Susan Collins Shows Cynical, Female Face of Patriarchy

“This is the second time that Baby Boomer and Generation X women have watched an articulate, brave and credible professional humiliated and dismissed by the men in the Senate Chamber. Anita Hill has been a rallying cry for feminists in search of equality and fair representation since 1991. Now Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s is another name we shall never forget.

But you know what hurts the most, as a voting American woman acutely repulsed by the Senate’s codification of a man’s right to take what he wants (and can get) on his uninterrupted march to the top? Though much of this scenario has felt similar to the events of 27 years ago, it is in fact the first time that a woman, a particular Senator, Maine’s Susan Collins, handed the judgement of another over to her male colleagues. And in so doing, she has reaffirmed the sneering dismissal of sexual violence allegations and the real pain behind the “#MeToo movement. She has communicated that the violation of a woman’s body is a normalized act of juvenile sport, rather than a disqualifying leadership behavior. And with her vote, Collins has also left settled law and precedent regarding a woman’s right to choose open for re-litigation.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

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States Vie for Pro-Life Martyrdom in Effort to Capture SCOTUS Attention

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“Over 45 years ago, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down an unambiguous 7-2 decision in favor of a woman’s right to make conscious choices about her own body. In the landmark case of Roe vs. Wade, the majority opinion cited the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments, concluding that that the Constitution protects an individual’s ‘zones of privacy.’ The Court found that this protected zone is “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

Case, quite literally, closed. Right? Wrong. Because as long as there are political movements led by men, women’s body parts and general freedoms will always be on the negotiating table – with, and most often without, our consent. Just a few years after the SCOTUS decision, writes Bennett Roth of Roll Call:

‘By 1980, the ‘right-to-life’ movement was a key pillar of the conservative coalition that helped elect Ronald Reagan, an anti-abortion Republican president whose administration sought to impose restrictions on groups receiving family planning funds.’

On the road to victory, Reagan carried the Evangelical Christian agenda and moved it right into the White House. And as a country, we’ve had a hell of a time shaking its hold on our national politics.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

GOP’s 2016 SCOTUS Artifice A Short And Long-Term Strategic Failure

“The bottom line: when the Republican Party took its unified February gamble to stonewall replacing Scalia, the reasoning was already tough to follow. Moreover, the offered logic wed them permanently to the position. After all if you claim you’re exercising stubbornness in the name of democracy, it’s hard to shift gears if say, your candidate is a maniac, has no chance of winning the election and/or SCOTUS decides not to play along with the reliable ideological divide.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Kasich’s Garland Confusion Reminds Voters He’s The Clumsy GOP Establishment

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“In a bizarre way, Kasich’s tenuous grasp of Garland talking points puts him firmly in step with the general Republican establishment, which has demonstrated vacillating, illogical “strategy” since Antonin Scalia died last month. The fingers in the ears approach to the universally respected Garland is hard to comprehend. The party is clearly worried about Trump as standard bearer and its many implications, including any SCOTUS choice he might render. Why then are they willing to roll the dice, risking a Trump, Clinton or Sanders recommendation? Where is the bravado coming from?”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Scalia’s Own Words Challenge Republican Intransigence On SCOTUS Nominee

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“If David Axelrod is to be believed, Scalia himself would recoil at the idea of a year-long SCOTUS vacancy. Appearing on CNN this week, the former Chief Strategist of President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns reminisced about a 2009 conversation he had with Scalia over the then-pending replacement of David Souter. Axelrod recalls Justice Scalia saying, ’I have no illusions that your man will nominate someone who shares my orientation…But I hope he sends us someone smart.’

I never believed it possible to agree with Antonin Scalia on anything, but it’s another 2016 first. Let’s have someone smart. Soon. Floating any other option is just stupid. More evidence for the rest of the planet that our great experiment in democracy has devolved into a stagnant sideshow mocking its own structure.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

He’ll Be Back: Antonin Scalia’s 2016 SCOTUS Racism Could Be Record Setting

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“There are a number of important cases to be decided by the court in 2016 in addition to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Issues regarding legislative gerrymandering, collective bargaining and capital punishment are among a series of bellwether determinations before the justices. Given Scalia’s continually vocal opposition to leveling the playing field according to true democratic principles, we can probably expect him to come down on the wrong moral side of each decision.

Enjoy the judicial-free calm before the winter storm.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

SCOTUS to Decide in 2014 If It Will Continue to Confer Personhood Rights on Corporations (November 13, 2013)

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In September 2009, the right-leaning Supreme Court of the United States rendered the controversial Citizens Uniteddecision. In its judgment, the SCOTUS determined that “Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.” In other words, business entities were conferred the same First Amendment rights that you or I would have with regard to promoting or disparaging our chosen candidates. With its decision, the Supreme Court willfully opted to ignore two essential differences:

  1. Corporations lack two feet and a heartbeat.
  2. Regular folks typically do not have access to the same millions (or billions) that a company desiring to wade into politics can leverage, rendering the playing field inherently unequal.

Legitimate fears that the nation was on a slippery legal slope that would eventually confer full personhood on corporate entities commenced. Independent Bloomberg editors ran a piece in June of 2012 entitled, The Supreme Court’s Cowardice. The writers pointedly concluded: “The First Amendment ain’t beanbag. What undermines the ruling’s legitimacy is its flights of fancy about the world of political finance. In an assertion of shocking naivete, Kennedy, writing for the court’s 5-4 majority, said corporate independent campaign expenditures ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’”

Well said. But as we approach the end of 2013, it seems that Court may decide to undertake another key case in the New Year that will provide it with an opportunity to reverse its gradual and unconscionable determination that the Bill of Rights extends to DBAs. Alternatively, as many liberals and independents justifiably fret, SCOTUS may instead cement corporate claims to privileges and rights historically reserved for people by taking another look at the First Amendment. Only this time, the Supreme Court may weigh-in on a company’s freedom of religious practice.

The New York Times ran an article this week with the rather boring title, Court Confronts Religious Rights of Corporations. Don’t let the dull syntax fool you. This is a big deal and we should all be paying attention. Centered around Hobby Lobby, a successful chain of retail craft stores, writer Adam Liptik characterizes the complaint as follows:

“The stores play religious music. Employees get free spiritual counseling. But they do not get free insurance coverage for some contraceptives, even though President Obama’s health care law requires it.

Hobby Lobby, a corporation, says that forcing it to provide the coverage would violate its religious beliefs.”

Apparently, a federal appeals court agreed with Hobby Lobby’s owners, paving the way for the issue to be decided anew by SCOTUS. After all, the justices were the inspiration for the latest convocation of First Amendment rights to a corporate ledger. Per the Times piece, “the United States Court of Appeals for the 10thCircuit said it had applied ‘the First Amendment logic of Citizens United.’”

It’s important to note that the Supreme Court is still deciding whether or not it will hear arguments in the case. Let’s hope they do. If not, the 10th Circuit’s ruling will become de facto law. Academics as well as regular peons (us) are concerned about the expanding implications of a right wing view of companies as people. Per the Times: “‘This is a perfect storm,’ said Richard Garnett, a law professor at Notre Dame, adding that it is also a worrisome one. ‘Debates about campaign finance in Citizens United and abortion and Obamacare,’ he said, ‘could distort the court’s analysis of religious freedom.’”

It may seem obvious to most of us, but corporations are NOT human beings. They cannot bleed, do not experience emotions and in many cases, are seamlessly formed and dissolved without giving pain to anyone at all. What’s next? Do we arm Hobby Lobby with cannons to randomly shoot at customers it deems offensive to its moral code? If Hobby Lobby commits a crime, do we invite Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy to comprise a jury of its peers?

Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is.