not taken seriously, she is challenging the reader to speak up, speak out, and ensure that these injustices are finally given the spotlight they should have received a long time ago.

This book is nothing short of mind blowing. If there was ever a fire lit under our collective behinds, this book is the match. Thirty years ago, Dr. Hill opened the door, broke barriers, and inspired multiple generations of activists to stand on her impressive shoulders. She got the ball rolling, it is now up to us to finish the job.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Is Anyone Truly Surprised that Amy Coney Barrett is the Newest Member of SCOTUS?

When it came to making major decisions, the process would obviously be easier if it was made via strictly impartial facts. But impartiality is impossible. Most, if not all of the time, our beliefs and experiences color the final outcome of our decisions.

Last night, in a surprise to no one, Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the newest member of SCOTUS.

Her rushed confirmation hearings, combined with taking the oath of office a week before the election is the living, breathing embodiment of court packing. Those in the Republican and conservative movements wanted to grab as much power as they could while it was theirs to take. If the blue wave comes as expected (and hoped for), the Democrats will have control of the White House and Congress.

There are two problems with her confirmation. The first problem is that there are no term limits on the members of the Supreme Court. While there is talk of creating term limits, it is just talk at this moment. Justice Barrett is forty eight. This means that she could be on the court for the next thirty to forty years. She could be ruling on cases that will forever change the trajectory of this nation.

The second problem is that with the election so close, some are predicting a reboot of the 2000 Presidential election. Those of us who are above a certain age can easily remember the chaos and uncertainty during that period. In a worst case scenario, the argument could make its way up to SCOTUS. I wouldn’t put it past you know who to ensure that the judges he appointed give him another four years in office.

At this point in time, we can only guess how the election will end and how Judge Barrett will rule. I hope with everything I have that when all is said and done, we become a better nation. But hope, as it often does, springs eternal.

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Confirming Amy Coney Barrett Spits on the Memory of RBG

Every generation of the feminist movement builds on previous generations. However, that does not mean that the current generation honors or remembers the work of their predecessors.

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last Friday, the news sent shockwaves throughout the country. According to an interview with her granddaughter, one of the late jurist’s last wish was that her replacement not be confirmed until after the election.

It is therefore, a surprise to no one that not only was that wish ignored, but her potential replacement is politically conservative. Her name is Amy Coney Barrett. Though she has taken advantage of the opportunities that were created for her via Judge Ginsburg, she is everything that RBG was not.

Judge Barrett openly opposes abortion and marriage in the LGBTQ community. Her nomination, if confirmed, would tip the balance within the Supreme Court towards the right. In theory, the court should be apolitical. But, in reality, politics views will always play a role in the decisions that are handed down.

What is more concerning than the choice of Judge Barrett is that Judge Ginsburg is not even in the ground. As far as I am concerned, the Republicans have ignored the choices of both the voters and RBG. They are so focused on winning the election, that they have forgotten who has the power to hire and fire them.

It’s time to remind them who is in charge.

#BidenHarris2020

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Rest in Revolution, RBG

Activism is not always done standing on a soapbox with a microphone in one’s hand. It can be done working quietly behind the scenes.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Friday. Born and raised in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, she came of age in an era when most women quietly settled in marriage and motherhood. She could have followed the pack, but chose another life. That life led her to become only the second women to join the United States Supreme Court. Serving nearly three decades, she was a feminist and icon in every sense of the word.

I can’t think of any other Supreme Court Justice who has deified on Saturday Night Live. Kate McKinnon is perfection.

Her passing represents more than her physical death. The question comes up of who should replace her. If precedent has anything to say, whomever fills her seat will not be named until after November. But, given the current state of American politics, I would not be surprised if there was already a list of potential replacements waiting in the wings.

In the words of our mutual ancestors, may her memory be a blessing and an inspiration to fight for equality.

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Thoughts On the Recent Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. However, that does not mean that I as an individual citizen has to agree with every ruling.

Though it is not written in stone, it is a tradition that all Presidents release copies of their tax returns and/or financial statements. Since you know who won the election nearly four years ago, he has come up with every excuse in the book as to why the paperwork has not been made public. Today, SCOTUS ruled that the tax returns have to be released to prosecutors in regards to the cases building against him in New York.

On the surface, the decision by SCOTUS (including you know who’s choices to join the court) seem like a 100% victory. It’s not, the fine print says that much. But it is a giant step in the right direction. The big baby is not immune from prosecution and must conform to the laws like anyone else.

The other ruling concerns the constant determination by the right (and the current administration by extension) to deny a woman her right to contraception. Instead of directly denying a female employee access to birth control, they are leaving it up to the prerogative of her employer.

If you can, imagine the following scenario: a pregnant woman goes to her doctor for a routine checkup. She is told that there has been a change to the fetus. It is no longer medically viable. She could carry the pregnancy to term, but there are risks in doing so. She could also end the pregnancy, but her employer does not believe in abortion. If she chooses an abortion, she will have to pay a potentially outrageous sum out of pocket because of her employer’s beliefs.

Does that sound right to you? It doesn’t sound right to me. From my perspective, the only thing my bosses should be worrying about is my ability to do my job. My personal life (medical decisions included) are frankly, none of their dam business.

Happy Thursday.

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The Light in the Darkness: The Supreme Court LGBTQ Ruling

Even in the darkest of times, there will always be that small light in the distance. As difficult it reach it as it may seem, we must always be fighting to get to that light.

It is no secret that our nation has been in turmoil for the past few months due to the one two punch of Covid-19 and the murder of George Floyd. But even with all that, there is still something to smile about.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld one of our nation’s highest ideals by making discrimination against the LGBTQ community in the workplace illegal. In a move that surprised many, two of more conservative judges (one of whom was appointed by you know who) stood with their liberal colleagues in favor of the ruling.

This gives me hope. We can live up to the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We can ensure equal rights for all. We can end the discriminatory practices that have been the unfortunate backbone of our nation for far too long.

It just takes time, work, and putting one’s fears aside to fight for a greater cause.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Pride month.

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The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation Book Review

Unless one is a diehard political junkie, the confirmation process of potential Supreme Court judges is an event that can be missed. But the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh last year was must-see TV. The sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford made viewers and those in the halls of power ask if Judge Kavanaugh was truly up to the task at hand.

The new book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, by New York Times writers Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin, is more than the story of Judge Kavanaugh. It is a mirror that reveals the truth that America is a divided nation, politically, socially and culturally. While telling the story of Judge Kavanaugh’s life, Kelly and Pogrebin do a deep dive into who their subject is and the accusations that nearly stopped his career in its path.

Like many Americans, I watched this story like a hawk last fall. What I like about the book is that the writers leave the perspective up to the interpretation of the reader. Though they make clear that the allegations are serious (as they should), they do not play judge and jury.

As a feminist, I have two perspectives on this story. The first perspective is that Judge Kavanaugh acted in a way that only one who is young, immature and stupidly drunk will act. It appears that in middle age, he has matured well beyond the young man he was in the 1980’s. The second perspective is that this is a man who has no respect for women, especially when he is not sober. If he truly has no respect for women, how is able to make sound legal judgements that can potentially affect millions of American women?

I recommend it.

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