The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Thursday afternoon miscellany

First, continuing the thread from this morning, (Republican) columnist Jennifer Rubin neatly sums up how the Republican justices on the Supreme Court seem poised to undo Republican Party gains by over-reaching:

We are, in short, on the verge of a constitutional and political tsunami. What was settled, predictable law on which millions of people relied will likely be tossed aside. The blowback likely will be ferocious. It may not be what Republicans intended. But it is coming.

Next up, Washington Post sports columnist Barry Svrluga argues that the Major League Baseball labor dispute and the lockout announced this morning will do nothing to prevent baseball from continuing its fade into irrelevance:

What can’t happen as MLB and the players’ union negotiate, though, is the actual game they stage being forgotten. Whatever the flaws in its salary structure and the dispersal of revenue, there’s money to go around. ... What should matter more than the money, then, has to be the game itself. The game itself is wounded.

Finally, today is the 20th anniversary of Enron filing for bankruptcy. In honor of that history, I give you the Deodorant Building Enron Headquarters in downtown Houston as it appeared in June 2001:

Sure Happy It's Thursday!

Thoughts about Jackson Women's Health

Even though the Court probably won't release its ruling in the Mississippi anti-abortion bill until June, just about everyone has the same understanding about how it will turn out. No one seems to believe abortion will remain legal in much of the US beyond the end of this term. My guess: Justice Amy Coney Barrett (R) writing the opinion for a 5-4 Court with an unusual number of concurrences and dissents.

If the Court overturns or significantly curtails Roe v Wade, it will be one of the rare times that the Court has taken away a right. For all of the Republican Justices' and Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart's positioning that Roe was wrongly decided just like Plessy or Dred Scott, their analogy breaks down when you observe that in those two other cases, the Court also removed the existing rights of a living human being under state sanction.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh (R) got halfway to the fundamental problem with abortion law when he observed (at 106):

[T]he problem, I think ... and the reason this issue is hard, is that you can't accommodate both interests. You have to pick. That's the fundamental problem. And one interest has to prevail over the other at any given point in time, and that's why this is so challenging, I think.

Except he's full or shit. Courts decide where to draw the line between competing interests all the time. That's the point of courts, and the point of Roe v Wade. Justice Kavanaugh means rather that the court can't resolve absolute interests. If you believe, as the Catholics on the Court believe, that life begins at conception—that is, it's an article of religious faith for you—then abortion is anathema.

But if you believe, as the vast majority of the American people believe, that life begins at some point after conception but before birth, then you have to weigh the mother's life and liberty against the potential life of the lump of cells in her uterus.

If the Court overturns Roe, abortion will become immediately illegal or heavily restricted in 26 states, and may soon be curtailed in several others. Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan all have existing anti-abortion statutes that would return to full effect were Roe overturned.

The silver lining to the dark cloud of thousands of women being condemned to poverty, injury, or death because the state forces them to carry unwanted pregnancies to term? The Court will have to decide this case before the end of June, four months before the 2022 Congressional elections, as well as gubernatorial elections in the aforementioned Wisconsin and Michigan.

Finally, keep in mind that the Right has clear goals in the US and in every other democracy they're attacking: authoritarian rule that allows the rulers to pillage the ruled. Undermining trust in institutions is part of their strategy. And as Justice Sonia Sotomayor (I) asked rhetorically yesterday (at 15), "Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?" Well, no, as anyone who has studied history can tell you.

And America takes one more step toward the Rubicon.

More reactions from NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Guardian UK, SCOTUSblogDana Milibank, author Mary Ziegler, Billie Jean King, and to see where the Right gets their talking points, the Heritage Foundation.