Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Domestic Supply of Infants is Not That Hard to Understand

The difference between being seen as breeding stock and a fully-fledged human being with responsibilities, dreams, ambitions, etc comes down to one word: rights.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made a very damning and unnerving statement in the body of the leaked draft of the opinion that could potentially overturn Roe V. Wade. Buried in the footnotes is a quote from a 2002 CDC report about adoption within the United States.

“Whereas the domestic supply of infants relinquished at birth or within the first month of life and available to be adopted has become virtually nonexistent.”

I’m going to let NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the late George Carlin take it from here.

What bothers me are two things. The first thing is that it opens the door to a slippery slope. Abortion is low-hanging fruit to these people. What’s next? Losing access to birth control? Taking away the ability to marry for LGBTQ couples and biracial couples? Undoing the 19th amendment and the 14th amendment?

The second thing is that this opinion is based on rulings that are centuries old. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that they are grasping at straws, finding any legal theory (even the archaic ones) that they believe will support their cause.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about SCOTUS judges. Their appointments are for life. But we can vote for Democrats at every level. They are the only ones who are both working for the people of this nation and fighting for the freedoms that we all hold dear.

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Our Greatest Fears Have Come to Pass: Roe V. Wade is About to be Overturned

Last night, a figurative bomb was dropped on the nation.

A draft of a Supreme Court ruling was released. A majority of the justices have voted to overturn Roe V. Wade. Though this is only a draft and not the final decision, it is enough to raise alarm bells.

Most Americans support a woman/pregnant person’s right to make their own decisions about their bodies and their future. The minority who would ban the procedure in all forms do not care about their fellow citizens. They only care about pushing their belief on the rest of us, whether we like it or not.

I am going to end this post with a video from the MeidasTouch podcast. Gilead is no longer fiction, it is becoming our reality.

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Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality Book Review

No social movement that aims to create a better world is without its internal struggle. While the men are at the forefront, it is often the women who do the work. But few are given the spotlight and the respect they deserve.

The late Constance Baker Motley was one of these women. Her story is told in the new biography Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality. Written by Tomiko Brown-Nagin, it was published in January. Born to immigrants from the Caribbean in 1921, she came of age in an era in which both her gender and her skin color created barriers. Instead of just submitting to these barriers, she broke them. After graduating from law school, she was the only female on staff working for the legal team of the NAACP under the leadership of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Balancing work, marriage, and motherhood, Baker Motley smashed both Jim Crow to bits and created a large crack in the glass ceiling. Her career contained a lot of the firsts: the first African-American woman who was a state Senator in NY and the federal judiciary, and the first woman elected as Manhattan Borough President.

As a product of the American education system, I am utterly dismayed that she is not a household name. She was not just a groundbreaker, but a rule breaker. These days, it is perfectly normal for a woman to have the figurative balls of her job, her marriage, and her children in the air at the same time. But not back then. In fighting for the rights of both women and Black Americans, she paved the way for equality that has become the norm and unfortunately, still has to be fought for.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality is available wherever books are sold.

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This Week in American Women: Ketanji Brown Jackson, Karen Berg, and Madeleine Albright

Despite what history (and some men) may say, women are resourceful, intelligent, and more than capable. We just need the opportunity to prove ourselves.

Last week, America lost one of her giants in both history and politics. Madeleine Albright passed away at the age of 84. Appointed to the role of Secretary of State by former President Bill Clinton in 1997, she was the first woman to hold that position. Born to Holocaust survivors who fled Soviet-era Czechoslovakia in 1949, she did not learn that her family was Jewish until she was in her golden years. She will be remembered not just for the crack she left in the glass ceiling, but for her fight for peace and understanding between the nations.

May her memory be a blessing. Z”L

For the last week or so, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been grilled by members of Congress in regards to her potentially taking over the seat of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires at the end of this term. Judge Jackson is more than qualified for the position. To say that some members of the Republican Party have been outrageous in their conduct towards her is an understatement. Instead of asking genuine questions about her work experience, they are once more appealing to their base by picking at literal straws.

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, the subject of abortion has come up again in the cruelest of manners. Standing up for women and other possibly pregnant persons is State Senator Karen Berg. As the only female and the only doctor on the committee, she pointed out how ridiculous and dangerous (starts at 40:51) the limits on abortion are.

It’s time that we listen not just to these women, but to all women. We have voices, we have opinions, and it’s about dam time we are given our due.

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True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us Book Review

Reality television, whether we like it or not, is here to stay. It is a genre that has revolutionized television and forced creative teams to up their game.

True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, By Danielle J. Lindemann, was published last month. Describing what she calls a “funhouse mirror”, she explores how this category of television both reveals our humanity and possibilities while relying on stereotypes to tell stories. Intermingling pop culture and academic research, it is a thorough look at how this type of small-screen entertainment reflects our general culture, warts and all.

I loved this book. She opens it by posing a question that she asks her students at the beginning of each semester. She asks them to make two columns. The first contains a list of current Supreme Court judges. The second contains the names of the members of the Kardashian family. It doesn’t take a brainiac to figure out which was longer.

As far as I am concerned, this tells me everything about where we are at as a society. There is nothing wrong with a “guilty pleasure” or watching a program that does not require a lot of thinking after a long day. However, there is something wrong when narratives rely on expected images of some people that are based on class, gender, or race. I’m not a huge fan of reality shows (as any regular reader of this blog knows), but I wish there was a bit more nuance in the tales that are being told.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Two Giant Steps Forward and One Step Back: Ketanji Brown Jackson and the Ten Year Anniversary of the Homicide of Trayvon Martin

One of the most potent and universal quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. is as follows:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Last Saturday, February 26th, was the ten-year anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Had his killer (who shall not be named on the blog) not decided to take the law into his own hands, young Mr. Martin would be 27. He might have graduated from high school and college, started a successful career, and perhaps said “I do” by now. But he will forever remain 17, a promising life full of possibilities that we can speak of in a hypothetical manner.

Though we cannot bring Travyon back to life or undo the acquittal of the man who was responsible for his killing, we can see look to our present and see where progress has been made. The men responsible for the executions of both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty of their respective crimes.

During the 2022 Presidential election, President Biden promised to nominate an African-American woman to the Supreme Court. On February 25th, he kept his promise. After Justice Stephen Breyer announced his upcoming retirement, Ketanji Brown Jackson was introduced to the country as his replacement.

This is one GIANT step forward. As both a woman and a person of color, Brown Jackson, represents the true nature and the potential of this nation. With March being Women’s History Month and this coming Tuesday being International Women’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our wins and identify where there is more work to be done.

Of course, not everyone welcomed her with open arms. Her legal abilities and history were questioned by some Republicans (no surprise there). The obvious inquiry is if Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh had to face the same criticism. Probably not. My hope and prayer is that not only will she sit on the highest court of the land, but also that she will help to create the America that we know is possible.

May the memory of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, etc, be a blessing and a reminder of how far we need to go.

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More Republican Fuckery: FL’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law, TX’s Anti-Transgender, Cowardly Kevin McCarthy, and MI’s Banning Contraception For Married Couples

It says something about a nation when one political party is focused on the future and bringing people together while the other one is focused on the past and pulling people apart.

In both Texas and Florida, laws against the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ kids have created a dangerous precedent that puts lives at risk. As of Monday, the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida is one step closer to becoming law. The details of the bill are as follows:

Should the bill become law, Florida educators would be barred from speaking to primary school students about certain LGBTQ+ topics that are not considered “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Under the bill, parents would also have greater authority to take legal action against school districts they believe to be in violation.

In Texas, parents of transgender children who seek out hormone therapy to help their offspring become their true selves could be characterized as child abusers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to foresee the potential mental health issues that may have a hugely detrimental effect on an entire generation. If we lose young lives due to these laws, the blood will be on the hands of those who wrote and supported these pieces of legislation.

Several weeks ago, Kevin McCarthy was asked by a member of the press about January 6th. Instead of answering her question, he ran away.

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Contrast this to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. When asked by the US if he wanted to get out of the line of fire, he said no and asked for ammunition. We should all be so lucky to have a President like him.

Finally, in Michigan, the three Republican candidates for State Attorney General were asked about the 1965 Supreme Court decision Griswold vs. Connecticut. The ruling states that married couples can buy contraception without the government stepping in. All three of them (who are all men, if it was not already obvious) state that they believed it was up to the state and not the federal government.

Who are they to make these decisions? When Roe V. Wade was ratified as the law of the land in 1972, it came down to privacy. That same concept applies to married couples. The choice to end a pregnancy and/or use contraception is one that belongs to those who are involved in that process and no one else.

Just another day of Republican fuckery.

P.S. I hope I was not the only was one who was offended and horrified by the outburst by Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene during last night’s State of the Union. It was akin to drunken idiots insulting the opposing team during a baseball or football game. What is worse is that they chose to do this when President Biden was speaking about his son who he lost to cancer. How much more disrespectful can they get?

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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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