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Four old men and a handmaid

May 4, 2022

To sum up, as New York Magazine did yesterday:

The first thing to be said about Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion striking down Roe v. Wade, which was published by Politico last night, is that it represents a catastrophe for Americans in general and Americans with uteruses in particular. If we assume that some version of this opinion will ultimately be supported by at least five and possibly six of the Supreme Court’s nine justices, abortion will soon be banned in nearly half the states and significantly restricted in several others. Of those six justices, three were appointed by Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote twice, was impeached twice, and incited an anti-constitutional putsch; two were appointed by George W. Bush, who also lost the popular vote before his first term; and one, Clarence Thomas, is married to an unhinged reactionary conspiracy theorist who actively supported that aforementioned putsch. A solid majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal and reject the restrictions that will soon take effect; the stripping away of abortion rights is only possible because of a perfect storm of anti-majoritarian constitutional provisions that have divorced public opinion from the interpretation of the law.

In February 2016 Senate Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would not hold hearings for Obama’s choice for a Supreme Court vacancy “because it was an election year”. The following spring McConnell used his small majority to eliminate the need for a 60 vote majority for Supreme Court appointments, paving the way for the Wankmaggot’s first pick, Neil Gorsuch. Three Democrats also voted for Gorsuch – Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Heitkamp, who couldn’t bring herself to vote for the Wankmaggot’s next pick, lost her 2018 re-election bid to a Republican. Same for Donnelly.

And then there’s Manchin. 

If the self-proclaimed pro-choice senator from Maine, Susan Collins, had decided to do the right thing, as Lisa Murkowski did, and vote no to the entitled frat boy, Manchin’s vote for Kavanaugh wouldn’t have carried the day. At least Collins voted against confirming the handmaid (on procedural grounds, not because Barrett was beyond the pale), which Murkowski did not. Nonetheless, Collins crying the blues yesterday because she was “lied to” by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh was the cherry on the toxic icing of a terrible cake.

I cannot pretend to be outraged by the leaked ruling because, like everyone else on either side of the issue, I knew it was coming. Nonetheless, it is heart breaking. The fact that it might, just might, save the Democrats from the widely anticipated shellacking in the mid-terms is nice, but piss poor recompense. 

As Stephen Colbert said last night, “Decisions about what you can do with your body are now being made by four old dudes and a woman who thinks ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ is a rom-com.”

Colbert said everything I would have said yesterday, so I’ll hand it over to him.

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