Reversing Roe Deletes Rights It Took a Century to Achieve

In overturning Roe, the Supreme Court’s case relied on  the 1873 Comstock Act, officially titled “An Act for the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use.” This law explicitly prohibited materials related to abortion and imposed severe penalties for their dissemination. Despite subsequent amendments, the Act’s original language remains intact, fueled by a 1930 court ruling that seemingly rendered it obsolete.

Over decades, Comstock zealously pursued pornography across the country, sharing his findings with members of Congress and targeting women he deemed promiscuous.

Sara Rosenbaum, a health law and policy professor at George Washington University, described how pregnant patients have faced neglect in emergency departments due to extreme abortion restrictions in certain states. She recounted incidents where pregnant individuals were turned away or provided inadequate care, leading to dire consequences.

For example, at Falls Community Hospital in Texas, a woman nine months pregnant was refused care by the doctor on duty, who claimed the hospital lacked obstetric services. Federal investigators later concluded that the hospital violated the law. Similarly, at Sacred Heart Emergency Center in Houston, staff refused to help a woman in labor, resulting in a miscarriage in the emergency room lobby.

These cases are part of a larger pattern revealed in documents obtained from Freedom of Information Act requests. Despite federal laws mandating emergency care for pregnant patients, numerous complaints were lodged against hospitals for failing to provide adequate treatment. The penalties for such violations, including hefty fines and potential loss of Medicare funding, serve as deterrents, but enforcement varies.

The Biden administration has pledged to uphold these laws, emphasizing the importance of emergency medical care for all individuals, including pregnant patients. However, ongoing legal battles and the potential weakening of these protections could exacerbate the problem, leading to more instances of neglect and denial of care.

A record-high 69 percent of Americans in a Gallup poll released Wednesday said that abortion should be legal throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.

Support for abortion access in the second and third trimester of pregnancy also reached an all-time high, according to the survey, despite remaining significantly lower than support for the procedure during the first trimester.

While 37 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal in the second trimester, 22 percent said it should be legal in the third trimester, pollsters found.

A slight majority — 52 percent — said they identify as pro-choice, compared to 44 percent who said they identify as pro-life. Another 52 percent also said they view abortion as morally acceptable, while 41 percent said they view it as morally wrong.

Abortion is recognized as a matter of health care to be decided by women and their doctors.

More than half of Americans strongly oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to end constitutional abortion protections, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll released in May, 2023

Forbidding abortion undermines the financial security of women. The Economic Policy Institute has found that women denied an abortion have a higher chance of living in poverty, a lower possibility of full-time employment, and an increase in unpaid debt and financial distress.

Middle-class families can expect to spend more than $230,000 on food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child through the age of 17, according to data from the Consumer Expenditures Survey.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the end of Roe v. Wade represents a “major loss of rights” for women, a Washington Post-Schar School poll finds. A large and bipartisan majority of Americans, about 8 in 10 overall, say states that ban abortion should not be allowed to outlaw people from traveling elsewhere to access the procedure — an idea gaining steam among some antiabortion groups and Republican lawmakers. Those opposed include 64 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of independents .and 89 percent of Democrats.

Another indication of how a large segment of the American population is that pro-abortion-rights posts get more views than antiabortion videos on TikTok.

About 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. It’s not surprising that forty percent of Americans list abortion as one of the most important issues in the country, according to a Marquette Law School Poll.  U.S. Catholics are majority pro-choice according to many polls!

Few Americans hold absolutist views on abortion: Only about 1 in 5 say it should be legal in all cases, and fewer than 1 in 10 say it should be illegal without exception, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

A USA Today-Suffolk poll found that 31 percent of American voters said a state banning abortion would make the state less desirable to live in; 5 percent said it would be more desirable. 6 in 10 voters said a state abortion ban would not affect their thinking on a state’s desirability as a place to live.

Overwhelmingly, Americans support people’s right to cross state lines for an abortion, polls are finding.. One showed 77 percent of Americans and even 64 percent of Republicans oppose laws that would ban residents from traveling to another state for an abortion. Another showed even more resistance to such laws: 78 percent overall, and 73 percent among Republicans.

Throwback Republicans

Republicans were not always anti-choice. California Governor Ronald Reagan signed into law the nation’s most permissive abortion regulation in 1967, six years before the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision.  Reagan’s 1980 running mate, former Texas Congressman George HW Bush, had supported Planned Parenthood — including abortion rights — all the way back to the 1960s.

Then Reagan discovered a growing backlash to Roe v Wade and led the Republicans to victory, capitalizing on general Republican mistrust of the Supreme Court dating back to the 1954 Brown v Board decision desegregating public schools.  This locked Republican candidates into an anti-choice position, appeasing the prejudices of angry Americans.

Blake Masters, a Republican candidate for the Senate in Arizona, wants a national abortion ban, women to stay home from work, and a federal law that says life begins at conception.

The Maga Republicans’ zeal to pass stringent forced-birth laws and their pining for a national abortion ban — as the party’s candidates scramble to erase evidence of their antiabortion views from their campaign websites — reveal how little they think of women.

Women are supposed to forget that Republican candidates have been at the forefront of the effort to deny them personal agency and to intrude on their most intimate healthcare decisions. They’re supposed to forget which party has consigned pregnant people to physical and mental suffering.

Sending America Back 70 Years

By reversing Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court takes America back 70 years. Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra insists that the country “can no longer trust” the Supreme Court. America is moving toward an abortion regime that brutalizes and sometimes kills pregnant women while ignoring the most promising opportunities to prevent abortions.

The reversal of Roe produced cognitive dissonance in a generation that grew up when abortion was legal. It was a shock to our collective intelligence when this was released, and it likely accounts for some of the divisiveness and disaffection in today’s population.

Alioto’s opinion is dangerously wrong on its face and when extended, could end many of the rights we take for granted. Alioto asserts, “For the first 185 years after the adoption of the Constitution, each State was permitted to address this issue in accordance with the views of its citizens.” To put this another way, abortion was not illegal in some states until the 1800s.

To reach his conclusion, Alioto reached back to English common law, relying on Sir Matthew Hale, an influential 17th Century jurist who is best remembered for his belief that women could be witches, assumed women were liars, and thought husbands owned their wives’ bodies. He permitted the execution of two women accused as witches. Even then, Alioto misconstrues Hale, who wrote abortion was a crime “if a woman be quick or great with child.” Note Hale used the conditional precedent of “if.” Quickening is the moment when a pregnant woman first detects fetal movement, which can happen as late as 25 weeks into pregnancy.
Except for misogynists, what sense is there in giving credence to a jurist whose views of women are as dated as lobotomies? By roughly a margin of 2-to-1, Americans want women to have the right to bring or not bring a child into the world. It’s not surprising that Roe v. Wade was decided with a 7-2 majority.

The ninth amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other retained by the people.” The plain meaning of this is that a right, such as the right to marry, does not need to be enumerated to be recognized.

The Roe decision was in line with earlier decisions of the Court. For decades before Roe, the Supreme Court held that the Ninth Amendment granted rights such as the right to marry, the right to procreate, the right to use contraception, the right to control the upbringing of children, and the right of every person to choose “whether to bear or beget a child.”
So a fair question is the U.S. Constitution a living document? A living constitution evolves and adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended. It’s been calculated that the rate of change accelerates every decade. So, 20 years from now, the rate of change will be 4x what it is today.

Common sense tells us there is no realistic alternative to a living constitution in a rapidly changing world.  Does it make sense for the technologies of everyday life to change but our personal liberties will shrink? Will Alioto’s decision pave the way to abrogating other rights that are not explicitly stated, as Clarence Thomas stated, “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

  • The right to marry
  • The right to have children
  • The right to travel
  •  The right to a fair trial
  •  The right to a jury of your peers
  • The right to have judicial review
  • The right to privacy includes the right to be left alone, to the care of your body, and, the right not to have your health information made public.
  • The right to health care has gained the support of 70.1% of the American public. COVID-19 and the probability of other pandemics to come have made explicit the need for health care.
  • Right to contraceptives
  • LGBTQ rights

An indication of this throwback court’s limited concept of our rights is contained in the words of Justice Kavanaugh, “For example, may a state bar a resident of that state from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion? In my view, the answer is no based on the constitutional right to interstate travel.”

The Supreme Court as now constituted does not reflect the values of most Americans. In another blog, I propose that Justice Thomas be forced to resign. This can be the beginning of changing the direction of the Supreme Court.

13 GOP AGs want a ‘fugitive slave act’ to track their states’ abortion and trans felons.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has plans to add $57 million to his proposed state budget in preparation for a possible influx of out-of-state patients who are seeking abortions (Axios). Pro-choice states, including New York, are budgeting accordingly.

The draft ruling published by Politico in May would give individual states authority over abortion access. According to the abortion rights advocacy group Guttmacher Institute:

Abortion is now banned (or close to it) in 15 states, according to a Washington Post abortion tracker.

In the United States, 58 percent of women of reproductive age live in states taking away abortion rights, according to the Guttmacher Institute (The Guardian).

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. In total, about 700 women die every year of pregnancy-related complications in the U.S., and about 3 in 5 of those deaths are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A University of Colorado study found there will be abortion a 21% increase in the number of pregnancy-related deaths overall and a 33% increase among Black women, simply because staying pregnant is more dangerous than having an abortion. Back alley” abortions will be the last resource for women with no access to safe and legal services, and the horrific consequences of such abortions will become a major cause of death and severe health complications for some of the most vulnerable women in this country.

All across the nation, people are voicing their anxieties about a right that for decades has been taken for granted.  In cities across the country, thousands of Americans have turned out to rally for abortion rights in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin,  Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, St. Peterburg, Florida, and 200 communities across the country.

Men have a stake in Roe vs. Wade.  Abortion is usually a joint decision between a man and a woman. With earning a living an ever-present challenge, one in five men have been involved in an abortion, as men have been involved in an abortion, one study finds.

The Washington Post has reported that Republicans plan to pass a national ban on abortion if they win back control of Congress. This would include even the blue states where abortion rights remain legal and protected. And if the Supreme Court gets away with overturning Roe v. Wade, it means the odds are they would let Congressional Republicans get away with banning abortion nationwide. America is out-of-step with reproductive rights being recognized by more nations.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has said he will oppose a Democratic bill to guarantee abortion access nationwide, indicating that it was too broad to get his vote. Manchin proves himself once more to be a  demi-Democrat.

Meanwhile, opponents of abortion are already using methods like license plate tracking, body cam recordings, and Wi-Fi networks designed to find people so they can direct them to anti-abortion arguments and if states to criminalize abortion, this data could be used by anti-abortion activists to try to prosecute people seeking abortions.

As the dissenting judges said, reversing Roe vs. Waderemoves a right nearly 50 years old and is at odds with polls that show consistent public support for Roe.

But more, the dissenting justices said, the opinion “breaches a core rule-of-law principle, designed to promote constancy in the law … It places in jeopardy other rights, from contraception to same-sex intimacy and marriage. And finally, it undermines the Court’s legitimacy.”

All 13 states that have GOP-controlled legislatures — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming — have “trigger laws” that functionally banned abortion as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated it as a right.

 

Alabama

The 2019 Human Life Protection Act, which had been held by an injunction, was allowed to go into effect Friday. It makes it unlawful “for any person to intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion” unless “an abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”

Alaska

The right to an abortion is protected by state law and constitution. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said, though, the overturning of Roe v. Wade will cause “renewed conversation” on the issue of abortion rights in the state.

Arizona

Arizona has a law enacted 48 years before Arizona became a state, making helping a woman with abortion is criminalized without exceptions. The individual who enacted the 1864 Arizona law prohibiting abortion, Jones, was described in a 1990 article in the Journal of Arizona History as a “prevaricator, a poet, a politician, and someone who pursued young females.”

Arkansas

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge signed the state’s trigger law into effect Friday, banning abortion in the state following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The Arkansas Human Life Protection Act makes performing or attempting to perform an abortion a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. The only exception is if the mother’s life is in danger.

California

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

Colorado

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

Connecticut

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

Delaware

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

Florida

A law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy will go into effect July 1.

Georgia

A law prohibiting abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy was signed in 2019 but not in effect following legal challenges.

Hawaii

The right to abortion is protected by state law.

Idaho

A trigger law making abortion illegal goes into effect 30 days after Roe is overturned.

Illinois

The right to abortion is protected by state law.

Indiana

Indiana became the first state after Roe was reversed to ban abortion.

Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court in June reversed an earlier court ruling that the state constitution guaranteed the right to abortion.

Kansas

The right to abortion is protected by state law. Voters will decide on Aug. 2 whether to change the state constitution to say there is no right to abortion.

Kentucky

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Friday that abortion is now banned in the state after a trigger law went into effect. Under the law, anybody who performs or attempts to perform an abortion will be charged with a Class D felony, punishable by one to five years in prison. The only exception is if the mother’s health is at risk.

Louisiana

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Friday abortion is banned in the state after a trigger law went into effect following the Supreme Court’s decision.

Earlier this week, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that strengthened the 2006 trigger law that went into effect Friday. The new law increases the penalties abortion providers face: prison terms range from one to 10 years and $10,000 to $100,000 in fines.

The state constitution also bars the right to abortion, and lawmakers recently approved a bill to ban abortion after “fertilization and implantation.”

Maine

The right to abortion is protected by state law.

Maryland

The right to abortion is protected by state law.

Massachusetts

The right to abortion is protected by state law. On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order to “further preserve” abortion rights in Massachusetts and protect “reproductive health care providers who serve out of state residents.”

Michigan

pre-Roe v. Wade law bans abortions, but a judge ruled in May the state government cannot enforce the law as a lawsuit Planned Parenthood filed against the state plays out. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is also working to protect the right in the state.

A Michigan judge Friday blocked county prosecutors from enforcing a 91-year-old law banning abortion in the state while courts consider a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law. The ruling means abortion will remain legal in Michigan for the foreseeable future. The 1931 law bans abortion for all women, and doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest.  and calls for the prosecution of reproductive care providers.

The ruling comes after the state Court of Appeals earlier this month cleared a path for county prosecutors to enforce the 1931 law by ruling they were not covered by a May order.

“It is clear to the Court that only one group is harmed by this statute- women, and people capable of carrying children,” Oakland County Judge Jacob Cunningham said during his ruling.

The 1931 abortion ban doesn’t pass constitutional muster, he said.

Minnesota

The right to an abortion is protected under the state constitution.

Mississippi

A trigger law banning nearly all abortions would go into effect immediately after Roe is overturned. In addition to its 15-week abortion ban at the center of the Supreme Court case, Mississippi has a 6-week abortion ban.

Missouri

Missouri ended the right to abortion following the Supreme Court decision. On Friday, Gov. Mike Parsons tweeted that he signed a proclamation activating the Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act, ending elective abortions in the state.

Montana

The right to an abortion is currently protected under the state constitution.

Nebraska

The right to an abortion is neither protected nor barred in the state constitution. Gov. Pete Ricketts has said he will push for the state legislature to pass a total abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Nevada

The right to an abortion is protected under the Nevada Revised Statutes, the codified laws of the state.   However, Montana voters will vote to dramatically reverse women’s rights at the ballot box in November when they vote on an anti-abortion ballot measure. That measure, known as LR-131, would require “health care providers to take necessary actions to preserve the life of a born-alive infant” or face up to 20 years in prison.

New Hampshire

The right to an abortion is not protected by state law.

New Jersey

The right to an abortion is protected under the state constitution.

New Mexico

The right to an abortion is neither protected nor barred in the state constitution.

New York

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

North Carolina

The right to an abortion is not protected by state law.

North Dakota

A trigger law is in place to make abortion illegal. After Roe is overturned, the Legislative Council must approve a recommendation from the state’s attorney general that the ban on abortion is constitutional.

Ohio

A 6-week ban on abortion that had been previously blocked was allowed to go into effect Friday.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor announced Friday the state trigger law banning abortions went into effect after the Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade. Prior to the ruling, Oklahoma had a near-total ban on abortion.

Oregon

The right to have an abortion is protected in the state constitution.

Pennsylvania

The right to an abortion is not protected by constitutional or statutory laws.

Rhode Island

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

South Carolina

The right to an abortion is not protected by state law.

South Dakota

A trigger law was in place to make abortion illegal. After Roe was overturned, it went into effect immediately without further action required.

The law makes all abortions illegal “unless there is appropriate and reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female.”

Tennessee

A trigger law is in place to make abortion illegal that goes into effect 30 days after Roe is overturned with no further action required. The state constitution bars protection of the right.

Texas

A trigger law is in place to make abortion illegal that goes into effect 30 days after Roe is overturned with no further action required. The state already has a 6-week ban in effect.

Utah

Most abortions are now illegal in Utah after the trigger law ban was put into effect. The law does allow for exceptions for rape, incest, averting maternal death or impairment, and lethal fetal deformity.

Vermont

The right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.

Virginia

The right to an abortion is not protected by constitutional or statutory laws.

Washington

Under the Code of Washington, individuals are not allowed to interfere with a pregnant person’s right have an abortion.

West Virginia

A state constitutional amendment bars the protection of the right to an abortion. Abortion is still legal in West Virginia, but there is an 1882 law on the books that makes performing abortions a felony punishable by three to 10 years in prison. It’s unclear if it will go into effect follow Roe’s overturn. Gov. Jim Justice said Friday he is meeting with the Legislature and his legal team to decide if the state’s abortion laws need to be updated.

Despite abortion still being legal in the state, the only clinic said in a statement on Facebook it will not be performing the procedure “until further notice.”

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a pre-Roe law dating back to 1849 making an abortion a felony that could go back into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Wyoming

A trigger law is in place to make abortion illegal. It would require certification by the governor, advised by the Attorney General within 30 days of the Supreme Court ruling.

The consequences of reversing Roe are becoming evident.

A Florida court ruled that a 16-year-old wasn’t ‘sufficiently mature’ enough to have an abortion.

In Texas, a woman says she was denied an abortion for a medical emergency.

The Kentucky Supreme Court declined to block the state’s near-total abortion ban while it reviews legal challenges to the law.

The President laid out the fastest and best way to return women to their rights:

“Let me be clear. While I wish it had not come to this, this is the fastest route available,” Biden said. “The fastest way to restore Roe is to pass a national law codifying Roe, which I will sign immediately upon its passage on my desk.”

A vivid illustration of the grief that is being caused by the Roe reversal is a 10-year-old girl from Ohio who was raped and traveled to Indiana for an abortion. The girl’s doctor was afraid she was too far into her pregnancy to get an abortion, even though she was only six weeks and three days along — meaning she had probably just learned that she was pregnant. This was due to an Ohio law banning abortions once fetal cardiac activity is detected (sometimes as early as six weeks). This was reported by, the Indianapolis Star.

This case is showing how dangerous the Court’s ruling is becoming. The Republican Attorney General says he is looking into the licensure of the physician who provided abortion services to the 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.  Rokita, the Attorney General, appeared on Fox News and called the doctor “an abortion activist acting as a doctor.” He accused her of having a history of failing to report abortions and that an investigation into the physician and her license is underway.

Another casualty of Roe is sex education coincides with abortion restrictions and a movement to stop educators from discussing gender and sexual orientation.

Seventeen members of Congress — including Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) — were among dozens of abortion rights protesters arrested  outside the Supreme Court in a rally demanding immediate action to protect abortion following the court’s decision  to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Thirty-five people were arrested for crowding, obstructing or incommoding, a D.C. code often cited when arresting protesters during peaceful, planned, and coordinated actions of civil disobedience such as the demonstration on Tuesday. Those arrested were ticketed and released on-site, as is standard practice during events such as this, said Capitol Police spokesman Tim Barber.

Among those arrested were members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and including Assistant House Speaker Katherine M. Clark (Mass.) and Reps. Bush, Omar, Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), and Carolyn B. Maloney (N.Y.), according to their offices.

Can women be prosecuted for crossing state lines to get an abortion?
As a general rule, this should not happen. Even Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that it would be a step too far to ban women from traveling across state lines to seek care. The Constitution protects interstate commerce, and that means it also protects interstate travel, he wrote, calling it “not especially difficult as a constitutional matter.”
In the year following the Supreme Court Dobbs decision, the abortion landscape in the United States became more fractured than ever.

 

Abortions increased nationwide, according to a new report from #WeCount, a research project led by the Society of Family Planning, the average monthly change in the 12 months post-Dobbs compared to the two months pre-Dobbs adds up to about 2,200 more abortions over the course of a year.

 

But the trends diverged sharply based on state policy, with abortions all but stopped in states with bans and significant increases in many states where abortion remained legal.

 

There were about 115,000 fewer abortions in the 17 states with total or six-week bans in effect – plummeting 98% in banned states and dropping 40% in those with 6-week gestational limits, according to the new report. About a third of the overall decline can be attributed to Texas.

 

The remaining 33 states where abortion remained legal, along with the District of Columbia, recorded nearly 117,000 more abortions – a 14% increase year-over-year.

 

“This is a sign of increasing inequality of access,” said Caitlin Myers, a  professor of economics at Middlebury College. Her research has focused on abortion trends, but she was not involved in the new analysis.

“Whether somebody who wants to access abortion can actually do so depends more than ever on where they live,” she said.

Much of the increase in states where abortion remains legal were among patients who traveled from states with bans or restrictions, experts say. The new report doesn’t capture how widespread the need to travel for an abortion has become, but local data suggests a clear trend.

Earlier research has shown that travel is a significant barrier. And even if additional resources help reduce the burden on patients, it shouldn’t be the gauge of success, experts say.

“It’s really not a public health triumph that people have to mobilize the financial and social resources to travel, sometimes hundreds of miles away from their home, to obtain basic health care,” said Dr. Alison Norris, co-chair of #WeCount and association professor at The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health. “That’s really a public health crisis.”

17 members of Congress were arrested and subsequently released at an abortion rights protest outside the Supreme Court on July 19. (Video: The Washington Post)

In the weeks following the Supreme Court’s decision, confusion surrounding new abortion-related laws has led to patients being denied much-needed maternal health care.

Confusion post-Roe spurs delays, denials for some lifesaving pregnancy care

At the time of the decision to overturn Roe, 13 states had “trigger bans,” designed to take effect to prohibit abortion within 30 days of the ruling. At least eight states banned the procedure the day the ruling was released.

Now, common complications, including incomplete miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, have now been scrutinized, delayed, and even denied, according to the accounts of doctors in multiple states where new laws have gone into effect.

The supporters of reversing Roe claim they want to protect life. Following the decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the once constitutionally protected right to an abortion, young women and others across the country have increasingly requested sterilization, according to obstetrician-gynecologists who have seen upticks in Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida.

Because of the overturning of Roe, is causing women to undergo major surgery and take on the complications and risks that come with it just so they don’t have to worry about carrying an unwanted pregnancy.

Access to abortion meant women could pursue a child-free life if they chose. But lawmakers appear determined to take away their choices.

Another foreseeable consequence of reversal is that the number of men seeking vasectomies is on the rise.  People’s needs and choices are not stopped by a regressive court decision.

Signs of resistance are becoming commonplace. Seventeen members of Congress — including Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) — were among dozens of abortion rights protesters arrested Tuesday outside the Supreme Court in a rally demanding immediate action to protect abortion following the court’s decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Also at risk is the right to love whomever a person chooses. By 2121  half of Americans supported marriage equality, according to Gallup’s data, which show support growing by an average of 1% to 2% per year since the mid-1990s. By the time the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 issued its marriage equality decision, Obergefell vs. Hodges, support had grown to about 60%.

Since then, same-sex marriages have become routine. The Census Bureau last year estimated that 980,000 same-sex households exist in the U.S., roughly 1.5% of all households in the country, of whom about 58% were headed by married couples. The share of the public that supports equal marriage rights now surpasses 70%.

Reaction to the Roe’s fate has been convincing and swift. Kansas, a red state, resoundingly rejected an amendment that would have led to abortion bans. Democratic voters especially turned out in higher numbers, and the ballot measure was rejected by a huge margin.  Corporations are recognizing their responsibility to their employees. Walmart, the largest U.S. private employer, expands abortion coverage for staff.

The results prompted President Biden to call again for Congress to codify abortion protections into federal law, and on Wednesday he signed an executive order to help patients travel across state lines for abortion care.

Changing the Constitution is one of the most difficult processes in all of governing. There are a couple of different ways to do it. One of the most common requires a two-thirds vote in Congress and then three-fourths of states (38 states) to ratify it.

Take the Equal Rights Amendment: Congress passed it in 1972 and sent it to the states for ratification. But only 35 states ratified it before the deadline passed (three-fourths have now ratified, but a few did so after the deadline), so it still hasn’t been added. So it’s highly unlikely that a more controversial amendment, such as one enshrining the right to abortion or banning assault weapons, would make it through such a rigorous process, especially at a time when states are so divided on these policies.

With the  Supreme Court so clearly on the wrong side of history and one of the justices so clearly corrupted, it may be easier to bring pressure on some judges to resign, particularly Justice Thomas.

22 states have laws or constitutional amendments on the books now poised to severely limit access to abortion or ban it outright. Even before the Supreme Court issued its decision, states with more restrictive abortion laws had higher maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Now, experts are predicting at least a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths across the country.

1 in 3 American women has already lost abortion access. More restrictive laws are coming.

 Two months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, about 20.9 million women have lost access to nearly all elective abortions in their home states, and a slate of strict new trigger laws expected to take effect in the coming days will shut out even more.

Texas, Tennessee, and Idaho all have existing restrictions on abortion, but the laws slated to begin Thursday will either outlaw the procedure entirely or heighten penalties for doctors who perform an abortion, contributing to a seismic shift in who can access abortion in their home states.

At least 11 other states have banned most abortions, prohibiting the procedure with narrow exceptions from the time of conception or after fetal cardiac activity is detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy, with legislation known as “heartbeat” laws. Five more states have similar bans temporarily blocked by the courts. If those injunctions are lifted, abortion could soon be inaccessible for millions more — in total, 36 percent of U.S. women between the ages of 15 and 44 would be largely unable to obtain an elective abortion in the state where they live.

The rapid pace of change has shocked even the closest observers.

“I just thought there would be a little more time to help providers and patients cope with these changes,” said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks abortion legislation in the states for the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit research center that supports abortion rights. “It was very clear that that sort of grace period was not going to be provided.”

Advocates and doctors in favor of abortion rights fear that the newest trigger laws — which in Texas will carry a potential life sentence for doctors who perform an abortion — will have a chilling effect on helping people who either need an abortion because they are facing life-threatening complications or are trying to travel and get one elsewhere. The stiffer laws come as patients and providers navigate a confusing tangle of policies amid ongoing legal challenges that at times have made abortion accessible one day and completely illegal the next. Even more changes are on the horizon as lawmakers in South Carolina and West Virginia consider new bills during special legislative sessions.

Patients in states such as Tennessee have rushed in recent days to try to make last-minute appointments before they lose access to abortion completely — some only to be turned away, ineligible for an abortion because of the state’s “heartbeat” law.

Kaydria, a 28-year-old from Jackson, Miss., started researching the changing abortion laws as soon as she found out she was pregnant in mid-August. With abortion already banned in her home state, she decided to drive three hours to Memphis.

She knew she’d have to hurry: On Aug. 25, all elective abortions would be banned there, too.

“I needed to go ahead and take care of it,” said Kaydria, who spoke on the condition that only her first name be used to protect her privacy. “I knew I didn’t have time.”

Roughly 14 states have bans outlawing most abortions, with varying exemptions and penalties for doctors. In all, nearly 21 million — about 1 in 3 girls and women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 — have lost access to the procedure, according to U.S. census data. The restrictions apply to both medication and surgical abortions.

The states that bar abortion from conception tend to be located in the South and the Midwest, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Wisconsin has conflicting laws that leave the legality of abortion uncertain, but clinics stopped providing abortions in the state after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, effectively ending abortion within its borders. Georgia, Idaho, Ohio, and Tennessee have bans that begin when fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which can occur before many people realize they are pregnant.

The Austin City Council passed a resolution that seeks to decriminalize abortion care. The move was especially urgent given that Texans, who have already been living under a draconian abortion law for nearly a year, face a full “trigger” ban with harsh criminal penalties and an attorney general eager to prosecute. The proposal is now spreading across Texas—and beyond.

A shimmer of light in these dark times, municipalities like Austin are creatively harnessing their local power and uplifting their progressive values to fight back against onerous state abortion laws and, importantly, proving that we can find pockets of hope, determination, and optimism in our communities amid what often feels like perpetual doom in life after Roe.

Religion claiming restrictions on the legitimacy of abortion imposes on most people’s sense of what is right or wrong.

Marjorie Taylor Green introduced a bill to make gender-affirming care for transgender youth a felony. Demonstrating where the Republicans really stand, Senator Lindsay Graham on Tuesday, August 23 introduced a bill that would ban abortions nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Can the Republicans be more tone-deaf? Graham, the quintessential hypocrite previously said abortions should be left to the states.

America is the only industrialized country without some form of universal health care – it’s the poor who suffer the most. Survey data shows that nearly 50% of women who seek abortions live under the poverty line. What pregnant women deserve is free abortion on demand, under any circumstance.

How telling it is that having gotten Roe reversed, Republicans, are not talking about increasing the life chances of children being born only because of Roe’s reversal.  It’s time the United States join other developed countries in providing universal health care. Doing so would raise the life chances of Americans.

In Texas, U.S. District Judge James Hendrix halted emergency abortion guidance that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued last month’s administration that requires doctors to provide abortions in emergency medical situations even if doing so would run afoul of state law.

The government urged the court to find that a 1986 federal law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) superseded some restrictive state abortion laws passed in the wake of the demise of Roe vs. Wade.

The EMTALA law requires a hospital to provide stabilizing care to any patient that presents with an emergency medical condition.  The Biden Administration maintains that abortion qualifies as stabilizing care under the law.

A federal judge in Utah August 24 temporarily blocked Idaho’s abortion ban from taking effect during medical emergencies, ruling that it conflicts with federal law. This was the first court win in the federal effort to assure women needing medical attention can get it regardless of state law.

The National Association of Evangelicals called climate action a Christian responsibility in a 50-page report in August 2021, a call to action for a demographic that is less likely than the general population to consider climate change a threat.

The NAE’s report, entitled “Loving the Least of These,” addresses the scientific evidence for the reality of climate change and the role of greenhouse gas emissions in driving it, as well as examining and debunking common arguments against the objectivity of climatologists.

The report goes on to address the issue from a theological and personal perspective, outlining biblical arguments for environmental stewardship.

“The earth brings glory to God, and God continues to care for and sustain the natural processes of the world. The psalmist says: ‘Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul’ (Psalm 103:22),” it reads. “Because God’s glory is revealed in creation, we should be intentional about caring for his artistry.”

The report also cites Matthew: 22’s edict to “Love your neighbor as yourself” in the context of the human suffering caused by climate change and environmental disasters, and outlines personal experiences and examples of the human toll of those ongoing disasters.

The organization, which represents 45,000 evangelical churches, has acknowledged the existence of climate change.

It’s ironic that suffragettes celebrated a major victory 102 years ago today: A proclamation was signed that added the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving some 26 million women voting rights for the first time.

When the Founding Fathers were drafting the earliest laws, Abigail Adams encouraged her husband, then-Vice President John Adams, to “remember the ladies” — yet the resulting Constitution omitted the word “women.” Seneca Falls, New York, hosted the inaugural women’s rights convention in 1848.

Three decades later, a women’s suffrage amendment was introduced in Congress, and more than 40 more years later a suffrage bill finally passed in the House and Senate. Afterward, 36 states needed to ratify the amendment for constitutional inclusion. An indecisive 24-year-old, Representative Harry T. Burns, cast the deciding vote, ultimately favoring ratification at the behest of his mother giving women the right to vote.

The laws of some states place our country outside the pale of what is internationally acceptable. If the U.S. does not change course on women’s rights, the U.S. will be the subject of international scorn and sanctions.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a new rule making the agency an abortion provider. The VA has already started providing abortions to pregnant veterans and VA beneficiaries in the limited circumstances set out in the rule, which took effect when it was published on Sept. 9.

  • The VA’s rule would allow abortions for those who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest, or if a pregnancy endangered the “life and health” of the person seeking an abortion.
  • There are still questions about how “health” will be interpreted. VA officials have said it will be up to veterans and doctors to determine whether health is endangered on a case-by-case basis.

Republicans have questioned the legality of the rule and promised to give the department a tough time if the GOP regains control of Congress in the fall.

It has now been 100 days since the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion, triggering states across the country to enact restrictive abortion laws. Since the high court’s June decision, dozens of clinics across 15 states have been forced to stop offering abortions.

People are still getting abortions. With its Dobbs v. Jackson decision in June, the Supreme Court overturned the half-century-old Roe v. Wade and effectively made abortion illegal in nearly half of US states. New data from the Society of Family Planning shows that the number of clinician-provided abortions in those states has plummeted. (It’s important to remember that data wouldn’t include self-managed abortions, where women take abortion pills at home.)

What’s perhaps more interesting is the notable jumps in abortion in states surrounding those where abortion is illegal, suggesting that women are traveling to get medical care. In Kansas, the number of abortions rose 36 percent from April to August; abortion became illegal in neighboring Oklahoma during the same time. North Carolina, which is surrounded by the less abortion-friendly South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, saw a 37 percent jump.

Those jumps show up in national numbers. Despite declining by 100 percent in a number of states, the number of recorded abortions in the US only declined a modest 6 percent nationwide, from 85,020 in April to 79,620 abortions in August 2022. Of course, traveling to another state can be prohibitively expensive for many, meaning that poorer people will have a harder time terminating pregnancies in states with strict abortion laws.

Now men can have birth control. The Pill went on the market for women in the 1960s. And The Pill went on the market for women in the 1960s. And the male contraception pill? Researchers would joke that it was “a couple of years away for 50 years.”

But now, new forms of birth control for men finally seem within reach. Not just male hormonal pills but gels and implants. Many of these developing products are more convenient and foolproof than condoms or easily reversed than vasectomies.
Is this a new “Woke” issue for the Right?

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a decision by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, which had paused FDA approval for the abortion pill mifepristone. That’s a great victory for abortion rights advocates, right? Nope! As part of its decision, the appeals court also rolled back major FDA changes which made mifepristone easier to obtain —  blocking the drug from being sent by mail, forcing patients to go to doctors for their prescriptions, and making them undergo multiple in-person examinations while taking the medication. Also, it can now only be administered 49 days into a pregnancy, down from the 70 days set by the FDA.

As a lawyer for a conservative legal group, Matthew Kacsmaryk, in early 2017, submitted an article to a Texas law review criticizing Obama-era protections for transgender people and those seeking abortions.

The Obama administration, the draft article argued, had discounted religious physicians who “cannot use their scalpels to make female what God created male” and “cannot use their pens to prescribe or dispense abortifacient drugs designed to kill unborn children.”

But a few months after the piece arrived, an editor at the law journal who had been working with Kacsmaryk received an unusual email: Citing “reasons I may discuss at a later date,” Kacsmaryk, who had originally been listed as the article’s sole author, said he would be removing his name and replacing it with those of two colleagues at his legal group, First Liberty Institute, according to emails and early drafts obtained by The Washington Post.

Now, six years later, as Kacsmaryk sits as a judge in Amarillo, Tex., his strong ideological views have grabbed the country’s attention after he ruled this month that sought to block government approval of a key drug used in more than half of all abortions in the country — an opinion that invoked antiabortion-movement rhetoric and which some medical experts have said relied on debunked claims that exaggerate potential harms of the drug.

Legal abortions probably increased in the United States in the first half of the year compared with 2020, an analysis of new estimates shows, as states with fewer abortion restrictions welcomed patients traveling from those with bans and access to abortion pills through telemedicine grew. New research from the Guttmacher Institute gives the latest picture of legal abortions since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year changed access to abortion nationwide and allowed more than a dozen states to prohibit or limit the procedure.

There are no estimates yet of women who were turned away from abortions or those who could not get them. The increases in most states may also hide the number of abortions stopped by the bans. “Abortions had started rising before Dobbs, and they may have risen even faster than observed if not for the bans,” Dr. Myers said. The Guttmacher Institute’s report is based on a survey of physical abortion clinics and telehealth and virtual providers. The institute, which supports abortion rights, does not contact all clinics in each state but uses a sample to estimate the number of abortions.

The report does not include abortions obtained outside of the formal health care system, such as pills mailed into states with bans from other countries or states where abortion is legal. Other data suggests that thousands of people, especially those living in states with bans, have ordered abortion pills online from abroad. Large states like California, Florida, Illinois, and New York had the most abortions. Because the researchers used a statistical model, they reported a range of uncertainty in their counts, and there was more uncertainty in states with more abortion providers. Data was not collected from the 14 states with abortion bans in effect in the first part of the year.

What Lies Ahead if Trump Has a Second Term

Allies of former President Trump are aiming to tighten restrictions on abortion if the GOP frontrunner secures another term in the White House later this year.

While these plans originate from the Heritage Foundation rather than the Trump campaign directly, the influential think tank’s Project 2025 represents the most comprehensive pre-transition planning effort thus far.

The detailed proposals from Heritage highlight conservatives’ longstanding discontent with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), particularly regarding abortion policy, at a time when they could wield significant influence over such matters under a potential Trump re-election.

Recent attention to the issue stemmed from a New York Times column referencing Heritage’s extensive 887-page document titled “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise,” released last year.

Within this document, Heritage advocates for the HHS to revert to its former title of the Department of Life, explicitly rejecting the classification of abortion as healthcare. Additionally, Heritage proposes amending the department’s mission statement to prioritize the health and well-being of all Americans “from conception to natural death.”

As part of its “Life Agenda,” Heritage also calls for the removal of the HHS Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force, established by the Biden administration shortly before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Instead, Heritage suggests establishing a pro-life task force to ensure that all HHS divisions prioritize promoting the life and health of women and unborn children.

However, it’s important to note that neither Trump nor his campaign have endorsed Heritage’s document, according to the New York Times. The campaign has emphasized that unless a second-term priority is explicitly articulated by President Trump himself or officially communicated by the campaign, it is not authorized.

It appears that Republicans have little regard for the well-being of women, especially if they happen to be teenagers and sexually active.
This sentiment is underscored by a recent and profoundly disturbing scientific study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network titled “Teen Pregnancy and Risk of Premature Mortality.”
The study, which examined over 2.2 million women who experienced teen and pre-teen pregnancies, revealed a shocking finding summarized in a New York Times article: “Teenagers who had babies were twice as likely to die before age 31.”
This critical statistic is not likely to be highlighted on Fox News or in right-wing media, which often champion a narrative promoting childbirth, even in cases of sexual assault.
Recall the troubling incident involving Republican Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio, who compelled a 10-year-old rape victim to seek an abortion in Indiana, despite his Attorney General dismissing the story as a fabrication. DeWine’s reluctance to advocate for the girl’s right to choose reflected a disturbing trend among Republican officials.
Similarly, figures like Congressman Jim Jordan and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have downplayed the importance of abortion access for victims of sexual assault, disregarding the profound physical and psychological toll pregnancy can have on young girls.
Contrary to popular belief, teenage pregnancies are not merely life-altering but also life-threatening, as highlighted by the JAMA Network study. This issue is particularly prevalent in Republican-controlled states, which consistently report the highest rates of teen pregnancies.
Even after adjusting for pre-existing health conditions, income, and education levels, the study found that teenagers who carried pregnancies to term were still more than twice as likely to experience premature death later in life.
Meanwhile, rapists in these states, emboldened by restrictive abortion laws, continue to victimize vulnerable women with impunity.
Recent legislation and court rulings further exacerbate the situation. In Texas, for instance, strict abortion bans have led to a surge in rape-related pregnancies, with thousands of survivors left without access to reproductive healthcare.
Additionally, conservative judges and lawmakers are actively working to restrict access to birth control, particularly for teenage girls. Efforts to dismantle federally-funded Title X clinics and enforce archaic laws like the Comstock Act threaten to roll back decades of progress in women’s reproductive rights.
The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 lays bare the GOP’s agenda, which includes surveilling and controlling women’s bodies under the guise of moral righteousness. From limiting access to contraception to criminalizing abortion, Republicans are determined to strip women of their autonomy and dignity.
In stark contrast, President Joe Biden’s recent executive order and funding initiatives aim to prioritize women’s health and well-being. With expanded funding and a renewed focus on research, the Biden administration is taking concrete steps to address the systemic barriers women face in accessing quality healthcare.
The choice is clear: women must be vigilant in safeguarding their rights and resisting the regressive agenda pushed by Republican lawmakers. The future of women’s health hangs in the balance, and it’s up to us to ensure that progress prevails over oppression.

The landscape of abortion in the United States appears to be evolving in two seemingly contradictory ways. On one hand, there has been a surge in attacks on abortion rights, with nearly half of the states implementing or planning to implement bans on the procedure since June 2022. However, despite these restrictive measures, the overall incidence of abortion has increased significantly. Recent data from the Guttmacher Institute reveals that there were more abortions in the formal US healthcare system in 2023 than in any year since 2011, with approximately 1 million abortions performed, marking a 10 percent increase over 2020.

Several factors contribute to this increase in abortions despite the tightening restrictions. One factor is the rise in out-of-state travel for abortions, as more than 160,000 individuals crossed state lines to terminate pregnancies in 2023, nearly double the number from 2020. Additionally, residents living in states without restrictive abortion laws are increasingly seeking abortions, driven by improved access policies such as telehealth services, sliding-scale payment options, and expanded Medicaid coverage.

Another significant factor contributing to the rise in abortions is the increasing popularity of medication abortion, which involves the use of mifepristone and misoprostol. Medication abortion accounted for 63 percent of all US abortions in 2023, up from 53 percent in 2020. Reasons for choosing medication abortion include limited access to in-person abortion clinics, preference for privacy, and lower cost compared to surgical abortion.

Despite efforts by the anti-abortion movement to restrict access to medication abortion, advocates for abortion rights have made strides in expanding access to the medication, even in states with total abortion bans. Shield laws, e-commerce platforms, and international providers have facilitated easier, faster, and cheaper access to abortion medication nationwide.

However, there are still unknowns regarding the increase in abortion incidence. It remains unclear whether shifting childbearing decisions, such as a decrease in the desire to have children or a preference to delay childbearing, contribute to the rising abortion rates. Additionally, data on individuals who desired to terminate pregnancies but were unable to do so is challenging to collect.

With uncertainties surrounding future legal and funding landscapes, the trajectory of abortion trends in the United States remains uncertain. However, ongoing monitoring and research will provide insights into the factors driving the evolving landscape of abortion access and incidence in the country.

The Comstock Act, a federal law enacted in 1873, was named after Anthony Comstock, a fervent advocate for what he considered moral purity. The Act criminalized the use of the postal service for the distribution of obscene materials, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing products.

Recently, during a Supreme Court session, Justices Sam Alito and Clarence Thomas, along with Erin Hawley, highlighted the Act’s potential relevance to current debates on reproductive rights. They suggested that the Comstock Act could be used to challenge the distribution of abortion-related drugs like Mifepristone. This invocation of the Comstock Act signals a possible judicial revival that could impact the future of reproductive healthcare in the United States.

Trump’s stance on abortion has undergone a shift. Previously boasting about dismantling Roe vs. Wade, he now seems to advocate for both sides, positioning himself as an anti-abortion advocate while also supporting states’ rights on the issue. This apparent flip-flop appears to be a strategic move to mitigate political risks.

Support for strict abortion restrictions has become a contentious issue in the election, particularly among women and independent voters, according to recent polls. Trump’s advisors recognize the potential electoral impact, especially in swing states, where small margins could sway the outcome.

Trump’s attempt to divert attention from reproductive rights is viewed as a calculated maneuver, though its effectiveness remains uncertain. Despite his efforts, criticism persists, particularly from his own supporters, indicating skepticism about his sincerity.

Clarence Thomas, The Most Corrupt Justice in Our History Needs To Be Forced to Resign

It seems impossible for 24 hours to pass without another major revelation expanding the overwhelming scope of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ corruption. In the latest news, The Washington Post reports that conservative activist Leonard Leo funneled “tens of thousands” to Thomas’ wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas. And to make it clear that everyone involved knew this was sketchy as hell, Leonard instructed that the money be billed through a company with “No mention of Ginni, of course.”

Ginni Thomas—wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—endorsed the rally in Washington, demanding that Congress overturn the election. She then sent her “LOVE” to the demonstrators, who violently overtook the Capitol several hours later. Thomas amended her post two days later with the addendum: “[Note: written before violence in US Capitol].”

By that point, five people involved in the insurrection, including a Capitol Police officer, had died. Subscribe to the Slatest newsletter A daily email update of the stories you need to read right now.

Thomas, a conservative lobbyist and zealous supporter of Donald Trump, has fervently defended the president over the last four years. On her Facebook page, she frequently promotes baseless conspiracy theories about a “coup” against Trump led by Jewish philanthropist George Soros, a frequent target of anti-Semitic hate.

Thomas draws many of these theories from fringe corners of the internet, including an anti-vax Facebook group that claimed Bill Gates would use the COVID-19 vaccine to kill people. In recent months, she also amplified unsubstantiated corruption claims against Joe Biden while insisting, falsely, that the Obama administration illegally spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign, then tried to rig the election against him. In turn, Trump has rewarded Thomas with extraordinary access to the Oval Office. Her advocacy group, Groundswell, got an audience with the president in early 2019. According to the New York Times, the meeting was arranged after Clarence and Ginni Thomas had dinner with the Trumps.

Clarence Thomas and Trump appear to be quite friendly: The justice took his clerks to meet with the president in the Oval Office at least once; Ginni attended as well.) At the White House, Groundswell’s members lobbied Trump against transgender service in the military, which he already prohibited in 2017.

Around Groundswell’s meeting, the ban took effect in 2019 after the Supreme Court lifted lower court orders blocking it by a 5–4 vote. (Clarence Thomas did not recuse himself from the case; he has never recused from any case because of his wife’s lobbying activities.) The New York Times also reported that Ginni Thomas compiled lists of federal employees she deemed insufficiently loyal to the president. She sent her lists to Trump, urging him to fire the disloyal employees, though he seemingly ignored her. He has, however, stacked his administration with former Thomas clerks.

Throughout the 2020 campaign, Thomas remained active on Facebook, condemning Black Lives Matter, opposing COVID-19 shutdowns, and touting the “Walk Away” movement, which purports to spotlight Democrats who became Republicans under Trump. (At least two individuals featured in the “Walk Away” series, both Black, were models from royalty-free stock photos.)

She also campaigned for Trump in person—and, according to the Intercept, spearheaded a dark-money operation to support the president. Cleta Mitchell, the Republican lawyer who participated in Trump’s shakedown of the Georgia secretary of state, led the project.

After Nov. 3, Thomas grew uncharacteristically quiet on Facebook; she did not share popular conspiracy theories about election fraud, perhaps because election challenges would inevitably come before her husband. She provided her clearest statement on Jan. 6, when she enthusiastically endorsed the D.C. rally designed to make Congress overturn the election result and give Trump a second term. There is no evidence that Thomas personally attended the rally, and her posts indicate that she watched the events on TV from another location.

Federal law requires justices to recuse themselves from any proceeding in which their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” It also compels justices to recuse if their spouse has “an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome” of the case. In the coming months and years, Democrats will likely pressure Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from high-profile cases or to resign altogether. If Thomas steps down under Biden, progressives can restore a 5–4 divide on the Supreme Court, giving Chief Justice John Roberts control once again.

Given Thomas’ staunch refusal to recuse thus far, though, there is little chance that he will take any steps to remediate his conflicts of interest, let alone retire during the presidency of a man he openly despises. In all likelihood, Ginni Thomas will face no consequences for cheerleading a rally that sought to overturn an election, then laid siege to the Capitol in a failed insurrection. Her husband will ignore the controversy and continue to rule on cases that involve his wife’s lobbying efforts. We may never know how much influence a conspiracy theorist has on the highest court’s most conservative justice.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it well: “Each day that passes, the Supreme Court looks less like a bench and more like an auction house. Thomas should resign immediately…”

Leonard is a former vice president of the Federalist Society and connected to a network of “nonprofits” whose task was to get more conservative judges in place. One of those groups, the Judicial Education Project, had an upcoming case before the Supreme Court. Leonard went to Kellyanne Conway, then a Republican pollster, and had her bill the Judicial Education Project $25,000 for “constitution polling and opinion consulting,” which seems not to have been done. The money was then sent to Liberty Consulting, a company owned by Ginni Thomas.

A few months after the Judicial Education Project sent money to Ginni Thomas via Conway, they were in court in a case called Shelby County v. Holder, supporting an effort to strike down a portion of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the VRA was eliminated in a 5-4 vote, with Thomas providing the deciding vote that put Judicial Education Project on the winning side.

Justice Clarence Thomas failed to disclose a 2014 real estate deal with a GOP megadonor. The deal involved the sale of three properties in Savannah, Georgia, owned by Thomas and his relatives to  Harlan Crow, according to ProPublica.  The tax and property records showed that Crow purchased through one of his companies for $133,363.

But Thomas “never disclosed his sale of the Savannah properties,” and his failure to report it violates the law.“The transaction marks the first known instance of money flowing from the Republican megadonor to the Supreme Court justice,” ProPublica said in its report.

There is no doubt that the sale of personal real estate to Crow should have been reported on the justice’s financial disclosure form for 2014, and there is no excuse for failing to do so. The law requires government officials to include in their annual reports “a brief description, the date, and category of value of any purchase, sale or exchange during the preceding calendar year which exceeds $1,000,” including “in real property.”

The only exception is “property used solely as a personal residence of the reporting individual or the individual’s spouse.” Given this was reportedly Thomas’s mother’s house, that wouldn’t apply. The most logical explanation for Thomas not to disclose this transaction is that he wanted to keep it from public view.

Thomas’s relationship with Crow and the accuracy of his financial disclosure reports must now be fully scrutinized by the Judicial Conference of the United States, which oversees the federal judiciary and may refer the matter to the Justice Department for additional action. As Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. surely understands, this is a problem for Thomas and the court and its public legitimacy.

The Washington Post recently reported a particularly flagrant case wherein a conservative judicial activist named Leonard Leo covertly paid Thomas’s wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a minimum of $25,000 in 2012. Leo went to great lengths to ensure that the transaction remained concealed, as evidenced by his statement: “No mention of Ginni, of course.”

Thursday’s report comes on the heels of a bombshell investigation published last week by ProPublica that detailed Thomas and his wife’s luxury travel with the Crows, which included trips on the donor’s yacht and private jet.  Thomas is subject to criminal prosecution, and letting him resign would be a good deal for the nation and him.

Thursday’s report comes on the heels of a bombshell investigation published last week by ProPublica that detailed Thomas and his wife’s luxury travel with the Crows, which included trips on the donor’s yacht and private jet. The justice also did not disclose that travel, and he later defended the decision not to, saying in a rare statement last week that he was advised at the time that he did not have to report it.

Crow told CNN that he purchased the properties to “one day create a public museum at the Thomas home dedicated to telling the story of our nation’s second black Supreme Court Justice.”

hough two of the properties were later sold by Crow, according to his statement, the real estate magnate still owns the property on which Thomas’ elderly mother lives. Citing county tax records, ProPublica said one of Crow’s companies pays the “roughly $1,500 in annual property taxes on Thomas’ mother’s house,” which had previously been paid by the justice and his wife, Ginni.

Experts told ProPublica that Thomas’ failure to disclose the 2014 deal raises more questions about his relationship with Crow.

“He needed to report his interest in the sale,” Virginia Canter, a former government ethics lawyer who now works for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), told the outlet. “Given the role Crow has played in subsidizing the lifestyle of Thomas and his wife, you have to wonder if this was an effort to put cash in their pockets.”

Clarence and Ginni Thomas have disgraced the court and the country. Ginni Thomas could be prosecuted for her actions leading up to January 6.  She has sought to overthrow the government that has given her the stature to make malicious mischief. She has agreed to appear before the January 6 committee. She sent messages to more than two dozen lawmakers in Arizona, arguing, without evidence, that there had been widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

She says does not believe in the results of more than 60 court cases, or more than 60 judges looking at the 2020 election lawsuits.  It is incredible that she can contend with this. None of the claims were true, and she rejects all of them. That it’s irrational is not a strong enough word for it. I just keep coming back to demented. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The Washington Post has revealed that she has received $600,000 over the last three years from anonymous donors who funneled the money through something called  Crowdsourcers for Culture and Liberty.  In so doing she was able to hide both the money and its sources.

How about trading Thomas’s resignation from the Court in exchange for an agreement not to prosecute his wife?

What’s at stake goes beyond Roe v Wade. Conservatives have been laying the groundwork for decades to reduce the power of federal agencies like OSHA, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Since Congress is not equipped to implement the laws it passes, a civil service does this in a regulated democracy. If conservatives are able to overturn the 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council in which the justices said courts should defer to the expert judgment of regulators when interpreting statutes whenever the wording or meaning of those statutes are ambiguous. Such an outcome would put the regulatory power of agencies subject to being thwarted in the courts.

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

What kinds of proposals might they consider?

Expanding the court as Franklin Roosevelt attempted to do.  While the Constitution does not provide for the number of justices, the number of justices has changed starting with six, then five, then seven, then nine, then ten, then nine. Nine has been the number since 1869.FDR’s actual proposal would have allowed him to appoint a new judge in all federal courts for every judge older than 70. Branded as “court-packing, the measure died. Expanding the Court would not only restore balance but provide an opportunity to build a Court that is representative of the multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural nation that it serves.

  • Reducing the power of the federal judiciary is over certain kinds of cases such as gun control and labor regulations. This suffers by eliminating checks and balances on the restricted law.
  • Term-limiting justices to 18 or 20-year terms is an undesirable possibility, When the Constitution was adopted, life tenure didn’t anticipate people living much beyond age 65. To do this would require a Constitutional Amendment which takes approval from both the House and the Senate, as well as ratification by at least 38 states.
  • Term limits, however, spaced and staggered, will make the court appear more, not less, political in the eyes of the public. Confirmation battles will become more numerous and subject the court to the suspicion that attaches to courts around the world that have term limits or retirement ages. The change would leave the court shorthanded too often if confirmation delays set in. That risks leaving the court with an even number of eight members, hardly an ideal composition for any institution predicated on majority rule.
  • Requiring a supermajority of six or seven justices (rather than the current five) to declare a federal statute unconstitutional. This might get the support of both parties.

Each of these concepts needs to be measured against their feasibility of being adopted and their long-term impact.

Clarence Thomas, the hardline conservative supreme court justice, is again facing calls for his recusal in the case over race-based affirmative action in college admissions. Again, this is because of his wife’s political activity.

A one-person conservative powerhouse, she set up her own lobbying company Liberty Consulting in 2010. By her own description, she has “battled for conservative principles in Washington” for over 35 years. The conflict in the current case is because Ginni Thomas sits on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars. This group has intervened in this affirmative action case and this presents an appearance of a conflict of interest.

It has been established that Ginni Thomas met and advised Trump on who was loyal to him and who was not and who she believed to be part of the “Deep State.”. The New York Times and Axios have previously reported that Thomas would pass hiring and firing recommendations, compiled by her conservative organization Groundswell.

Trump reportedly went into rages upon being told who was disloyal. The meetings often resulted in Trump demanding that the alleged disloyalists be fired “immediately,” according to the Daily Beast.

The case, which is being brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, is the latest potential conflict of interest involving Thomas and his wife Virginia Thomas. Ginni, as she is known, is a prominent right-wing activist who speaks out on a raft of issues that frequently come before the nation’s highest court.

In an email on Nov. 9, just days after media organizations called the race in Arizona and nationally for Biden, Thomas sent identical emails to 27 lawmakers in the Arizona House and Senate urging them to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure”  as reported by the Washington Post. She corresponded with John Eastman and Mark Meadows.

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed lawmakers to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory not only in Arizona, as previously reported, but also in a second battleground state, Wisconsin, according to emails obtained under state public-records law.

The Washington Post reported this year that Ginni Thomas emailed 29 Arizona state lawmakers, some of them twice, in November and December 2020. She urged them to set aside Biden’s popular-vote victory and “choose” their own presidential electors, despite the fact that the responsibility for choosing electors rests with voters under Arizona state law.
Newly discovered emails show that Thomas also messaged two Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin: state Sen. Kathy Bernier, then chair of the Senate elections committee, and state Rep. Gary Tauchen. Bernier and Tauchen received the email at 10:47 a.m. on Nov. 9, virtually the same time the Arizona lawmakers received a verbatim copy of the message from Thomas.
The Bernier email was obtained by The Washington Post, and the Tauchen email was obtained by the watchdog group, Documented, and provided to The Post.  Thomas sent all of the emails via FreeRoots, an online platform that allowed people to send pre-written emails to multiple elected officials.

John Eastman, the former clerk to Clarence Thomas,  allegedly spent weeks pressuring Pence’s top aides, to get the vice president to agree to do one of two things:

  1. Reject electoral votes in swing states Joe Biden won and just simply call the election for his boss, Trump.
  2. Reject electoral votes in swing states Biden won, send them back to the state legislatures to decide, and pressure Republicans in those states to say Trump won, rather than Biden.   Eastman was advised by Eric Herschmann, another Trump attorney to get himself a criminal defense attorney.

The potential appearance of a conflict of interest over the Harvard case was noted in a recent investigation by the New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer that takes a deep dive into the overlapping interests of the couple. The article chronicles in devastating detail the many instances where Ginni’s political activism appears to present problems for the image and integrity of the court.

“Ginni Thomas has held so many leadership or advisory positions at conservative pressure groups that it’s hard to keep track of them,” Mayer concluded. “Many, if not all, of these groups have been involved in cases that have come before her husband.”

An even more troubling recent occurrence came about when Ginni Thomas lent her voice to Trump’s big lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.  Virginia Thomas sent at least 29 messages to the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pressing him to use his influences to overturn the 2020 election.  She described the loss to President Biden as an “obvious fraud” and “the greatest heist of our history.”Paradoxically, Mark Meadows is under investigation for potential voter fraud.

Virginia Thomas has publicly acknowledged that she participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse that preceded the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

On the morning of January 6 itself, Mark Joseph Stern of Slate reported, Thomas, posted on her Facebook page words of encouragement for the “Stop the Steal” marchers in Washington. “Watch MAGA crowd today best with Right Side Broadcasting .. and then C-Span for what the Congress does starting at 1:00 pm today. LOVE MAGA people!!!!!” “GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU STANDING UP or PRAYING!”

Shortly thereafter the post was removed after the deaths of five people and more than 100 police officers injured.

Soon after the insurrection, Thomas was forced to apologize to her husband’s former supreme court law clerks for comments she made privately to them that appeared to lament Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election. The remarks were sent to a private email list called “Thomas Clerk World”.

Ginni Thomas attended an extremist “Stop the Steal” Rally meeting in Orlando, Florida on March 6, 2021, her attendance at the Orlando gathering indicates that her alliance with election deniers continued even after Joe Biden was inaugurated. Frontliners has hosted hard-right lawmakers, insisted on strict secrecy, and proclaimed that the nation’s top enemy is the “radical fascist left,” according to social media posts, court filings,  and interviews with several people involved in the group.

One photograph from the Orlando event shows pastor and conservative radio personality C.L. Bryant Bryant posing with Thomas. Others show Thomas wearing a name tag decorated with a yellow ribbon she and others wore saying “Trouble Maker.”

Thomas’s influence has grown in the new six-justice conservative supermajority. He’s being called the unofficial chief justice of the court.

Is Mrs. Thomas no less responsible for helping to trigger the incitement? We may find out as she is being subpoenaed as a witness before the January 6 committee.

The Thomas’s have been skirting ethical boundaries for years. Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court on financial disclosure forms for at least five years, checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal noninvestment income” would be disclosed.

Prior to the election and just after the Vindman termination, the Washington Post reported that Ginni Thomas was working with and on behalf of the White House on the great “purge” while Trump was president.

Clarence Thomas was the only justice to say Trump could keep his records from Congress. He has acted as a minority of one in cases in which his wife is deeply involved. This is unethical on the face of it and any judge in the federal system would be disciplined for a breach of ethics like this. However, Supreme Court Justices decide for themselves whether they have a conflict of interest.

Virginia Thomas originated Liberty Central, whose purpose is to restore the “founding principles” of limited government and individual liberty.

The pressure should build to force  Thomas’s resignation. At age 72, he has been on the court as the longest-serving justice. After Court 30 years ago, Justice Clarence Thomas assured his law clerks, “I ain’t evolving.”  We live in a time of unprecedented change and Justice Thomas sits like a stone in the middle of the road.

With the unfolding cases unfolding in the criminal court against Trump and his operatives and with the prosecution of Trump officials increasingly certain,  now is an opportune time to call for the resignations of Thomas and Kavanaugh from the Court.  This is an opportune time to release the FBI records on Kavanaugh that were suppressed by the Trump administration.

We already see Trump’s handpicked trio of justices being accused of blatant disregard for the separation of church and state. Their ascension to the Supreme Court was enabled by a web of right-wing dark money.

Republican operatives have developed a robust network of conservative and Catholic-affiliated nonprofits, charities, and funds large out of public view  For more than a decade, this network has been leveraged to propel conservative judicial nominees. While most Americans wouldn’t recognize these operators, they have been the overseers of massive amounts of money that have gone into federal judicial races. They don’t have social media accounts and don’t give public speeches. They do all they can to operate in the shadows, out of public view.

What we do know is this began with the now-defunct Wellspring Committee, a 501(c)(4) organization that took in perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars from undisclosed donors for more than a decade. Charles and David Koch gave the first $10 million seedling donation from attendees at a Koch donor seminar.

Wellspring could pass itself off in those terms thanks to U.S. tax law, which a decade ago mandated that organizations of that type could devote no more than 49 percent of their expenditures to political activity. What distinguishes “political activity” from “social welfare” continues to be an open question, however. This loophole potentially gave Wellspring free rein to donate unlimited amounts of money to other social welfare groups, even if those groups had explicit political goals and in the process have taken control of the Supreme Court.
Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

Biden appointed a commission to study possible court reform. Possible recommendations may include adding four new justices to the Supreme Court, term limits for justices, and finding a bipartisan selection process, among others. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) called on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign after news that his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas,  made numerous emails to with conservative lawyer John Eastman, who was central in former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.  Thomas by participating in a  decision involving his wife’s misconduct is complicit.

Now it’s time to improve the Supreme Court. It’s time for Clarence Thomas to be pressured into resigning or move to impeach him.  Any other judge in the federal judiciary would be impeached for such conduct.

McConnell when asked if a Republican Senate would confirm a Biden nominee in 2024. “It’s highly unlikely.” So McConnell is planning on pulling the same stunt if a vacancy arose in 2023, with, say, 18 months left in Biden’s term.  When asked whether a Biden nominee — a “normal mainstream liberal”— “get a fair shot at a hearing. Well, we’d have to wait and see what happens.” Bipartisan votes on Supreme Court nominees are ancient history. That Senate is no more.  It doesn’t work with McConnell.

Ending the filibuster and court reform is the only answer and it may take one or two more Congresses to get this done. In the meantime, the Court loses credibility. Justice is the loser.

The Supreme Court dealt more blows to the Voting Rights Act on Thursday, ruling in favor of Republicans that Arizona can maintain restrictions that critics say discriminate against nonwhite voters. Justice Kagan in her dissent said, “State after State has taken up or enacted legislation erecting new barriers to voting” in recent months, saying the U.S. is “at a perilous moment for the Nation’s commitment to equal citizenship.”

“The law that confronted one of this country’s most enduring wrongs; pledged to give every American, of every race, an equal chance to participate in our democracy; and now stands as the crucial tool to achieve that goal,” she wrote. “That law, of all laws, deserves the sweep and power Congress gave it. That law, of all laws, should not be diminished by this Court.”

President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass both the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect voting rights. “The Court’s decision, harmful as it is, does not limit Congress’ ability to repair the damage done today: it puts the burden back on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to its intended strength.”

The Senate failed to pass the Voting Rights Act because two Democratic Senators did not vote to create an opening in the filibuster rule. These same two Senators have created openings in the filibuster rule on less critical matters.  Now the best way forward is to elect additional Democratic senators in 2022 to make it possible to achieve needed voting rights legislation.

The Supreme Court has ruled several times over the past 50 years that a woman has a right to an abortion before the fetus can live on its own, around 22 to 24 weeks. The overwhelmingly conservative Supreme Court has upheld, on procedural grounds, a Texas law banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected — so, basically, all abortions, since that’s before most people know they’re pregnant. This Supreme Court seems certain to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In another fulfillment of a right-wing plot to control America, the Supreme Court ruled for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in his legal challenge to federal placing limits on the amount of money candidates can raise from donors to pay off their personal debt after an election. This makes running for office into a business – run for office and collect enough campaign funds to pay off debts or fund a pet project. In this way, a candidate can profit without winning.

The 6-3 ruling struck down a $250,000 cap on the amount of post-election funds a candidate can be repaid for personal loans they made to their campaign, finding that the restriction violated the First Amendment.

Biden is improving the composition of the lower courts, but with a “deeply broken” system there are no quick fixes because judges who were already woefully understaffed and often undertrained are now overwhelmed with a growing backlog of over 1.6 million cases.

Dozens of federal actions dealing with everything from energy efficiency standards to funding for transit projects have been upended by a recent Supreme court ruling against the Biden administration’s climate change calculations.

 

 

 

 

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t use their marathon question-and-answer session with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to challenge her about two high-profile decisions she issued that went against former President Trump.

Instead, they focussed on other issues, a shift that marks the latest sign that Senate Republicans see Trump as more of a liability than an asset heading into the 2022 election. Let’s hope we’ll see the last of Trump by 2024 if the Justice Department procedures Trump and his allies.

“The Supreme Court is out of step with the American people. The decisions we are seeing are not popular. The majority of Americans want Roe upheld, but the court might well go the other way. A majority of Americans would like to see some regulation of guns; the court may not do that,” according to Shira A. Scheindlin, a former federal judge in New York who is co-chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

The Pew Research Center found this year that only 54% of respondents had a favorable view of the court, down from 69% in mid-2019, according to several opinion polls. the Gallup Organization reported last year that Americans disapproved of the court’s performance by 53% to 40%.

Chief Justice John Roberts is no longer able to manage the ultra-conservatives on the Court. In good conscious, it is time for him to resign.

The Washington Post has said: “Public faith in the Supreme Court is down to a historic low of 25 percent, and there’s a good reason why it keeps eroding. We are experiencing what the Founders feared: a crisis of governmental legitimacy brought about by minoritarian tyranny. And it could soon get a whole lot worse. In his concurring opinion in the abortion case, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to overturn popular precedents upholding a right to contraception, same-sex relationships and marriage equality. So much for Hamilton’s hope that “the sense of the majority should prevail.”

A petition calling for Clarence Thomas’s  removal from Supreme Court has gotten over one million signatures.

Thomas is feeling the heat.  He has canceled plans to teach a seminar this fall at George Washington University’s law school, a few weeks after the private university in the nation’s capital had defended the conservative jurist’s position on its faculty.

Thomas, on the high court for more than 30 years, has taught at the D.C. law school since 2011. His adjunct faculty position there drew controversy this summer after the court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that had established a constitutional right to abortion.

With the support of three justices chosen by President Donald Trump in the past five years, the Supreme Court now has a 6-to-3 conservative majority. Those justices sent the court on a dramatic turn to the right in the term completed this summer, overturning the guarantee of a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, striking a gun control law in New York, limiting the power of the Biden administration to confront climate change, and scoring victories for religious conservatives.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted luxury trips around the globe for more than two decades, including travel on a superyacht and private jet, from a prominent Republican donor without disclosing them, according to a new report. A nine-day trip that Thomas and his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, took to Indonesia in 2019, shortly after the court released its final opinions of the term. That trip, which included flights on Crow’s jet and island-hopping on a superyacht, would have cost the couple more than $500,000 if they had paid for it themselves.

Federal law mandates that top officials from the three branches of government, including the Supreme Court, file annual forms detailing their finances, outside income, and spouses’ sources of income, with each branch determining its own reporting standards.

Judges are prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone with business before the court. Until recently, however, the judicial branch had not clearly defined an exemption for gifts considered “personal hospitality.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday said he “was advised” that he did not have to disclose a series of trips reportedly paid for by a Republican mega-donor. Would not he otherwise write “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

Revised rules adopted by a committee of the Judicial Conference, the courts’ policymaking body, seek to provide a fuller accounting. The rules took effect on March 14.

The Supreme Court conservatives have ignited a new era without hesitation. 

The court’s approval rating has dropped to one of its lowest levels ever in public opinion polls, led by unhappy Democrats and to a lesser extent people who heretofore identified as independents.

But Roberts said it is the Supreme Court’s job to decide what the law is. “That role doesn’t change simply because people disagree with this opinion or that opinion or with a particular mode of jurisprudence.”  In all due respect, Mr. Justice Roberts, it’s the Court’s drastic rulings that have riled the public.

 Irving Kaufman said it well, “The Supreme Court’s only armor is the cloak of public trust; its sole ammunition, the collective hopes of our society.”

Justice Thomas lacks any sense of propriety. Justice Clarence Thomas, acting unilaterally on Monday, granted Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) request to temporarily shield the South Carolina Republican from testifying in a probe of alleged pro-Trump election interference in Georgia.

Newly revealed is that Trump’s lawyers described in emails ” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “key” to Trump’s plan to delay Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s victory through litigation after the 2020 election.

“We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue” a temporary order putting Georgia’s results in doubt, Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a December 31, 2020, email, adding that a favorable order from Thomas was their “only chance” to hold up Congress from counting electoral votes for Biden from Georgia.

According to Venmo transactions, several lawyers who have had business before the Supreme Court paid money to a top aide of Justice Clarence Thomas. These payments appear to be related to Thomas’s 2019 Christmas party and were made to Rajan Vasisht, who served as Thomas’s aide from July 2019 to July 2021. This seems to highlight the close relationship between Thomas, who is currently involved in ethics scandals, and certain senior Washington lawyers.

Vasisht’s Venmo account, which was public before this article was requested for comment, shows that he received seven payments in November and December 2019 from lawyers who previously served as Thomas’s legal clerks. The amount of the payments is not disclosed, but the purpose of each payment is listed as either “Christmas party,” “Thomas Christmas Party,” “CT Christmas Party,” or “CT Xmas party.”

There have been several reports about a corruption scandal involving Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. According to these reports, Thomas has accepted undisclosed luxury gifts from a Republican mega-donor for two decades³. He has also been accused of accepting benefits from wealthy friends through his membership in the Horatio Alger Association, including luxury trips and a Super Bowl ring². There have been calls for him to recuse himself from cases or be removed from office and for the court to impose a binding code of ethics². Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has promised hearings on Supreme Court corruption¹. Is there anything else you would like to know?

Clarence Thomas should face impeachment calls after reports of undisclosed  gifts that appear to be bribes: Source.. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/apr/06/clarence-thomas-supreme-courts-gifts-republican-megadonor.
(2) Clarence Thomas: Here Are All The Ethics Scandals Involving as documents by Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2023/05/05/clarence-thomas-here-are-all-the-ethics-scandals-involving-the-supreme-court-justice-amid-new-revelations/.
(3) The Supreme Court closes ranks around Clarence Thomas after the revelations. It’s time to question a turnover of the Supreme Court.  https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/4/26/23698962/supreme-court-clarence-thomas-corruption-ethics-harlan-crown-john-roberts-dick-durbin.
(4) ‘Biggest Legitimacy Crisis in Modern History of the Supreme Court. Source https://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/2023/05/biggest-legitimacy-crisis-in-modern-history-of-the-supreme-court-experts-examine-new-clarence-thomas-corruption-scandal/.
(5) The Clarence Thomas Scandal Is About More Than Corruption. It goes to the heart of the Court’s ability to get decisions enforced.  https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2023/04/18/clarence-thomas-scandal-corruption-00092335.

 

This raises questions about the nature of these payments and their connection to Thomas. It is unusual for a holiday party to be paid for by anyone other than the organization hosting it. The fact that Vasisht made his Venmo account private after reporters began asking about it only adds to the suspicion. Some may even see this as poorly concealed bribery.

Eastman was formerly a law clerk to Thomas and was in contact with Ginni Thomas.

The independent state legislature doctrine is a theory that lacks any support in the Constitution’s history, text, or architecture. It has never been judicially approved.

Following are the ways court reform of the federal judiciary needs to go:

  • term limits
  • independent and enforced ethics requirements
  • expanding number of Supremes
  • realignment of appeals districts
  • randomized assignment of cases to districts (to eliminate cherry-picking of judges)
  • elimination of legislation by the judiciary with ‘designer cases’ (e.g. independent legislation theory)

Here is a promising idea –

John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight,” offered Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas $1 million annually to step down immediately, along with a $2.4 million motor coach.

Oliver argued that the Supreme Court had reached a “breaking point” due to scandals involving the patronage of right-wing billionaires

More ethical violations

Justice Clarence Thomas has hired Crystal Clanton, a law clerk accused of sending racist text messages in 2017, reigniting controversy. Clanton, previously associated with Turning Point USA, will clerk for Thomas in the upcoming term, as reported by the Antonin Scalia Law School. While Clanton denied recalling the messages and resigned from Turning Point USA, her hiring by Thomas has sparked renewed scrutiny. Despite allegations, Thomas and his wife, Virginia Thomas, have welcomed Clanton into their inner circle, with Thomas dismissing the accusations and asserting Clanton’s non-racist character. The controversy surrounding Clanton’s hiring raises questions about judicial appointments and tolerance of past behavior.

In failing to recuse himself from the case deciding Trump’s immunity from prosecution, Thomas’s conduct is impeachable in violation of 28 USC 45 which forbids judges to have conflicts of interest.  Thomas’s wife was directly involved in the January 6 attempted coup.  Below are more examples of her involvement:

Ginni Thomas owns her own political consulting firm and openly advocates the fraudulent elector scheme.

Thomas also had access to the private phone numbers and emails for multiple Senators and members of the House who she reached out to between the time Trump was declared the loser of the November 3, 2020 election (November 7th) and the insurrection attempt on January 6, 2021. As Jack Smith wrote:

“Co-Conspirator 6 attempted to confirm phone numbers for six United States Senators whom the Defendant [Trump] had directed Co-Conspirator 1 [Giuliani] to call and attempt to enlist in further delaying the certification.”

And, sure enough, it appears that’s exactly what Ginni Thomas was up to.

Two days after the election, but before it had been called for Biden, she sent a YouTube video titled “TRUMP STING w CIA Director Steve Pieczenik, The Biggest Election Story in History, QFS-BLOCKCHAIN” to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Pieczenik was a far-right crackpot who’d previously claimed that Sandy Hook was a ‘false flag’ operation, but this video (which has since been taken down) claimed the election was stolen.

Thomas wrote to Meadows about the video:

“I hope this is true; never heard anything like this before, or even a hint of it. Possible??? Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states.”

She followed that up with a second message to Meadows:

“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”

On November 19th, hours after Sidney Powell held a press conference to claim the election was stolen via voting machine fraud, Thomas texted Meadows:

“Suggestion: You need to buck up your team on the inside, Mark. The lower level insiders are scared, fearful or sending out signals of hopelessness vs an awareness of the existential threat to America right now. You can buck them up, strengthen their spirits. Monica Crowley may have a sense of this [from] her Nixon days.”

After Meadows replied, Thomas wrote:

“You guys fold, the evil just moves fast down underneath you all. Lots of intensifying threats coming to ACB [Amy Coney Barrett] and others.”

On November 24th, she texted Meadows:

“I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences… the whole coup and now this… we just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.”

In January, after Vice President Pence refused to block the counting of Electoral College votes for Joe Biden (and it was obvious to the whole world that Trump had lost by 7 million votes), she texted a somewhat having-it-both-ways message:

“We are living through what feels like the end of America. Most of us are disgusted with the VP and are in a listening mode to see where to fight with our teams. Those who attacked the Capitol are not representative of our great teams of patriots for DJT!! Amazing times. The end of Liberty.”

The indictment says that co-conspirator #6 was involved in the fake elector scheme. Thomas’ involvement in that scheme apparently started immediately after the election. As The Washington Post noted:

“New documents show that Thomas indeed used the platform to reach many lawmakers simultaneously. On Nov. 9, she sent identical emails to 20 members of the Arizona House and seven Arizona state senators. That represents more than half of the Republican members of the state legislature at the time.

“The message, just days after media organizations called the race for Biden in Arizona and nationwide, urged lawmakers to ‘stand strong in the face of political and media pressure’ and claimed that the responsibility to choose electors was ‘yours and yours alone.’ They had ‘power to fight back against fraud’ and ‘ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen,’ the email said.”

On December 13th, Thomas blasted out an email to 22 members of the US House and one US senator. It referenced a video that called on lawmakers to ignore voters and simply make Trump president for a second term. It read:

From: Ginni Thomas noreply@freeroots.com
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2020 10:20 AM
To: Russell Bowers
Subject: Lawmakers, Please Watch This Video!
Dear Representative Bowers,
As state lawmakers, you have the Constitutional power and authority to protect the integrity of our elections – and we need you to exercise that power now! Never before in our nation’s history have our elections been so threatened by fraud and unconstitutional procedures. That’s why the nation’s eyes are now on you. Before you choose your state’s Electors, I ask you to do two things:
(1) Please watch this 2-minute video! youtube.com/watch?v=2–_yte_SiE
(2) And then, please consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you do not stand up and lead. Thank you,
Ginni Thomas