There is only one overriding issue of political concern right now, encompassing much of what has been appearing on this blog. That is how to defeat Republicans on Nov. 8, about 19 weeks from now. The future of democracy in the United States, however imperfect it may be, is at stake. Really! That's the ballgame!
The Repeal of Roe vs. Wade
On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court reversed earlier SCOTUS rulings in Roe vs. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey (1992), decisions that established and confirmed the right to abortions. The vote was six to three with Justice Alito writing the majority opinion.
Alito's opinion pointed out that the reasoning in those earlier decisions 'was exceptionally weak,’ writing that ‘a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition’ and that 'it is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue to the people’s elected representatives.’ By that, he meant the States. (In looking at trees in my neighborhood, 49 years is plenty of time for deep roots to be established. Alito apparently is not an arborist, and not much of a Justice either.)
Justices Roberts, Thomas, Kavanaugh, Alito, Gorsuch and Barrett voted to repeal the two existing decisions, showing no respect for the institution of ‘stare decisis,’ going back to whatever was specifically included, or not included, in the Constitution and other eighteenth-century documentation. Much that has developed since 1789 is also not mentioned in that venerable document. Justices Sotomayor, Kagen, and Breyer dissented.
Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Thomas wrote separate but agreeing opinions. Roberts would have taken ‘a more measured course’ and Kavanaugh wrote that ‘the Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice’ but neutral, returning the issue to Americans to decide ‘through the democratic process.’
Thomas was far less even-handed, calling on the Court to overturn rulings protecting same-sex marriages, gay sex and the use of contraceptives. For obvious reasons, he didn’t mention interracial marriages recognized as legal by the SCOTUS in Loving vs. Virginia (1967). Justice Thomas is a great danger to every American citizen, and the quicker we recognize that, the better off the nation would be. The other Justices are forced to have contact with him at work but he should be shunned by real Americans, which his words prove he is not.
A dissent from the three minority Justices gave reasons why, and ‘with sorrow for … the millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional provision,’ they dissented.
This puts pro-choice advocates in the same boat as those strongly opposing gun violence as well as other issues on the agenda of liberals. The same reasoning which resulted in Roe vs. Wade being overruled would serve to make the just-passed token gun control legislation unconstitutional as well.
There will be speeches, demonstrations and campaigns, and my email inbox is already brimming over with donation appeals, but the only real solution is voting Republicans out of office at all levels, especially from State Houses as well as from Congress. They are the ones, along with those who voted for them, who made this SCOTUS decision, and other ‘originalist’ theories, dominant. Read on for my solution.
First, let’s just simplify things. No lengthy arguments. You already know my views on gun violence, abortion rights and voting rights. I have just six points to make. Read them carefully:
(1) All reliable polls show that the majority of Americans are for women having the right to decide for themselves whether to have an abortion.
(2) All reliable polls show that the majority of Americans are for increased gun controls, particularly an assault weapon ban.
(3) With some occasional exceptions, their voting record shows that the Republican Party is against these two things. (Certainly, Florida’s governor and two senators are.)
(4) The Supreme Court decisions which weakened existing gun controls last week and crippled a woman’s right of making a personal choice concerning abortion on Friday were made possible by three purely political appointments to the SCOTUS made by the defeated former president. (The blame for this must be shared by all of those who voted for him in 2016.)
(5) Based on the majorities pointed out in (1) and (2) above, and the position of the Republican Party stated in (3) above, there is no reason why all Republicans running for office on November 8 cannot be defeated. The ammunition is there for the Democrats. Republican support of the Court’s decisions, highly unpopular with the American people, are targets at which Democrats must aim, in order to defeat Republicans on national, state, and local levels.
(6) Based on the large majorities in both Houses of Congress which such a massive defeat of Republicans will give to Democrats, the president should be able to enlarge the Supreme Court by four appointees, so that the present ‘originalist’ majority there would be replaced by a majority representing the views of the American public. (Such Congressional majorities might also be able to ‘codify’ laws defending abortion rights, but enlarging the SCOTUS, so that it could not nullify such laws, would be preferable.)
In defense of number (6) above, purely political appointments to the SCOTUS were made acceptable by the defeated former president having made three such appointments. As for increasing the number of Justices, the Republicans would not hesitate to do that were the shoe on the other foot. That weapon must not be discarded.
We have gotten to this sorry point because of the ignorance, gullibility, stupidity, or authoritarian beliefs (take your choice) of enough of the American people to elect the defeated former president to office in 2016, making possible his political appointment of three ‘originalist’ Justices to the Supreme Court.
|Three Blind Mice: Barrett, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, |
the defeated former president's appointees
to the Supreme Court.
All three of them indicated under oath in their confirmation hearings that they would respect established precedents. Being lawyers, of course, they knew how to be sufficiently ambiguous so as not to commit perjury when they chose to lie.
That is the risk nations that choose to be real democracies take. It enables those whose aim is to destroy democracy to gain a secure foothold, and history will note that is what has happened in the United States in the second decade of the 21st century.
The nation faced a similar crisis in the 1850s with a pro-slavery Supreme Court. It took the Civil War to settle that, an impossible remedy today. But the present error can be undone, as pointed out above in items (5) and (6) by a massive nationwide turnout on November 8. Women voters and persons of color, whose interests are ignored by Republicans, will be key to that victory. That will do the job!
You can make it happen. You must make it happen.
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Boston College Professor Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter dated June 26, 2022. JUST CLICK HERE to read it. It's free.
In it, she goes over many of the points in this posting, but from a historian's viewpoint. I commented (to be a commenter, it costs $5 a month) on her newsletter a few minutes ago as follows:
'So we are back where we were when Lincoln and Douglas debated whether the nation was 'One Nation Indivisible' or just a bunch of loosely 'United' States. The politicized SCOTUS is reaching all the way back there for precedent, ignoring over 160 years of history since then. A textbook containing the information in HCR's message today would be illegal in the public schools of Florida, a State whose governor seems to think it is only loosely 'United' with the other 'States.' The only solution for us now is for massive, overwhelming, numbers of Americans to vote for Abraham Lincoln's ideas on November 8, and repudiate the ideas of Stephen A. Douglas (noting that the parties they represented are now philosophically reversed.) Otherwise, we are just sitting around watching Fort Sumter being attacked again. We are reliving history because too many Americans have chosen to ignore its lessons, including six SCOTUS justices.'
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Liz Cheney's words to Republicans, with which she concluded Friday’s session of the House Committee investigating January 6, urged them to recognize that the defeated former president deceived them.
Representative Kinzinger's choosing not to run for re-election and Cheney's likely defeat in her home State of Wyoming are proofs of the extent to which that deception has infected the Republican Party. They have swallowed the 'Kool-Aid' and it flows in the bloodstream of too many of them. We have a good idea of what has to be done to purge them of it, but like Hamlet, we are hesitant to do it.
|Shakespeare Thinking About Hamlet?|
In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet did not decisively 'take arms against a sea of troubles' and as the play ends, the stage is strewn with corpses, caused by his hesitation to act while he still had the chance. Hamlet represents the choices people make, or fail to make, at times of crisis.
Today, we are Hamlet, counting on the theatre of a carefully staged and televised Congressional hearing to entrap the assailants of American democracy just as Hamlet counted on a carefully staged theatrical production to entrap the murderer of his father. The guilty one stalked out of the theatre once he understood what Hamlet was up to, just as today’s assailants of democracy avoid appearing before the House Committee.
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Letter to the Palm Beach Post
Whatever newspaper you read, tell them what you think by writing them a letter! And if you don't read a newspaper every day, shame on you. TV and the internet are no substitute when it comes to being well-informed. The framers of the Consitution counted on the voters of the United States being well-informed. Don't disappoint them.
A follower of this blog, Bruce Brodsky, submitted the following letter to the Palm Beach Post last week. It referred to a June 23 article describing an attempt by those who do not trust the election process to have the County’s election vote counting operation ‘live streamed.’ I hope they print it.
call themselves “Patriots.” They frequently wrap themselves in the
American flag and /or dress in the stars and stripes. They make absurd
claims that the voting machines have a 90% error rate, without any proof what-so-ever.
They claim there are “duplicator machines’ that have “An Easter egg
component,” whatever that is supposed to mean. They claim that
they are “very suspect of machines.” They, they, they. They make
absurd claims and charges and have us dancing to their insanity.
These are the vote deniers. These are the “Big steal” advocates. These are the people who by their words and actions do nothing more than undermine our democracy by claiming that our elections are unfair or dishonest. Truth is unimportant. Facts do not matter. Reality does not exist and yet they continue to make absurd charges and have us dancing to their insanity.
The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections and the entire staff of the Department work tirelessly to insure honest, fair elections and do so in spite of those nay sayers whose only reason to exist is to spread absurd and obscene conspiracy theories about our elections. Supervisor Link and her staff are consummate professionals who would never think of doing anything dishonest. Their oaths of office and integrity demand no less. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone lived by the same standards?
These self-proclaimed saviors of democracy are not
Patriots. These are not people who love the country. These are the
destroyers and I for one am sick and tired of their nonsense. I will, not
dance to their insane music any more and I urge everyone to turn them off, tune
them out and re-commit to the reality that millions of people: citizens,
elected officials, election workers across the nation believe in America
and our system of elections. Enough is enough!’
I agree! And permit me to add that when you vote on November 8, about nineteen weeks from now, remember that all of those chastised by Bruce in the letter are Republicans.
JL* * * *
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