The U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning announced it will take up a Mississippi case that bans abortion after 15 weeks. Legal experts say with a 6-3 conservative majority, and after years of right wing pressure including spending tens of millions of dollars to get those conservatives onto the Court, Americans are likely to see the end to women’s right to choose to have an abortion.
SCOTUSblog says the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, “could be the biggest abortion case in more than a generation.”
The Mississippi case is clearly unconstitutional, based on the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, as The New York Times notes today:
Judge Carlton W. Reeves of Federal District Court in Jackson, Miss., blocked the law in 2018, saying the legal issue was straightforward and questioning the state lawmakers’ motives.
“The state chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades-long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Judge Reeves wrote. “This court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature.”
Many conservative groups spent a tremendous amount of money to get America to the point where the Supreme Court would overturn what its own justices have said is “settled law.” Tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern explains why this is likely the end.
“There is no split in the lower courts over a state’s ability to ban abortion at 15 weeks (or earlier),” he says via Twitter. “It seems likely that the Supreme Court took this case to change the rule.”
And he suggests, as have others, that conservatives on the court waited until they had a strong majority to take up this case.
“The Supreme Court has sat on Dobbs since September 2020. There was clearly a battle behind the scenes between the justices over the decision to take this case. It is an extraordinarily ominous sign for reproductive rights that the anti-abortion faction apparently won out.”
Stern says “the court may effectively greenlight total bans on abortion. Reproductive rights advocates have been dreading this day for a long time.”
Other legal experts agree that a woman’s right to have an abortion is likely nearing the end.
Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, who now teaches constitutional law at the University of California Los Angeles and San Diego, and is an LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist, says this is a “Frontal assault on constitutional reproductive rights.”
Lower courts said the law was plainly unconstitutional under Roe, which forbids states from banning abortions before fetal viability. Mississippi district court called issue “straightforward.” Frontal assault on constitutional reproductive rights.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) May 17, 2021
Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Breaking: #SCOTUS to hear direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Never forget that McConnell and others mocked us and gaslit us through the Kavanaugh fight for claiming that legal abortion was in jeopardy. They knew. They lied. We knew. We fought. And we’re so far from done fighting.
— Ilyse Hogue (@ilyseh) May 17, 2021
“It is clear,” Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman says, the Supreme Court “will erode Roe. Kavanaugh is likely the decisive vote whether to overturn Roe.”
Stern says the conservative justices “seem ready to end Roe head-on,” and Barrett is the reason:
To be clear, the Supreme Court is only poised to overturn Roe because of Amy Coney Barrett. Roberts sided with the liberals in a 5–4 abortion decision last summer (albeit begrudgingly and with qualifications). With Barrett's confirmation, the court flipped against Roe and Casey.
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 17, 2021
Vox Senior Correspondent Ian Millhiser, author of two books on the Supreme Court, sums it up succinctly:
RIP Roe v. Wadehttps://t.co/7OtvlCMBKk
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) May 17, 2021
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‘We Warned You’: Jenna Ellis Destroyed by Legal Expert for Comparing Herself and Giuliani to Atticus Finch
Former Trump personal and campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis is getting blowback from at least one top legal expert after she falsely compared herself and her colleague, Rudy Giuliani, to fictional hero attorney Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and to founding father John Adams.
“No, you are not John Adams. You are not Atticus Finch. Competent lawyers warned you to stay away from the election lawsuits,” said top national security attorney Bradley Moss. “We warned you loyalty to a conspiratorial client [doesn’t] override ethical obligations to the court. It’s on you.”
Ellis, in video posted by Right Wing Watch (below), claimed that she and Giuliani were merely “advocating” for “politically inconvenient candidates” like Trump, which is provably false.
Giuliani, according to numerous news reports, wasn’t defending Trump so much as he was traveling the world trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden to help Trump win re-election. When that didn’t work Giuliani (and Ellis) promoted false election “fraud” narratives, which is not advocacy for a client.
“It used to be that if you represented the politically inconvenient candidates or the, the politically inconvenient, people I mean look at ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ you know, it was like you were you were lauded as a defense attorney, like John Adams, you know, who represented people who deserve a defense,” Ellis said.
“This has such an impact on the future of America,” Ellis continued, “because if we tell lawyers that in order to advocate for a client, that means that necessarily you have to subscribe to their position, you will be you will be liable for your bar license essentially based on not only the merit of their case but the outcome, then we won’t have advocates anymore in the United States.”
Jenna Ellis complains that she and Rudy Giuliani are being smeared for working for Trump and promoting his bogus stolen elections claims, likening their efforts to John Adams defending British soldiers in the Boston Massacre or Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird.” pic.twitter.com/9n1xjdr6m7
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) October 15, 2021
Again, that is not a reality-based response to what she and Giuliani were doing.
Moss, meanwhile, was far from the only attorney criticizing Ellis.
Former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Richard Signorelli, commented, “Jenna is lucky she wasn’t given any actual lawyerly responsibilities.”
Atlanta appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman weighed in, saying, “It’s good for people to get due process before being convicted of things. It’s bad to file dozens of frivolous, dishonest lawsuits. That’s the distinction.”
Trump’s MAGA Supporters Chant Profanities Within ‘Clear’ Earshot of Young Kids Biden Was Talking to Outdoors
Trump’s MAGA supporters were out in full force Friday afternoon, chanting “F**k Biden,” waving flags with the same slogan, along with ones that falsely claim “Trump won,” as President Joe Biden spoke with young children outside a Connecticut child development center.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) October 15, 2021
Getting a little rowdy as more protesters show up with Trump flags and “F*uck Biden” flags. pic.twitter.com/k7qFJp4Iw0
— Eric Bedner (@BednerEric) October 15, 2021
“Around 50 more Trump supporters,” according to the White House press pool, “gathered a street away from the center. They chanted ‘F*** Joe Biden. He’s not our president.’ They also shouted ‘traitors’ as a coda while we walked inside.”
Minutes later the press pool reported President Biden “entered the playground at 1:25, greeted by some gregarious children. One gave him a hug, as he kneeled to talk. Another, wearing an American flag t-shirt, pointed out parts of the playground.”
Biden greets kids in the playground at the Capitol Child Development Center in Hartford, Connecticut. pic.twitter.com/YfGCndt3NV
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 15, 2021
But then, confirmation that the Trump supporters’ profanity could be heard by the young children and the President.
“From the playground the pool could still hear protesters chanting from the curb outside. More expletives. More yelling,” the pool reports.
NBC News White House Correspondent Mike Memoli also confirms:
Per radio pool, while @POTUS spent time meeting toddlers at an outdoor playground, Trump supporters gathered across street could be clearly heard shouting a now-familiar expletive phrase involving his name
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) October 15, 2021
President Biden later made televised remarks promoting his “Build Back Better” agenda, and talking about how improvements to infrastructure will help young children.
LISTEN: Texas Schools Official Tells Teachers They Must Offer ‘Other Perspectives’ When Teaching the Holocaust
A Southlake, Texas school official is under fire after telling teachers if they have a book in the classroom about the Holocaust they must also teach “other perspectives.”
“Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,” Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District, said in a training session Friday, as the recording (below) from NBC News shows.
“And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives,” she told teachers in a training session on the new law.
“How do you oppose the Holocaust?” one teacher asked.
“Believe me,” Peddy said. “That’s come up.”
At issue is a new Texas state ordinance drafted and rushed into law after parents complained about books teaching about racism.
“The training came four days after the Carroll school board, responding to a parent’s complaint, voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom,” NBC News reports.
Update from Southlake. Last night the school board voted 3-2 to reprimand a 4th grade teacher for having a copy of "This Book Is Anti-Racist" by Tiffany Jewell in her class. After a student brought it home, her parents complained that it violated their "morals and faith."
— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) October 5, 2021
“Teachers are literally afraid that we’re going to be punished for having books in our classes,” one elementary school teacher told NBC News. “There are no children’s books that show the ‘opposing perspective’ of the Holocaust or the ‘opposing perspective’ of slavery. Are we supposed to get rid of all of the books on those subjects?”
Conservatives across the nation have been attacking and threatening school boards over the nearly non-existent teaching of Critical Race Theory, and are demanding all teaching about racism end.
The debate in Southlake over which books should be allowed in schools is part of a broader national movement led by parents opposed to lessons on racism, history and LGBTQ issues that some conservatives have falsely branded as critical race theory. A group of Southlake parents has been fighting for more than a year to block new diversity and inclusion programs at Carroll, one of the top-ranked school districts in Texas.
That new law, which eliminates the requirement of teaching “the history of Native Americans,” also eliminates the requirement to teach about the writing of the founding “mothers and other founding persons” except founding fathers. It also eliminates from the curriculum Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” and the “I Have a Dream” speech, along with pages of other important historical documents.
NEW: A school administrator in Southlake, Texas, advised teachers last week that if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also have a book with an “opposing” perspective.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 14, 2021
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