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Monday, December 09, 2019

Supreme Court of the United States

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A new analysis is explaining the disturbing circumstances surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade and how the U.S. Supreme Court has morphed into an entity actively working toward authoritarianism.

In a new op-ed published by The Guardian, Jill Filipovic —author of the book, The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness—offered an assessment of the message being sent with the Supreme Court's rollback of the 1973 landmark ruling.

Filipovic began with an overview of the previous presidential elections and how Republican presidents were elected in the first place. She noted that the most recent ones managed to win only by way of the Electoral College; not by popular vote. That stipulation suggests the presidential election was determined by a minority as opposed to the opinion of most Americans who voted.

Subsequently, those Republican presidents elected by the minority, are the ones responsible for stacking the courts with conservative judges and officials who typically lean to the far right.

"Of the nine justices sitting on the current court, five – all of them in the majority opinion that overturned Roe – were appointed by presidents who initially lost the popular vote; the three appointed by Donald Trump were confirmed by senators who represent a minority of Americans," Filipovic explained. "A majority of this court, in other words, were not appointed by a process that is representative of the will of the American people."

She went on to rehash the circumstances of SCOTUS Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett's appointments to the high court. "Two were appointed via starkly undemocratic means, put in place by bad actors willing to change the rules to suit their needs," she wrote. "Neil Gorsuch only has his seat because Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, blocked the ability of Barack Obama to nominate Merrick Garland – or anyone – to a supreme court seat, claiming that, because it was an election year, voters should get to decide."

She added, "Then, Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett in a radically rushed and incomplete, incoherent process – in an election year."

As a result of court stacking, far-right judges have "stripped from American women the right to control our own bodies" and Filipovic has highlighted the problematic and contradictory aspects of it.

"They have summarily placed women into a novel category of person with fewer rights not just than other people, but than fertilized eggs and corpses. After all, no one else is forced to donate their organs for the survival of another – not parents to their children, not the dead to the living. It is only fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses that are newly entitled to this right to use another’s body and organs against that other’s will; it is only women and other people who can get pregnant who are now subject to these unparalleled, radical demands."

Filipovic also noted that it raises a compelling fundamental question.

"This raises a fundamental question: can a country be properly understood as a democracy – an entity in which government derives its power from the people – if it subjugates half of its population, putting them into a category of sub-person with fewer rights, freedoms, and liberties?"

According to the latest disturbing trend, Filipovic explained why the answer appears to be "no."

"The global trend suggests that the answer to that is no," she wrote. "A clear pattern has emerged in the past few decades: as countries democratize, they tend to liberalize women’s rights, and they expand abortion and other reproductive rights. Luckily for the women of the world, this is where a great many nations are moving."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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