Cartoon above by Karen Sullivan.
The Democrats should have a chance of beating Republicans in many states, with a newly fired up base because of yesterday’s insane abortion rights ruling. To be clear, while I’ve never met anyone who wanted to go through an abortion, the decision to do so is a medical one that rests with the person who is deciding to do it. Many reasons for choosing it and many decision points to consider. It is often traumatic, no matter what the reason or need. It raises a disturbing question of where does the government’s intervention in our medical decisions stop? How intrusive is it? Is determining your healthcare needs a government decision based on a minority religion that clearly, based on many polls done by both sides of the political spectrum, seems out of touch with the vast majority of Americans? And which religion will control those decisions? Will you need to clear your medical decisions by a priest (and which denomination)? A rabbi? A mullah? A wiccan priestess? A civil servant?
These politically and religiously motivated judges, who claimed to support (to various degrees) “stare decisis” in their confirmation hearings, have now reneged on their stands, which they took under oath. To remind readers, Merriam Webster dictionary defines Stare Decisis as “a doctrine or policy of following rules or principles laid down in previous judicial decisions unless they contravene the ordinary principles of justice” (emphasis mine). On Friday, as reported by CNN, Judge Clarence Thomas “reiterated that he believes Supreme Court justices are obligated to take a fresh look at established precedent and shouldn’t be bound by the judicial doctrine called “stare decisis.” Does he also mean to take a “fresh look” at slavery or the Plessey ruling that supported segregation and Jim Crow laws? Or Brown vs Board of Education which found that segregated schools contravened the ordinary principles of justice as it related to some U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools. (definition quoted from Wikipedia). Or does he mean that Supreme Court Justices simply are allowed to force their own beliefs on the country regardless of what the law states or has stated in the past?
So Stare Decisis is dead. Let’s not pretend our system of justice is really based on it anymore, with the fundamentalist majority we now have in the court. Yet, in less than 24 hours before they gave the decision on abortion back to the States, they removed the States ability to protect their citizens from the rising tide of gun violence with reasonable laws decided by their elected officials. How does any of this make sense?
The new abortion ruling, which removes a right from over half the population, and puts women in danger of death from a denial of a specific kind of healthcare, over the objections of medical professionals, should be a rallying cry to get out the vote in November and stop the Republicans from taking over the House and Senate. This one issue might outweigh the runaway inflation that has dominated most peoples minds over the last six months.