Just as I did a year ago, I'm planning to walk up to Lake Bluff today, and once again the weather has cooperated. I'll take cloudy skies and 25°C for a 43-kilometer hike. (I would prefer 20°C and cloudy, but I'll take 25°C anyway.)
As I enjoy my breakfast in my sunny, airy office right now, mentally preparing for a (literal) marathon hike, life feels good. Well, until I read these things:
And hey, all you other Chicago athletes, good news! The City now has a website where you can find out the likelihood of the Chicago River giving you explosive diarrhea!
Religious extremists, emboldened by lucky tactical and political successes over the past few years despite declining popular support, today won a major victory in their campaign to return women to a state of subjugation that they had only recently escaped. Supporters and allies of the religious leaders imposing the harsh new laws against women celebrated, driving around in pickup trucks while displaying traditional symbols of oppression.
Afghanistan? Iran? Saudi Arabia?
[T]he Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed what it had previously only implied through its failure to act the night before: The court rejected a request to block enforcement of the law, which abortion providers say will bar at least 85% of abortions in the state and will likely cause many clinics to close, while a challenge to its constitutionality is litigated in the lower courts. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s three liberal justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – in dissent.
The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, had come to the court on an emergency basis on Monday, with a group of abortion providers asking the justices to intervene. It was the first major test on abortion rights for the Roberts court since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020, and Ginsburg’s replacement by the conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett was likely decisive in the outcome.
The court’s inaction on Tuesday night that allowed the Texas law to go into effect and its brief order on Wednesday night denying any relief to the abortion providers unquestionably represented a victory for abortion foes, but the five-justice majority emphasized (and Roberts in his dissent reiterated) that the court was not endorsing the constitutionality of the law. The ruling also revealed a court that is deeply divided, not only on the merits of the case but also on the procedures that the court uses to resolve these kinds of emergency appeals.
Justice Sotomayor pulled no punches:
The Court’s order is stunning. Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand. Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents. Today, the Court belatedly explains that it declined to grant relief because of procedural complexities of the State’s own invention.
[T]he Act is a breathtaking act of defiance—of the Constitution, of this Court’s precedents, and of the rights of women seeking abortions throughout Texas.
The Court's two conservative justices (Roberts and Breyer) joined with the Court's two liberals (Kagan and Sotomayor) but could not overcome the five Republican justices demonstrating their true loyalties.
The immediate effect of the Court's shadow-docket lawmaking is that about half of all abortion services in Texas have closed as of this afternoon.
Someone—I won't say who—gained 3 kilos since she arrived at my house in March. That's a 12% increase. Will she notice when I cut her kibble by 10% until she's back down to 23½ kilos?
And no, I didn't forget that today would have been Parker's 15th Gotcha Day. I do miss him.
The first day of autumn has brought us lovely cool weather with even lovelier cool dewpoints. We expect similar weather through the weekend. I hope so; Friday I plan another marathon walk, and Saturday I'm throwing a small party.
Meanwhile, we have a major deliverable tomorrow at my real job, and Cassie has a routine vet check-up this afternoon. But with this weather, I'm extra happy that I moved my office to the sunroom.