The Democrats could have reformed the Supreme Court-- except for one problem: too many fake Democrats from the Republican wing the Democratic Party can veto anything they want, the way conservatives-- who corporate media idiots call "moderates-- Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are doing with an arcane and outdated Jim Crow filibuster rule.
The size of the Supreme Court is not set in stone and when the Founding Fathers considered setting the number, they rejected the idea. It has varied in size and after recent manipulations to turn it into a vehicle for right-wing ideology, the new Biden administration-- with a fully Democratic Congress-- should have adopted one of several solid plans to reform the Supreme Court so that they could not have done to women's right to choice what they did last night.
This is what comes when Democratic voters buy into the DCCC/DSCC "sky is falling" strategy that stampedes voters into their lesser-of-two-evils approach to elections. Is Joe Manchin really a lesser evil? Why vote for a Kyrsten Sinema or a Josh Gottheimer ever? Let the Republicans win the seats of these DINOs and the DCCC and DSCC will eventually learn to not try to force them on Democratic voters.
By not acting to throw out the right-wing law in Texas banning choice, the illegitimate Supreme Court has crushed the until now sacrosanct rule that states may not impose undue burdens on women's right to terminate a pregnancy before viability. Mary Tuma, writing this morning for The Guardian, reported that "The most radical abortion law in the US has gone into effect, despite legal efforts to block it. A near-total abortion ban in Texas empowers any private citizen to sue an abortion provider who violates the law, opening the floodgates to harassing and frivolous lawsuits from anti-abortion vigilantes that could eventually shutter most clinics in the state. 'Abortion access will be thrown into absolute chaos,' says Amanda Williams, executive director of the abortion support group the Lilith Fund, a plaintiff in the suit that challenged the law. 'Unfortunately, many people who need access the most will slip through the cracks, as we have seen over the years with the relentless attacks here in our state. It is unbelievable that Texas politicians have gotten away with this devastating and cruel law that will harm so many.'" Keep in mind, Abbott thinks this law will make his 2024 presidential candidacy more viable with the minority of voters who oppose choice for women.
Senate Bill 8, ushered through the Republican-dominated Texas legislature and signed into law by the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, in May, bars abortion once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, which is around six weeks, and offers no exceptions for rape or incest. Texas is the first state to ban abortion this early in pregnancy since Roe v Wade, and last-minute efforts to halt it through an appeal to the US supreme court by Tuesday did not succeed.
While a dozen other states have passed similar so-called “heartbeat” bills, they have all been blocked by the courts. The Texas version is novel in that it is intentionally designed to shield government officials from enforcement, and thus make legal challenges more difficult to secure. It instead incentivizes any private citizen in the US to bring civil suit against an abortion provider or anyone who “aids or abets” the procedure.
The law “immediately and catastrophically reduces abortion access in Texas”, say state abortion providers, and will probably force many abortion clinics to ultimately close. It will prevent the majority of Texas women (85%) from accessing abortion care, as most aren’t aware they are pregnant as early as six weeks.
Planned Parenthood, which operates 11 clinics in the state, and Whole Woman’s Health clinics told The Guardian they would comply with the extreme law despite the fact that it is contrary to their best medical practices. In the days leading up to the law’s enactment, Texas clinics say they have been forced to turn away patients who need abortion care at the law’s cutoff point this week and into the near future.
Some abortion physicians in Texas have opted to discontinue offering services, choosing to forgo the potential risk of frivolous and costly lawsuits. For instance, most of the physicians across the four Whole Woman’s Health clinics in Texas will not continue care to prevent jeopardizing their livelihoods, said the clinic founder, Amy Hagstrom Miller.
...Physicians are not the only ones that could be targeted under SB8: a breathtakingly wide range of people and groups, including clinic nurses, abortion fund workers, domestic violence and rape crisis counselors, or even a family member who offers a car ride to the clinic could now face suit from strangers. Those who sue can collect a minimum of $10,000 if they win, but if providers are legally successful they cannot recoup any legal payment. The law, say providers, will spur abortion “bounty hunters.”
The law’s radical legal provision is the first of its kind in the country.
The state’s major anti-abortion lobby group, Texas Right to Life, have already helped empower anti-abortion activists to enforce the law by creating a website that invites “whistleblowers” to report violations of SB8. (In response, pro-choice advocates have flooded the digital entry forms with satirical information.)
Erica Smith is the progressive lion running for the open North Carolina Senate seat. Schumer, as usual, is pushing a "moderate" Democrat who stands for nothing at all, Cheri Beasley. Just yesterday, the Daily Beast exposed her quiet support for the filibuster. Another Kyrsten Sinema or Joe Manchin is NOT what America needs at this moment. In contrast, earlier this morning, Erica told us in no uncertain terms that "The women of Texas deserve freedom and reproductive justice. SB8 is an assault on the human rights of women everywhere. From North Carolina to Texas, we need to stand in solidarity and do everything in our power to combat these dangerous & immoral attacks on our right to healthcare, and our right to make our own choices about our bodies. Much like ending the filibuster, expanding the supreme court is a must if we are to preserve our democracy and our fundamental freedoms. Extremists on the other side of the isle have gerry madnered our state houses, obstructed the US Senate, and packed our courts. Now, in order to meet this moment, we need to end gerrymandering, abolish the filibuster, and expand our courts. Anything less is not a solution, anything less is utterly insufficient and frankly disqualifying."
Tim Ryan, the Schumer candidate for the open Ohio Senate seat-- another likely Manchin/Sinema if he were to be elected-- spent his whole political life opposed to Choice. When he eventually gave in to pressure and decided he was no longer opposed, he refused to make a public statement about his "change of heart" for years. He can never be counted on to dp the right thing. The progressive in the race, Morgan Harper, on the other hand, is taking a day off from her campaign today to help raise money for Texas Abortion Funds, Planned Parenthood of Ohio, NARAL Ohio, and Ohio Women's Alliance. "Abortion," she told me early this morning, "is healthcare and healthcare is a human right. You’ll never have to question where I stand on this issue-- ever. It’s time we expand the Supreme Court and protect abortion rights."
Alan Grayson, running for the Florida Senate seat held by anti-Choice fanatic Marco Rubio, has been an intrepid fighter-- not talker-- for Choice for decades. This morning he tweeted "Shame on the Texas GOP, voting to ban abortion-- the right to decide what to do with your body is the most fundamental right of all. No one should be forced through pregnancy and childbirth. A federal right to abortion should be added to Obamacare." He added that he doesn't think of expanding the court as "reform, but rather, unpacking it. The GOP has packed the Court, for 50 years, since the Powell Memo. Now it needs to be unpacked." Grayson, who clerked for several Supreme Court justices before being elected to Congress, also told me that "it makes no sense to have 9 justices-- they just can’t get their work done. The number of House members has gone from 59 to 435, and most people think that that’s not enough. They’re trying to ride herd over 179 federal appellate judges (who sit in groups of three, meaning the equivalent of almost 60 panels), plus 50 state Supreme Courts, while they hear every case only as a single nine-judge panel. Around 100 years ago, people realized that there just weren’t enough justices to get through all their work, so they started to let them pick their own cases. Now, almost 99% of the cases they get are declined-- which means that objectively, they’re simply not doing their jobs."
"While Republicans are organizing," said Florida congressional candidate Christine Olivo, "Democrat’s are either sleeping or on Twitter. On paper, Democrat’s have the House, the Senate and the Presidency, but in reality they have nothing. Republicans are pushing a unified agenda from state to state. They did not see losing their power on the federal level as a road block. They simply reorganized and switched strategies. Before you know it abortion will be banned nationwide, blacks and whites will be separate bathrooms and the only choices women will have is what they’re making for dinner. We are in serious trouble America. Wake up!"
Ally Dalsimer, a Virginia congressional candidate is fighting mad! She's a do-er and would not sit still for this kind of thing the way most garden variety Democrats are. "This country," she told me early this morning, "was founded on the premise that we should 'live free or die'-- millions have defended our right to self-determination fighting on battlefields and protesting in the streets. A woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body was hard won, resulting from decades of suffragette marches, imprisonment, and so much more. The fact that this nation can’t ratify the equal rights amendment is bad enough, but to think we now could possibly roll back Roe v. Wade is abhorrent. What’s next? Take away our right to vote? Put us back in skirts and high heels only? Take away our ability to work outside the home? Women represent more than half of this nation’s population, and we deserve a right to be heard. We deserve a right to be independent and autonomous. We deserve the right to choose what happens to our bodies!"
Progressive Democrat Jason Call, a congressional candidate running against a worthless corporate Dem, told us before dawn today that he's "putting out a call to my fellow activists in Washington State to organize a rally at the State Capitol in Olympia, where we will urge Governor Jay Inslee to cease all commerce between Washington and Texas by executive order. I am further urging that all personal and business travel plans that require any kind of passage through Texas be rerouted. I will be contacting the CEO of my workplace (in the insurance industry) and urging them to use every possible measure to put pressure on their business partners in Texas to oppose these anti-abortion laws. If there’s any issue that may spur some powerful 'moderates' into united action with the left, this assault on women’s reproductive rights-- turning back the clock on 50 years of settled law-- may be it. I look forward to seeing the nation rise up in solidarity."
Conservative Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is pro-Choice. She really is-- until it's time to do anything substantive about countering the fascists. This hideous mess is the fault of conservative Democrats who refused to protect the country from the decades-long creeping encroachment of fascism. Not just Sinema... all of the conservatives the weak-knee-ed, bought-out Democratic Party has foisted on their base. Learn to make the difficult choice of letting a "worse" Republican win by not voting for an unacceptably conservative Democrat. It's up to YOU, you, you!