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Where Are the Rights Now in Reproductive Rights?

This past week, SCOTUS reminded us that choosing inaction can be just as radical an act as more active intervention, when it chose to not hear an emergency injunction against Texas’ new abortion law. The Texas law, a fetal heartbeat bill, criminalizing abortion after 6 weeks, used blatant legal chicanery to sidestep well established precedent protecting a woman’s right to an abortion. By putting out a $10,000 bounty and deputizing ordinary citizens throughout the country to pursue civil damages against those aiding and abetting an abortion, instead of criminal proceedings pursued by the state, Republican legislators in Texas have momentarily baffled lawyers as to who exactly they can sue to challenge the law.

Rather than wade into this legal morass to sort out the constitutionality of such a law, SCOTUS abdicated its responsibility as the final arbiter of these thorny legal questions in a 5-4 ruling. It then had the temerity to release a single paragraph explanation for this decision, days After the law took effect, claiming no one had demonstrated harm! This double absurdity, of course came in the midst harrowing stories being shared of the very woman who were being harmed. Thus, the three justices placed by Trump fulfilled their promised purpose, to end the right to an abortion in America.

The American people, are shocked and appalled that such an extreme bill has passed in Texas and gone into effect, and SCOTUS did nothing. Polling has consistently showed most Americans don't want Roe v Wade overturned.

66% - Agree with Roe decision

62-69% - Say SCOTUS should uphold Roe v. Wade

Although the specific tactic may be novel, this type of anti-majoritarian, anti-freedom legislation is part and parcel of the Republican party these days. Let’s not forget, that the same week this bill passed, extensive tightening of voting laws, and loosening of gun laws occurred as well! The Republican party, despite being out of power at the federal level, is moving aggressively to implement its agenda wherever they do control government. If only Democrats were a tenth so motivated to pass an agenda for the people.

This As we move forward, we should be prepared to see the 6-3 conservative majority in SCOTUS, work hand-in-hand with Republican legislators across the country to advance their extremist, minority agenda. This tacit approval through inaction will likely become a favorite of SCOTUS, to temporarily allow blatantly unconstitutional laws to take effect. Republicans understand, that even if these laws cannot stand up to legal challenge in the long term, the short-term damage abortion infrastructure, and mass intimidation of woman cannot be undone with a mere legal ruling after the fact; and who knows, perhaps we are so far gone, our justice system decayed so greatly, that SCOTUS will find some way to uphold it.

Either way, it is clear that SCOTUS will be a constant roadblock against progress for generations to come, ready to stack the deck in favor of reactionaries and white supremacists. Unlike legislators they cannot be voted out, and so the normal political avenues for redressed are closed to the people. The only way forward is to force Congress to reform the courts, or SCOTUS to reform itself. Both of these options seem woefully far out of reach in the present moment, but the path to building the movement for change to take our democracy back is clear: DSOT! To create a movement that can stand up to lifetime appointments of corporate judges, it takes a movement with endurance, that even SCOTUS can’t out wait. So join us each Tuesday as we grow our economic power and solidarity, demanding that everyone’s rights are respected and protected, in a government that works for all of us, not just the few!

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