More to ignore, Book 72.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....Today, thanks to three justices nominated by Trump, the Supreme Court stripped a constitutional right from the American people, a right we have enjoyed for almost 50 years, a right that is considered a fundamental human right in most liberal democracies, and a right they indicated they would protect because it was settled law. Today’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. For the first time in our history, rather than conveying rights, the court has explicitly taken a constitutional right away from the American people. [...]

The Dobbs decision marks the end of an era: the period in American history stretching from 1933 to 1981, the era in which the U.S. government worked to promote democracy. It tried to level the economic playing field between the rich and the poor by regulating business and working conditions. It provided a basic social safety net through programs like Social Security and Medicare and, later, through food and housing security programs. It promoted infrastructure like electricity and highways, and clean air and water, to try to maintain a basic standard of living for Americans. And it protected civil rights by using the Fourteenth Amendment, added to the U.S. Constitution in 1868, to stop states from denying their citizens the equal protection of the laws.

Now the Republicans are engaged in the process of dismantling that government. For forty years, the current Republican Party has worked to slash business regulations and the taxes that support social welfare programs, to privatize infrastructure projects, and to end the federal protection of civil rights by arguing for judicial “originalism” that claims to honor the original version of the Constitution rather than permitting the courts to protect rights through the Fourteenth Amendment......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....As the three Democratic-appointed justices note in their Dobbs dissent, more constitutional rights now are on the chopping block. “Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid-19th century are insecure,” the dissenters wrote. “Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other.” It seems to be the latter: In his concurrence, Justice Clarence Thomas writes that precedents establishing access to contraception, legalizing same-sex marriage, and striking down anti-sodomy laws should be “reconsidered.”

Setting aside the record of insincerity from Alito himself and the other conservative justices, the reason not to trust his disclaimer is that the Supreme Court has become an institution whose primary role is to force a right-wing vision of American society on the rest of the country. The conservative majority’s main vehicle for this imposition is a presentist historical analysis that takes whatever stances define right-wing cultural and political identity at a given moment and asserts them as essential aspects of American law since the Founding, and therefore obligatory. Conservatives have long attacked the left for supporting a “living constitutionalism,” which they say renders the law arbitrary and meaningless. But the current majority’s approach is itself a kind of undead constitutionalism—one in which the dictates of the Constitution retrospectively shift with whatever Fox News happens to be furious about. Legal outcomes preferred by today’s American right conveniently turn out to be what the Founding Fathers wanted all along.

The 6–3 majority has removed any appetite for caution or restraint, and the justices’ lifetime appointments mean they will never have to face an angry electorate that could deprive them of their power. It has also rendered their approach to the law lazy, clumsy, and malicious, and made the right-wing justices’ undead constitutionalism all the more apparent.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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No matter if one feels relief or devastation, the weight of overturning Roe is profound​

......With its 6 to 3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court declared that Americans no longer have a constitutional right to an abortion. It’s now up to each state to legislate the parameters of abortion access, thus making bodily autonomy synonymous with geography. In New York, you are your own woman; in Mississippi, you are not. For some people — those of limited means, those without the ability to travel, those who are simply overwhelmed by hurdles and fine print and religious dogma — an unwanted pregnancy will no longer be a private medical decision. It will become government-enforced, biological motherhood. A village can go to the ballot box and vote on whether a child is brought into this world, but the village does not have to raise that child.

The arrival of Friday morning’s decision in Dobbs was heralded by the sound of police sirens signaling that once again the nation’s capital was on high alert. The court was already surrounded by high black fencing and low metal bike racks ever since a draft of the opinion leaked last month. Neighboring streets have been blocked for weeks and the sidewalk shut down. But those on opposite sides of this argument have been yelling at each other for nearly 50 years, ever since Roe was decided in 1973. Those who tirelessly battled Roe have done so, they said, to save lives. And if that is more than rhetoric, it would seem that their fresh victory also comes with a tremendous responsibility. It yields a sobering duty that extends beyond making sure that a pregnancy goes to term and that the mother gets a few donations of diapers, a box of formula and the occasional “God bless you.”

The abortion rights advocates were now forced onto the offensive and outside the Supreme Court they were yelling that they wouldn’t back down and they wouldn’t go back to a time of illicit abortions. A parade of lawmakers who support abortion rights marched over from the Capitol. They could barely be heard over the celebrations and the protesting and Fergie, but they offered up a few platitudes and cathartic rallying cries, but there really wasn’t much else to say. “Women are going to control their bodies no matter how they try to stop us,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D- Calif.) said. “The hell with the Supreme Court. We will defy them.”.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Simply Amazing! The "Common-law experts" that Alito relies on -- Weren't Even Americans
jamess

In his rush to dismantle Roe v Wade precedent, Justice Alito cites the 15th century “wisdom” of 4 jurists from Old England.

Unbelievable.

SCOTUS DOBBS Decision — Syllabus [pg 3]
Respondents’ argument that this history does not matter flies in the face of the standard the Court has applied in determining whether an asserted right that is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution is nevertheless protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Solicitor General repeats Roe’s claim that it is “doubtful . . . abortion was ever firmly established as a common-law crime even with respect to the destruction of a quick fetus,” 410 U. S., at 136, but the great common-law authorities -- Bracton, Coke, Hale, and Blackstone -- all wrote that a post-quickening abortion was a crime. Moreover, many authorities asserted that even a pre-quickening abortion was “unlawful” and that, as a result, an abortionist was guilty of murder if the woman died from the attempt. The Solicitor General suggests that history supports an abortion right because of the common law’s failure to criminalize abortion before quickening, but the insistence on quickening was not universal, see Mills v. Commonwealth, 13 Pa. 631, 633; State v. Slagle, 83 N. C. 630, 632, and regardless, the fact that many States in the late 18th and early 19th century did not criminalize pre-quickening abortions does not mean that anyone thought the States lacked the authority to do so

In order to argue that abortion has never been protected in America, Alito turns to the “legal authority” of the colonial Crown — all the way back to King Henry the III, himself.

www.britannica.com
Sir Matthew Hale — English legal scholar
[...]

In 1660 Hale was appointed chief baron of the Exchequer, the court principally concerned with matters of crown revenue, and in the same year he was knighted. Between 1666 and 1672 he spent much time on the statutory tribunal that resolved disputes between owners and tenants of property destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. In 1671 he became chief justice of the King’s Bench, an office he relinquished in 1676 when his health began to fail.

www.britannica.com
Sir William Blackstone — English jurist
[...]
In 1770 Blackstone refused the office of solicitor general but accepted that of judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In the 10 years of his judgeship he administered the law satisfactorily but attained no special distinction.

www.britannica.com
Henry de Bracton — British jurist
[...]
By 1245 Bracton was an itinerant justice for King Henry III, and from about 1247 to 1257 he was a judge of the Coram Rege (“Before the Monarch”), which afterward became the Court of Queen’s (or King’s) Bench. Like most other English lawyers of his time, he was a priest; from 1264 he was chancellor of Exeter Cathedral.

www.britannica.com
Sir Edward Coke — English jurist
[...]
Under the patronage of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the first minister of Queen Elizabeth I, Coke entered public service and rose rapidly, becoming a member of Parliament for Aldeburgh in 1589 and solicitor general and recorder of London in 1592. A year later he was elected speaker of the House of Commons and showed considerable skill in carrying out Elizabeth’s policy of curbing the Commons’ passion for discussing ecclesiastical matters.


Didn’t we fight the American Revolutionary War to break free from these oppressors from afar?

Simply unbelievable — that Justice Alito is relying on these historical ghosts, to revoke the established Liberties of American Women. To return American Women back to the age of Patriarchal rule, back to Medieval Feudalism. To the rules and confines, of old England Lawyers … Very VERY OLD.

I doubt these “olden guys” and or many of their common-law beliefs, are enshrined in the American Constitution either, you know that singular critique of Roe, that Alito hangs his pathetic 3-cornered hat on.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Christian abortion alternative organization does study: Results not what they were expecting.
alterego55

CareNetLifeway.png

This study was commissioned by a Christian abortion alternative organization named Care Net, and conducted by a Christian research organization named Lifeway.

There is no question that the Christian community is the driving force behind the anti-abortion movement in America. A Pew Research Center review of outside literature tells us where major religious groups stand on abortion.


Some religious groups have little or no ambivalence about abortion. For instance, the nation’s largest denomination – the Roman Catholic Church – opposes abortion in all circumstances. The second-largest church, the Southern Baptist Convention, also opposes abortion, although it does allow an exception in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Other sizable religious groups in opposition to abortion with few or no exceptions include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Assemblies of God, the largest U.S. Pentecostal denomination. Hindu teaching also is generally opposed to abortion.
.......

It’s intuitive to surmise that Christian women would have fewer abortions than women of different religious preferences or women who don’t affiliate with any religion at all, but that’s not the case.

Christian Women get abortions at the same rate as non-Christian Americans.

............
In one study, Pew Research tells us that in the U.S., Christianity has been on the decline, and in 2015, 70% of Americans identified as Christian. In that same year, a Christian abortion alternative network, Care Net, commissioned an abortion study performed by Lifeway Research, a Christian research organization. Their findings? Not what one would expect.

In 2015, 70% of abortions were performed on Christian women, the exact same percentage as Americans who identify as Christians.

Care Net — Lifeway Research Study

The study commissioned by Care Net and conducted by Lifeway Research was quite extensive. There were approximately 90 questions. The report is 95 pages. Below are just a few of many interesting findings.

Methodology

  • A demographically balanced online panel was used for interviewing American women between May 6-13, 2015
  • Quotas and slight weights were used to ensure the sample matched national totals for ethnicity, age, income, and region
  • This nationally balanced sample was screened to only include those women who indicated that had ever had a pregnancy termination/abortion medical procedure
  • The completed sample is 1,038 surveys
Page 32
  • Seven in 10 (70%) women who have had an abortion indicate their religious preference is Christian
Page 36
  • 52% of churchgoers who have had an abortion have no one at church who knows they have had a pregnancy terminated
Page 42
  • 44 percent say they attended a Christian church at least once per month or more at the time they aborted their child.
  • 20 percent of the respondents attended church at least once a week at the time of their first pregnancy termination.
  • 6 percent said they attended church more than once per week.
  • 54 percent said they rarely or never attended a church
Page 12
  • 76% of women indicate local churches had no influence on their decision to terminate their pregnancy
Page 18
  • 30% of women who have had an abortion indicate they have had more than one pregnancy termination or abortion
Page 20
  • 49% of women who have had an abortion agree that pastors’ teachings on forgiveness don’t seem to apply to terminated pregnancies

The anti-abortion Christians sure do want you to think that they are holier than thou on the abortion issue. Hypocritical is a perfect description for Conservative Christians who call themselves pro-life but don’t want to fund daycare, food programs, etc. for babies born into economically disadvantaged families.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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......The Dobbs opinion marks the first time a constitutional right affirmed by a prior court was taken back by a succeeding court. Justice Clarence Thomas set off more alarms when he opened the door to review other cases based on due process and rights not enumerated in the Constitution. Watch out: What happens in the bedroom may not stay in the bedroom. And race to the altar—among other rights Thomas questioned was the right to marry whom you wish.

Dobbs was dramatic enough without Thomas promising more. It makes you wonder if late Justice Antonin Scalia was joking or worried that his progeny might escape the lab when he answered a question about the difference between him and Thomas, the two jurists most likely to look to the 18th century to decide what was constitutional in the 21st. Scalia answered, “I am an originalist. I am a textualist. I am not a nut.”[...}

While you say a prayer for the children born of forced motherhood, there was a decision the day before that poses a real and present danger to the living. With the horror of Uvalde still raw and mass shootings barely making the news unless the death toll reaches double digits, the Court decided 6–3, with Thomas writing for the majority, that a 100-year-old law in New York, and similar ones in six other states, was unconstitutional because it required the owner to show cause to be permitted to openly carry in Times Square, in traffic on the FDR, and at Yankee Stadium, where if we can’t beat you on the mound, we’ll shoot you in the stands. Ordinary life instantly became more dangerous in a country with 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly half of the world’s privately owned firearms. It follows that America holds the record for the most shootings and gun-related deaths among industrialized countries........
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....“People think HIPAA protects a lot more health information than it actually does,” said Kayte Spector-Bagdady, a professor of bioethics and law at the University of Michigan.

It all comes down to state law. She said the federal privacy rule contains exceptions that could allow prosecutors to compel businesses to relinquish information relevant to a criminal investigation — and the same is true for other kinds of legal action, too.

“All that [a] provider could use to push back is to say, ‘I want to see a warrant,’ or ‘I want to see a subpoena,” said Carmel Shachar, executive director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

While many laws limiting abortion have focused on providers, legal experts say some patients could end up being vulnerable, too.

In states that ban abortion, simply the suspicion that a patient had an abortion would be enough to allow law enforcement to poke around in their medical records under the guise of identifying or locating a suspect, said Isabelle Bibet-Kalinyak, a member of Brach Eichler’s health care law practice. “They would still need to have probable cause,” she said.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....The right to travel has not been adumbrated extensively in case law. With respect to international travel, it received a bump of attention during COVID-19, when some Americans were forced to quarantine out of the country until they could produce negative COVID tests; and also when, at the beginning of the pandemic, some governors sought to ban interstate travel from states deemed to be “COVID hotspots” — a futile exercise that was soon abandoned. Almost no case law emerged. [...]

In Missouri, a bill introduced in December, and modeled on S.B. 8, the Texas “bounty” law, would allow prosecution not only for a person who aids another to obtain an abortion in Missouri, but also who aids another to travel to a state in which abortion is legal. The proposed law has dubious criminal law underpinning — it posits that a criminal conspiracy can be based on behavior that is legal in the state where it occurs, and not in the state where the traveler resides, stretching the idea of long-arm jurisdiction.

At the other end of the spectrum, citing the Massachusetts Constitution’s protection of reproductive rights, Gov. Charlie Baker on signed an executive order designed to shield Massachusetts-based health care providers from liability for providing services to abortion-seekers from out of state, prohibiting extradictions, and protecting records from disclosure to states with criminal penalties against abortion seekers, allies and service providers.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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...Just five years ago, 97 percent of women in Latin America and the Caribbean lived in countries where abortion was illegal or severely restricted (the only exceptions were Cuba, Guyana, Uruguay, and the federal district of Mexico City). The region was home to some of the most draconian abortion bans in the world—policies that endure in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Suriname.

But over the past two years, the three most populous Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America decriminalized abortion in rapid succession—first Argentina, then Mexico, and most recently Colombia. Other countries are on the brink of dramatic change, as well. Until recently, abortion in Chile was prohibited in all circumstances, owing to a law instituted in 1989 by the dictator General Augusto Pinochet as he left office. In 2017, a reform introduced certain narrow exceptions. Now Chile may make global history. A draft of the country’s new constitution includes an article enshrining abortion rights—apparently the most explicit such protection of any constitution in the world.

These remarkable strides reflect decades of struggle. The hostile political environments and dire state of reproductive rights in the region required Latin American activists to organize across borders, form strategic alliances within their own countries, and explore ways to expand safe abortion access at the margins of the law. Against seemingly long odds, their efforts ultimately led to decriminalization. As the United States confronts a reversal of rights once considered untouchable, it is worth considering the lessons that Latin American feminists’ experiences may hold. Even faced with hostile politics, a movement that brings together a diverse array of social groups with a stake in abortion rights can, in the end, achieve change.....
 

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine Update: Russia's supply and command and control hubs no longer safe from Ukrainian attack
kos

Early days of the war, the most videos showed anti-tank missiles like NLAWS, Stugna-P, and Javelins taking out Russian armor and vehicles. Then there was the “vehicles stuck in mud” phase. Eventually, that gave way to supply convoy ambushes. Then artillery strikes, and more artillery strikes. A handful of “commercial drone drops grenade” videos sneak through, but mostly artillery. Lots of artillery strikes. Until … now.

We still have plenty of artillery videos. This is an artillery attrition war, with the skies over Ukraine swarming with drones documenting it all. New Western artillery systems, like the M777, French Caesar, and Dutch/German Panzerhaubitze 2000 are treated like celebrities on the red carpet at the Oscars. But over the past few weeks, we’re seeing more and more dramatic destruction of Russian ammunition depots.

June 25
, Izyum, Kharkiv Oblast



This was reportedly the headquarters of Russia’s 20th Army, and Russian Telegram channels reported multiple officer casualties. In the video, we see three pontoon bridging vehicles, at least two infantry fighting vehicles, a Tigr armored jeep-style infantry vehicle, and multiple requisitioned civilian vehicles. Not a bad haul for a single strike.

The lack of burn marks and shrapnel damage to the vehicles definitely points to HIMARS rockets. In my day, the rockets carried cluster munitions, now banned by international treaty (though the U.S. and Russia are not signatories). Instead, these rockets carry 180,000 small non-explosive tungsten balls, which detonate above the target and scatter the shots like a massive 360-degree shotgun.

BB.png

Shrapnel damage from MLRS rocket, which carries 180,000 BB-sized non-explosive tungsten balls.

It works best against lightly armored vehicles and personnel. You can even see one of them here:


tung.png


In this case, a soft target, a single rocket with 180,000 of those tungsten balls likely did as much damage as an entire pod of six high explosive rockets would’ve managed. There’s a different role for those. (Hard targets, like hardened defenses, economic infrastructure like refineries, etc.)

June 25,
Svatove, Luhansk Oblast, 68 kms from front lines



We don’t know what hit this depot. GMLRS can fire accurately to 84 kilometers (beyond its official rated range), and can even reach further but not as accurately. This could also be Tochka-U ballistic missiles, Ukraine has been aggressively launching these past couple of weeks. The target above might’ve even been these guys:



It’s almost as if Ukrainian high command decided they didn’t need to husband these long-range resources anymore with HIMARS in theater, and could blast off their remaining supply. These have a range of 120 kilometers.

June 23
, Kadiivka, Luhansk Oblast, 40 kilometers from front lines



More Tochka-U missile handiwork. That is a serious cook-off. Kadiivka is east of Popasna, and this was likely supplying that entire advance. Reports claim that Russia has had to reposition its command and logistical hubs further away from the front.

June 22, Kyselivka, Kherson Oblast, on the front lines



No need for long range munitions here. Kyselivka is right on the front lines, with conflicting reports over who controls it. The depot was likely struck as Ukrainian forces contested the settlement.

June 19
, Voskresenka, Zaporizhia Oblast, 15 kilometers from the front



I confirmed distance, so yes, this would definitely be in range of M777 howitzers, which is 25 kilometers. For comparison, Russia’s D20 towed howitzer, also used by Ukraine, has a range of just 17 kilometers. (Other systems have further range, but this is the apple-to-apple comparison.)

June 17
, Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast, 52 kilometers from front



This is undoubtedly a Tochka-U missile. HIMARS hadn’t been activated when this attack took place. What’s exciting is that HIMARS will be able to hit targets like this regularly, instead of forcing Ukraine general staff to debate whether a target is worth the investment of a precious limited-supply Toschka-U. (Ukraine reportedly had 500 at the start of the war.)

June 16
, Krasny Luch, Luhansk Oblast, 60 kilometers from the front



The on-the-ground footage of that attack is apocalyptic, here and here. Again, HIMARS will make targets like this one far more commonplace. Russia will have to move supply depots further behind front lines, exacerbating their logistical challenges. Remember, all of their recent Donbas gains have come in territory hugging their long-held proxy territory. Their push toward Bakhmut, away from their pre-war borders, has stalled.

June 16
, Khrustalnyi, Luhansk, Oblast, 50 kilometers from the front



More Tochka-U handiwork.

It’s certainly curious—did Ukraine’s intelligence get that much better the last few weeks, suddenly adept at finding these supply depots, or is it truly a function of “HIMARS/MLRS are coming, we can now hit these targets with missiles we were saving for a rainy day.”

Whatever the reason, I love this new genre of war video. Russia already struggles to advance more than a few hundred meters per day. Their challenges will only multiply as Ukraine systematically wipes out their logistical and command and control centers.

One last note, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense put out a video of HIMARS’ first mission:



Kinda cool! The launch mechanism is the same as in the M270 from back in my day. The computer is far more advanced than whatever piece of crap 80’s era “computer” we had back then.

This is the second video we’ve seen of HIMARS launches and both of them were at night. Ukraine clearly values these too highly to risk having one spotted by Russian drones. So for now, it looks like they’ll do all their work at night. This will be fine when hitting supply depots, command and control centers, and static defenses. It’ll be less helpful when trying to hit Russian convoys on the move, which would be a fantastic use of these beasts. We’ll see if that changes down the road.
 

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Gorsuch poised to accomplish his mother's mission of undermining the EPA in upcoming SCOTUS ruling
Charles Jay

Neil Gorsuch was the first of the three extremist Supreme Court justices nominated by Donald Trump on the recommendation of the conservative Federalist Society. He is filling the seat that by all rights should have gone to President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland.

And Gorsuch is poised to play a key role in the upcoming week when the Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in the case West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, a case that could severely limit the federal government’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The pain, suffering and deaths resulting from SCOTUS’ rulings on gun regulations and abortion rights are bad enough. But in the long-run the conservative court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA and similar anti-environmental regulation cases now working their way through lower courts could have even more devastating consequences — putting at stake the future of our planet.

In a June 19 story, The New York Times’ top environmental reporter Carol Davenport noted:

“Within days, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision that could severely limit the federal government’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide from power plants—pollution that is dangerously heating the planet.
But it’s only a start.
The case, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, is the product of a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists and their funders, several with ties to the oil and coal industries, to use the judicial system to rewrite environmental law, weakening the executive branch’s ability to tackle global warming. Coming up through the federal courts are more climate cases, some featuring novel legal arguments, each carefully selected for its potential to block the government’s ability to regulate industries and businesses that produce greenhouse gases.”

Everyone here has undoubtedly heard of Jan. 6 coup-plotter Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, But how many know about Anne M. Gorsuch, the mother of Justice Neil Gorsuch?

Anne Gorsuch, a radical anti-environmental activist, was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981 to be the first female administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She worked hand-in-glove with Reagan’s controversial Secretary of the Interior James Watt to undermine federal environmental regulations.

Here is how The Washington Post described her controversial 22-month tenure as EPA administrator in her 2004 obituary. In 1983, after she and her first husband David Gorsuch divorced, she married Robert F. Burford, a rancher and head of the Bureau of Land Management,

Her 22-month tenure was one of the most controversial of the early Reagan administration. A firm believer that the federal government, and specifically the EPA, was too big, too wasteful and too restrictive of business, Ms. Burford cut her agency's budget by 22 percent. She boasted that she reduced the thickness of the book of clean water regulations from six inches to a half-inch.
Republicans and Democrats alike accused Ms. Burford of dismantling her agency rather than directing it to aggressively protect the environment. They pointed to budgets cuts for research and enforcement, to steep declines in the number of cases filed against polluters, to efforts to relax portions of the Clean Air Act, to an acceleration of federal approvals for the spraying of restricted pesticides and more.

Nearly all of her subordinates came from the ranks of the industries that the EPA was charged with regulating.

Her undoing came as the result of a scandal over mismanagement of the new $1.6 billion Superfund toxic waste clean-up program by effectively freezing its implementation. She was cited for contempt of Congress after refusing to turn over Superfund records, arguing that they were protected by executive privilege.

This was the last straw even for Reagan, who forced her to resign and replaced Gorsuch with Bill Ruckelshaus, a moderate Republican who was appointed by President Richard Nixon in 1970 as the first EPA administrator. Ruckelshaus later resigned as Deputy Attorney General in the 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” rather than obey NIxon’s orders to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.
.........

Like mother, like son?

When Trump nominated Gorsuch to the Supreme Court in February 2017, the Sierra Club wrote that his “opinions regarding environmental laws may be a matter of maternal trauma as much as conservative ideology.”

“A fuller review reveals a major and traumatic experience that almost certainly would have impacted the outlook of her then-16-year-old son, who had moved from Denver to D.C. with his mother when she was appointed and before she caused the first major scandal of the Reagan administration.”
...
It seems likely that this harrowing family experience left a lasting mark on Neil Gorsuch. To quote a New York Times editorial, “He is even more conservative than Justice Scalia in at least one area—calling for an end to the deference courts traditionally show to administrative agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, that are charged with implementing complex and important federal laws.”

Columbia professor Steven Cohen, who formerly served as executive director of the university’s Earth Institute, was forced out of his job as an EPA consultant in 1981 by Anne Gorsuch.

In a June 21 article on Columbia’s State of the Planet website. Cohen sounded the alarm about the Supreme Court’s “radical environmental deregulation” agenda.

Cohen wrote:

The irony today is that Gorsuch’s son, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, may finally have a chance to complete his mother’s anti-regulatory and environmentally destructive work.

There has been a long and convoluted path that has led to West Virginia v. E.P.A. coming before the Supreme Court. For background, here is a summary from Harvard Law Today.

During the Obama administration, the EPA established the Clean Power Plan, which set the first national limits on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants. A number of industry group and Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit arguing that the EPA had exceeded its congressional authority in issuing the plan.

The case ended up being dismissed after Trump’s election. The Trump administration repealed the Obama-era Clean Power plan and issued its own much weaker Affordable Clean Energy rule which relaxed restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. That plan was challenged by Democratic states and cities as well as environmental advocacy groups.

In January 2021. on the last day of Trump’s administration. the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., in a 2-1 decision, struck down the Affordable Clean Energy rule. That led the attorneys general of West Virginia and other Republican-governed states, along with several coal companies, to ask the Supreme Court to review the D.C. appellate court’s decision. The plaintiffs argued that the EPA lacks the authority to regulate power plant emissions and this authority instead should be granted to Congress.

what made the Supreme Court’s decision even odder was that the Biden administration has yet to even establish a new rule on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Thus the Supreme Court is considering setting a precedent for limiting future EPA rule-making on power plant emissions.

During oral arguments in February, several of the conservative SCOTUS justices questioned the scope of the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, which could sharply curtail the Biden administration’s efforts to deal with climate change.

Beyond environmental policy, the case also reflects the skepticism held by the court’s conservative majority about the power of federal agencies to deal with major issues impacting the nation.

That viewpoint was reflected during the coronavirus pandemic when the court ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the authority to impose a moratorium on evictions or that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration could not tell large companies to have their workers be vaccinated or undergo frequent testing for COVID-19.

In her New York Times piece, Davenport wrote that Republican activists say that their ultimate goal “is to overturn the legal doctrine by which Congress has delegated authority to federal agencies to regulate the environment, health care, workplace safety, telecommunications, the financial sector and more.”

She wrote:

“Known as “Chevron deference,” after a 1984 Supreme Court ruling (Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council), that doctrine holds that courts must defer to reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes by federal agencies on the theory that agencies have more expertise than judges and are more accountable to voters. “Judges are not experts in the field and are not part of either political branch of the government,” Associate Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his opinion for a unanimous court.
But many conservatives say the decision violates the separation of powers by allowing executive branch officials rather than judges to say what the law is. In one of his most famous opinions as an appeals court judge, Associate Justice Gorsuch wrote that Chevron allowed “executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power.”

It’s all part and parcel of what Trump’s former chief political strategist Steve Bannon has long advocated — the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

The aim of Republican state attorneys general supporting lawsuits such as West Virginia v. E.P.A. is to limit the ability of federal agencies to set rules and regulations that affect the U.S. economy, for example environmental policies discouraging the use of coal.


Instead, they argue that it is the role of Congress to set such rules and regulations because lawmakers are more accountable to voters than federal bureaucrats. That, of course, is a formula for inaction or even worse consequences if Republicans regain full control of Congress and the White House.

And when it comes to climate change, Congress has done little to address the issue — just look at the failure to enact Biden’s Build Back Better agenda which included measures to promote clean energy over fossil fuels.

As is the case with gun regulations and abortion rights, the Supreme Court is likely to make a controversial ruling opposed by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

Poling conducted by Data for Progress and Evergreen Action in June found that almost three-quarters of all likely voters (74 percent) are concerned about air and water pollution in their communities Nearly two-thirds of likely voters are concerned about the Supreme Court removing environmental protections established by the Clean Air Act..

Davenport summed up what could be the disastrous impact of rulings by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in the West Virginia case as well as other environmental regulation cases in the legal pipeline.

It would mean the federal government could not significantly restrict tailpipe emissions, force electric utilities to replace fossil fuel fired power plants with wind and solar power, and consider the economic costs of climate change when evaluating whether to approve a new project like an oil pipeline or environmental regulation.

She wrote:

Those limitations on climate action in the United States, which has pumped more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere than any other nation, would quite likely doom the world’s goal of cutting enough emissions to keep the planet from heating up more than an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with the preindustrial age. That is the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic hurricanes, drought, heat waves and wildfires significantly increases. The Earth has already warmed an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius.

“If the Supreme Court uses this as an opportunity to really squash E.P.A.’s ability to regulate on climate change, it will seriously impede U.S. progress toward solving the problem,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

But that may be of no concern to the likes of Neil Gorsuch. After all, mommy knows best.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders promises kids in womb will be 'as safe as they are in a classroom'
Lauren Sue

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, GOP nominee for the governor of Arkansas, was trending on Sunday for continuing a tradition of hypocrisy that I would’ve hoped peaked when she was White House Press Secretary for former President Donald Trump. It didn’t. Footage of promises the Arkansas Republican made just one month ago began to circulate on social media in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court reversing Roe v. Wade, in essence delivering the kind of blow to reproductive rights that will likely criminalize healthcare and devastate those seeking to terminate their pregnancies for years to come.

”We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they’re as safe as they are in a classroom (...),” Sanders said.



Majid Padellan, a blogger and influencer who goes by "Brooklyn Dad" responded to the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with a list of cities that experienced mass shootings in schools. “Uvalde, Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Columbine families would like a word,” Padellan tweeted.

And he was hardly the only social media user to point out how out-of-touch the gubernatorial hopeful seemed.





Social media response underscores what Democrats have been urging for years and especially since leaked and now confirmed news of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade. That is to counter GOP efforts to rip apart our democracy by showing up at the polls and electing representatives who will defend this country.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the Supreme Court's decision is not just "a crisis of Roe." "This is a crisis of our democracy," she said. "The Supreme Court has dramatically overreached its authority.”



Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted on Friday: "We are not powerless. Here’s what I’m fighting for: Expanding our Senate majority so we can eliminate the filibuster & codify Roe. Expanding the Supreme Court to rebalance this institution. Defending abortion rights in states through ballot measures and downballot elections."

Rep. Maxine Waters tweeted:

“This is only the beginning of an extreme Republican agenda to take away our personal freedoms, from abortion to contraception, to marriage equality to personal safety. #WeWontGoBack!
As a Member of Congress, I'm proud to have voted to protect abortion access. Today's SCOTUS decision makes it even more clear: we need federal protections for reproductive health.I am committed to continuing this FIGHT: in Congress, in the streets, and at the Ballot Box!”

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, made a passionate plea to restructure "for an improved system." She tweeted:

"The reason you can’t think of a way out of this democratic free fall is b/c we need radical structural reform to the functioning of all 3 branches of govt in this country. Extremists have found the keys to gaming & hijacking the system - in Congress, the White House, & SCOTUS.
We have witnessed the vulnerability of the rules that govern each branch of govt. which have been weaponized to herd us toward minority rule. Do we have the boldness & courage to reset the rules of govt so that they serve democracy? Cause that’s the project. It begins w/power.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Conservative pundits beg Republicans for some token sign the fascist mob cares about 'life'
Hunter

GettyImages-1328185495.jpg

At no point during the modern conservative movement, ever, has it abided notions of protecting 'life' after birth. It calls such programs socialist; its political figures rage with contempt for those who propose it.

After the Supreme Court nullified federal abortion protections with demands that our nation bow to the beliefs of 17th century witch hunters, it took only hours for Republican politicians and lawmakers to repeat their demands that abortion be criminalized nationally. Justice Samuel Alito's arguments were constructed to support such demands, even if he had to ignore centuries of history he didn't like while highlighting only the baubles he did.


So there is zero doubt that the conservative fight now moves to imposing far-right theocratic beliefs on all Americans, whether in red states or not. Similarly, sneering punditry assuring us that conservatism would never bar abortions in case of rape or incest, would never demand imprisonment of those that sought abortions, would never prosecute miscarriages—all of those went out the window immediately. All of those things will be happening and more, and red state lawmakers are already examining their post-Roe laws to make sure of it.

That does not mean that the same voices that helped steer conservatism into anti-democratic fascism are giving up the ghost. No, this weekend's conservative punditry is riddled with very polite suggestions to Republicans that the party please, please, please make some token effort to show Republicanism gives any actual damn about post-birth children or their mothers. Conservatism's once-shepherds are begging the performatively cruel base to show even a single shred of feigned compassion, even as everyone involved knows there's not a chance of it happening.

In The New York Times, we've got Ross Douthat doing the begging. It would be comical if the subject matter was not should we care whether poor Americans live or die.




States in the Deep South will do none of these things. States in the Republican north will do none of these things. Imagine a body of Republican senators pushing for such policies; now imagine what the Republican base would do to them, if those senators tried. It is a fiction.

The Republicans who are in actual charge are wasting no time assuring the public that no, they will absolutely not be lessening the party's fought-for institutional cruelties. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a presidential aspirant, responded to the public note that anti-abortion Republican states are the most vigorously cruel to new mothers and children with the usual pre-scripted fountain of talking points. Not only does the movement not intend to lift a finger to promote actual "life," they do not consider the question to be important enough to even bother with new rhetoric.




A movement that has spent five decades demanding American families get nothing and like it will not change now, and any pundit who claims otherwise is stupid. Simply stupid.

South Dakotans are more likely to find themselves in handcuffs than they are to find themselves with an extra ten dollars for their children's food, because Noem isn't ruling out prosecutions for South Dakota residents who travel to other states for abortions. The federal government can guarantee your right to travel between states, but it can't keep Republicans from passing laws imprisoning people on their return.

Pundit Jonah Goldberg long did his part to defend conservatism's slide into far-right extremism with the usual both-siderisms that posited that Actually, it is liberalism that should be considered the haven of fascism. His career was borne of the submovement that focused on the demonization of conservatism's enemies over any actual policy prescriptions, sharing rhetorical space with the Coulters and Malkins of the movement. He, too, is pretending today that there is some slight possibility, within the vicious movement, of perhaps at least pretending to give a damn about the social consequences of victory.

It will get nowhere, because anti-abortion Republicans have had half a century to implement non-punitive measures to reduce abortions and ease maternal poverty and have not only done none of it, but have rallied relentlessly to make sure every one of those other protections was sliced to ribbons.



There is no Republicanist base for this premise. None. It exists only in the heads of dissembling pundits who have watched their own advocacy embolden more and more vicious versions of their movement, and who still hunt now for justifications to remain attached to the resulting movement even as it embraces sedition, the erasure of elections, the reformation of American laws to enforce sectarian religious beliefs, and criminal corruption. The idea that Republican lawmakers would push for, or even tolerate, help for the poor or the sick is such a buffoonish question that editors should require their pundits pass a field sobriety test before saying it.

The Republicans who remain in the movement remain there despite a majority of Republican lawmakers voting both to nullify the results of a presidential election based on fraudulent hoaxes and to shield the plotters of an actual attempted coup from consequences. What possible moderation exists among supporters of that? What has happened to convince supporters of that that they need to moderate their positions to be seen as marginally less cruel?

Pundit Peggy Noonan remains an absolute disgrace, after a career of covering for the party as it lurched farther and farther into fascist rhetoric. Her own Sunday plea to the base to give at least a token nod in the direction of "life" was met with laughter.



Noonan does not necessarily care if Republicanism significantly improves the lives of American families; Republicanism is explicitly opposed to the very idea. She only asks for a fig leaf for her fellow partisans to use in claiming that the party has not devolved into one of irredeemable viciousness. She's not going to get it. Republicanism is about destruction, not construction. It is about opposing things, not providing them. It is about reducing rights, not embracing new ones.

The movement that would not abide saving another person's live by wearing a simple mask to curtail pandemic spread will not give a damn whether an ectopic pregnancy kills their neighbor, or whether a child a mile away from their own house suffers from constant hunger. There is no clamor for non-cruelty. There is no sudden demand for new compassion. It is a fiction pushed by the few remaining conservatives capable of feeling shame for what they have wrought, but do not have enough shame to now disown it.

At no point during the last decade has the Republican movement not gravitated towards the cruelest possible thing, or shied away from insisting that their personal comfort trumps the right of other Americans to live. A movement against masks and dismissive of vaccines, a movement forever warning of migrant invasions, a movement continuing to fight vigorously to protect those that attempted to overthrow our government, a movement that labels entire groups of Americans "pedophiles" while gleefully defending sex traffickers in their midst, a movement that will insist over the bodies of children that the real tragedy would be if those planning to commit violence could not choose the weapon that allowed them to commit more of it, faster—this is not a movement that will develop new compassion for the poor or those in medical crisis.

It is not a movement that feels it even needs to pretend at such things.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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The fatal politics of pro-life fanatics
TheCriticalMind

There is a fact that obliterates the rationale underpinning the pro-life position. Banning legal abortion does not stop abortions. It merely pushes them into the shadows. And leaves women to get abortions outside the guard rails of professional medicine. Not all women mind you. Just the poor, who are often minorities.

Women with money will become abortion tourists. They will travel from states with Sharia law to states that respect personal liberty. This in turn will provide an economic boost for those welcoming states. These fortunate women will be inconvenienced, certainly. But they will not have to carry the millstone of a child fathered by a rapist or family member, or a child that they cannot afford to raise, free from want and suffering. However, these women are not the usual abortion recipients.

Anti-choice crusaders would like the citizens to believe that abortion is a procedure embraced by flibbertigibbets to terminate a pregnancy resulting from a casual fling. This is a lie. There is a c.50% chance that an abortion recipient lives below the poverty line. And 59% of the time, a woman receiving an abortion already has a child. The reason these women get abortions is that they cannot afford another child. And let’s also note, 100% of abortions are performed when the pregnancy is unwanted.

Pro-lifers will deny that and claim that women are regularly railroaded into getting abortions by the fetus’s sperm doner who does not want the expense and inconvenience of a child. I cannot say that never happens. But I have not heard of a mass protest by women who say they have been victims of that kind of coercion. Besides, if that were an issue, a few questions added to the existing abortion screening protocol would allay that concern.

We can also dismiss the genocide claims of anti-choice activists. Black women do get a disproportionate share of abortions. But they do not get them because they are Black. They get them because they are poor. So if there were a ‘genocide’ it would be due to conservative policies which impoverish minorities, not abortion. And there is no genocide, as Black mothers have 2.4 children on average. While white mothers have 2.2.

A silver lining to this dark, dismal cloud of misogyny is that today, unlike the pre-Roe period, medical abortion is an option for many women. Abortion-banning states will do their best to stop women from getting the medication. But that will not work any better than states’ attempts to stop the use of other illegal drugs.

One strategy these theocratic states are eager to deploy is ripped from the playbook of the Stasi secret police of the erstwhile Godless East Germany. They employed, using cash or coercion, thousands of snitches to spy on their neighbors and even their own families. Texas has already enacted this ‘dollars for dirt’ strategy to get Texans to grass on their fellow citizens. Other states will soon follow. It seems that tyranny makes for strange bedfellows.

Pregnant women would also be well-advised to use the incognito mode on their computers if searching for medical abortion information. I am sure that the anti-choice sadists will soon enact laws allowing computer searches for women suspected of exercising physical self-autonomy.

There will still be times when the procedure will have to be surgical. And by shutting clinic doors, poor women will risk their health and life to get an abortion wherever they can. As 50% of abortions performed in the US are surgical this will represent 100,000s of women facing the risk of death or severe injury.

The solution to this is simple. Mandate comprehensive sex-ed with no opt-out. And make contraception free and readily available. The beauty of this is that the cost is low and the effects immediate. But nothing is guaranteed. Mistakes happen, and even with the best intention conception can occur. In that case, ensure the pregnancy is wanted. Give pregnant women the means to afford their child. Provide a financial and medical safety net, as they do in the Scandanavian countries. And more women will carry to term.

But your pro-life crowd, besides being sanctimonious are also parsimonious. They will not spend the money. One because, while they demand others live by their rules, they do not want to pay for their enforced morality. Two because, while there are foot-soldiers in the religious imperialist army who genuinely believe they are pro-life, their leaders are only in it for the power and the sadism.

One key to raising populations out of poverty is giving women reproductive autonomy. It is why family planning is an important step in lifting the Third World out of its financial chasm. First world countries understand that reproductive rights also allow women equal opportunity.

But America’s religious zealots are cut from the same cloth as Middle-Eastern potentates with their medieval outlook on gender roles, And tin-pot dictators everywhere, who express their conscience-free sadism with torture. In the case of dissidents, by electric shock, nail pulling, and beatings. And in the case of poor women, with enforced motherhood.

Using the tactics of the Communist secret police to achieve the goals of fundamentalist Muslims is not making America great.