Fox legal analyst Jonathan Turley came up with a typically shallow and disingenuous response to the Supreme Court tossing a 50-year right for women to get abortions.
Media Matters did a roundup of right-wing media responses to the reversal of Roe v. Wade (emphases mine):
Many right-wing pundits downplayed the opinion’s significance, arguing that the court simply sent the matter back to the states in a narrow ruling and there is no risk of other rulings following suit (though Justice Clarence Thomas himself stated otherwise). Other commentators used the occasion to double down and call for a further rollback of rights, such as marriage equality and the right to purchase birth control. Others compared the end of Roe to landmark decisions that advanced civil rights, criticized businesses that support their employees’ reproductive care, and used anti-trans rhetoric to mock the importance of abortion rights.
Turley, a Constitutional law professor, was in the first category. Anchor Bill Hemmer signaled the desired talking point by “asking” Turley, “if you live in the state of New York or New Jersey or Massachusetts, would you expect anything to change in those states?”
TURLEY: No, the majority of citizens in the country will have no change at all because they -- most of the population resides in states that have already protected abortion rights.
You will have some limitations being imposed like the one we saw in Mississippi. Polls indicate that citizens do support limiting abortion rights, particularly after the 15th week. A majority seem to support restrictions around the time that Mississippi was imposing its restrictions. So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Most Americans are in the middle on these issues. They believe that there is a right to abortion but believe that there’s also limits that can be placed, particularly on how late you can get an abortion in a pregnancy.
That’s a load of hooey. States are not “limiting abortion rights,” as Turley deceitfully (or else shockingly ignorantly) suggested, but banning abortions outright. 13 states will ban abortion immediately or within a month and 13 more are poised to follow suit, for a total of 26 states.
That's a heck of a lot of women who will experience a drastic change, one that will imperil their health and well-being. But, hey, why think about that when you've got a lucrative Fox contract to consider, eh?
As Media Matters also noted, the Roe decision “was the culmination of a decades-long project on the right."
It’s impossible to believe that Turley doesn’t know that, especially given his paid gig at Fox. But if ever there was a hack in the guise of professional, it’s Turley. He’s the analyst whose big takeaway from watching the January 6 committee hearings is the lack of “balance,” yet never seems to “remember” that Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is to blame.
Shame on him.
You can watch Turley downplay what he surely knows is a major blow to women’s rights and welfare below, from the June 24, 2022 America’s Newsroom, via Media Matters.
The angry Right Wing narrative for the past month has been to set up a straw house about how “those far Left mobs” would instantly riot and burn every American city to the ground as soon as the Dobbs ruling came out. Which of course didn’t happen. We saw instead a lot of peaceful protest, with a few cases of situations getting out of hand between protestors and counterprotestors. As usual, the violence was primarily from angry Right Wingers – including some suspicious arson attacks that appear to be intended to make people think they were done by someone from the Left.
Any time that someone on the Left loses their temper and allows themselves to be provoked into this kind of behavior, it just feeds the angry Right Wing narrative and allows them to project their issues onto the Left. It’s also completely the opposite of the actual values and goals of the Left.
And I’m not saying don’t have peaceful protests. Those are crucial. I’m saying that we should not expect peaceful protests to do more than make a public statement in the 21st century, particularly in a scenario where there is a barricade around the Supreme Court and the only legal “protest area” is so far away from the building, they’d never know you were there. And if you legally and peacefully protest outside the justices’ homes, angry Right Wingers will accuse you of threatening them.
The situation with Nicholas Roske is instructive. Here’s a guy who apparently wanted to make an extreme statement about the difference between the value we place on the safety of Supreme Court justices versus the safety of children. He openly states that he was upset about the Uvalde Massacre and at the viciousness of the current Far Far Right Wing Supreme Court. He then purchases a gun and other materials and announces he plans to travel to attack Kavanaugh. He then repeatedly calls 911 on himself and announces he’s unwell mentally while he travels with his gun. He then arrives and is predictably arrested in a hurry, and authorities note that he never took any step to actually try to attack anyone and never loaded his gun. Right Wing media play this as a horrifying attack and McConnell uses the moment to prevent Dems from legislating the safety of Supreme Court clerks who’ve been doxxed by angry Right Wingers at the “Article 3 Project” who want those clerks physically attacked.
Roske’s scenario undermined the protests people were trying to have. My instinct is that he did not intend to actually commit violence, but he set up a situation where he will be portrayed that way and the protest idea he had has backfired badly.
I continue to hold that the ONLY way we can correct the problem we now have in the judiciary and in the extreme viciousness of the Right Wing is for people to show up and vote in large numbers. In swing states, this is crucial for presidential elections. In the Red States, it is now more than crucial for the state elections. We have an extremely high mountain to climb there, due to all the Right Wing gerrymandering, which will require many Dem voters to evaluate what district they have been jammed into and then move to a district where they can make a difference.
We should not fool ourselves about how long this is going to take. It took the Right Wing about 50 years to completely throw Roe in the trash. (And let’s not forget that they also spent the entire 50 years carving out large chunks of it with rulings like Webster and Casey.). The Right Wing actually started their push to remake the judiciary in 1969, with Nixon’s appointments of Burger and Blackmun to replace Warren and Fortas. It will likely take the rest of us at least 50 years to move the judiciary in a saner direction, by appointing actual judges and not partisan extremists throughout the federal judiciary as well as the state courts. And then it will likely take another few decades to begin to rebuild the integrity of the courts.
At this time, the Supreme Court no longer has credibility as an impartial institution evaluating our laws and our Constitution. The extremists on the Court have made clear that they do not respect precedent and that stare decisis is a dead issue. They have also made clear that they will contradict themselves between rulings and even within rulings if that will be helpful to the Republican politicians and causes they embrace. The two centrist and one moderately liberal justices are no longer able to influence the key decisions and can only issue impotent “we sorrowfully dissent” responses while cases like Griswold, Loving and Obergefell are tossed out the window. Ian Millhiser will tell us that this is just the Supreme Court reverting to its usual form, which it held for over 150 years before the Warren Court, of comforting the comforted and afflicting the afflicted.
I truly hope that there will be some way of salvaging the integrity of the Supreme Court within my lifetime and I’m over 50 years old. I frankly have doubts at this point.
But the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.
I was conversing with a woman in a store’s parking lot after giving her bumper stickers two thumbs up.
Turns out she’s a granddaughter of one of the German rocket scientists the US brought to the US after the war and grew up here in town.
She’s very worried. The rhetoric she hears from the R’s today and what she heard around the dinner table then is history repeating itself. She says the Dems need to appeal to American’s better natures and to emphasize their agenda and the need for majorities in Congress. They need to forcibly condemn right wing violence and point out the hateful natures and agendas of the people perpetuating it. Finally, she said the media needs to stop being so profit driven and do their jobs reporting on the far right and stop being afraid of, or worse, collaborating with them.
There is no popular support for overturning Roe. 61% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
I’m not saying I’m optimistic, just that there are other possibilities.
The thing about voting is I fear people will say, “I voted for Biden and Democrats and this happened anyway. What’s the point?” Dems don’t exactly seem ready with a plan to counter the Supreme Court’s extremism.
So, I totally agree the midterms are crucial but even if by some miracle the Democrats hold the House and gain seats in the Senate, I’m not at all confident it will be enough.
But first of all, the article is not saying that protests involving 3.5% of the population are guaranteed success but that that is a threshold for a small percentage to bring about outsized changes. It also says that non-violent protests and civil disobedience are more effective than violent ones. Of course, nobody here is advocating violence.
In the US, 3.5% of the population would be 11.7 million. I don’t think that many Americans turned out against the Iraq war. A world total did but here at home, I don’t think so.
Lastly, I’m not sure that one or some marches are sufficient. The researcher in the article seems to reference civil disobedience and prolonged protests, though the article does not specifically say what a recipe for success is.
My point is that while it couldn’t be more important to vote the right people into office and the wrong ones out, that is not the only path forward to success.
Apart from the truly scary (aka inevitable) prospect of women having experienced a miscarriage being “investigated/prosecuted” for abortion, nobody seems to realise that the principal perpetrator is indeed beyond their control. Pro-lifers (who are anything but) will probably want to shift the blame away from their deity to the woman on the grounds that she’s being punished for something or the other.
And these people have the unmitigated gall to call themselves Christians and Americans. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. They are fascists. Period.
Despite Kevin’s absolutely spot-on remarks, I persist in believing that non-violence is more effective in getting deep-seated, more permanent results (not infallible as demonstrated by the reversal of Roe v. Wade). At least until the USA government decides to emulate the approach to dealing with peaceful protests adopted by Russia et.al. (and yesterday’s tear-gassing incident in Arizona tells me that that day may soon be upon us). In which case, this gal will be loading the guns (aka making tea and sandwiches) for her sisters on the front line.
Marge: I, too, had a huge crater in my heart when I woke up yesterday and I couldn’t get the term “baby-maker” out of my head (a jump from a “bread-maker” ad I recently saw). My exercise in dark fantasy was an attempt to exorcise the term. Our little project for the user manual should be helpful in turning our anger into grim resolve. The Old Ladies’ Brigade is recruiting from the ranks of the feminists of the sixties, armed with tea kettles and loaves of bread (home-made, manually!).
A minority of truly evil persons – a textbook definition for “fascists” – has ruled, once again, that women are second-class citizens, unworthy to be allowed to make their own decisions. It’s only a matter of time for those same truly evil persons to want to make similar decisions on a whole slew of human rights.
I point to 2002 and 2003 when literally millions of Americans marched for peace and called their congresspeople to beg that we not invade Iraq, only to be totally ignored when we attacked and invaded anyway.
Marge, I have a feeling that if the GOP gets the White House again in 2024 and has majorities in Congress, another huge tax increase is coming for Middle Class Employees in Blue States, in addition to a gutting of Social Security and Medicare. But I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the GOP to provide any help for women they’re putting in these impossible situations. The GOP response will be: “It’s your problem, figure it out.”
Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, [researcher Erica] Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.
doors17, unfortunately, tribal lands are unlikely to become abortion sanctuaries.
Republicans better start raising taxes. Gonna need a lot more food stamps, welfare and Medicaid. They can fund raise off a whole new crop of welfare queens for another generation now, maybe two.
The latest innovation in home appliances: the perfect, no-fuss baby-maker.
A major improvement over the original model described in Genesis a source dating from around 6,000 years ago.
• Unlimited copulatory access facilitated by storage on an adapted gynaecological bed;
• Vocal cords removed to assure silent operation and reduce exposure to unwanted comments; possibility of removing eyeballs to further reduce the risk of unpleasant empathetic reactions;
• Amputation of feet and hands prevents the appliance from escaping without resorting to the inhumane and shameful practice of chaining it to a stake in the backyard. Optional: amputation of legs and arms will further reduce risk of escape and direct all the appliance’s energies to gestation.
• A happier Missus by liberating her from the risk of losing her looks through childbirth.
Medically assisted birthings and seven years of after-sale services include workers specialised in daily maintenance (particularly of the pathway to/from the copulation station). After seven years, the owner should have enough outputs to take over these operations, i.e. become self-sufficient. Optional: health insurance for the appliance and/or the outputs.
Foreseeable output of at least 12 babies in 15 years, after which period the owner can choose either to pay a modest charge for a full overhaul of his existing model or to trade it in for the purchase of a new model. Affordability of the baby-makers will be enhanced by revamping trade-ins for less affluent customers.
Parts and tools: a menstruating female aged under 15 customised to the client’s wishes (amputations, vocal cords, eyeballs, etc.); a gynaecological bed to assure permanent storage while also allowing unfettered access to the vagina; a staff of 5 to 10 carers (female and male) aged under 10 to provide 24/7/365 care (feeding the appliance and outputs, washing bedpans and floors, changing sheets, treatment of bed sores, etc. etc.). At age 10-12 years, it is recommended that carers be sold or traded in order to restrict unpleasantly rebellious behavior: the boys to be castrated and trained in advanced care provision (birth attendance; medical); the girls to be transformed into baby-makers for non-relatives: in fact, incestuous use of the appliance is to be scrupulously avoided.
Interested parties can obtain further information by contacting their local GOP campaign office.
It’s stunning how close the language in the final decision is to the leaked draft we likely saw care of Ginni Thomas. The only changes have been a few more sentences about how THIS decision does not immediately overturn Obergefell, Lawrence and Griswold, and a few sneering gibes at the dissenters. We should note that Thomas’ concurrence makes very clear that Obergefell, Lawrence and Griswold are indeed on the chopping block as soon as an angry Right Winger can get a custom case up to this SC to make it happen. The key here is that Alito did not say that he would not overturn those cases – only that he would not overturn those cases within this specific decision. He can wait to overturn each of those cases with a separate dose of his vitriol over the next couple of years, if not longer.
In the short term, the impact of Dobbs is that reproductive choice is ended in roughly half of the US. Many of those states either already have new criminal statutes to punish women and their friends (read: abetters) who leave their home state to go have a procedure somewhere else. Meaning that someone could leave Alabama, go to Illinois, have a procedure, return home and face immediate arrest and prosecution. And that whoever helped them get there could also be subject to the same penalty. That’s regardless of Kavanaugh’s bizarre comments about the same idea.
Also in the short term, it’s hoped that a large number of voters will be mobilized to show up for this year’s midterms, particularly in swing and Red States, because the only way to counter what the Far Far Right Wing extremists have done is for someone to vote out the various state legislatures that keep inflicting these heinous state penalties. It has been thought for a long time that if the GOP ever tossed Roe in the trash, they would face a severe backlash at the ballot box. It’s clear that the GOP no longer thinks that will be true. We’ll just have to see if it still is. Hopefully so. If not, then the GOP will have learned they can literally assault women’s reproductive rights without any penalty.
We should note that the crude manner in which Alito did this makes clear that precedents and stare decisis are no longer of any significance to the Supreme Court. We already knew that “settled law” was not a real term at the high court anyway, but it’s now been graphically proven. One presumes that Susan Collins is a little concerned now, but she’ll find a way to move on.
Let’s also remember that the Far Right is nowhere near done trashing women’s rights. Next up for discussion will be whether states can indeed inflict those harsh criminal penalties – and this 5 vote majority will say yes, since Utah has its own alcohol and tobacco laws that are a lot more stringent than anywhere else. There will also be a concerted effort to ban medication abortion in Red States, which will be upheld by this SC via “states’ rights” – and after legitimate pharmacies refuse to mail materials that have been “banned” into those states, the lower income women who cannot travel out for a procedure will be left to purchase mystery meds online, and that’s how we get to the 21st century equivalent of a coat hanger. And even after those messes are allowed to fester by this SC, we’ll hit the one idea that could impact the Blue States – the “fetal personhood” notion. There is no doubt that at least 3 of the 5 Far Right extremists already subscribe to this, and probably 4 of them. The only one in doubt would be Kavanaugh, and based on his conduct on lower courts, it would not be a reach to see him happily go with this too. If that happens, it won’t matter if people are in Red or Blue States, and this will devolve to an international matter.
Finally, there is a major point that must be made regarding a longtime talking point on the Left. For decades, we were told by Left Wing pundits that the Supreme Court really didn’t matter when it came to voting, that the Dems were no better and frankly worse when it came to their appointments, and that hey, the GOP would never actually overturn Roe because they’d lose elections for a generation. And of course we were meant to believe that the constant Right Wing attacks on Roe were just for fundraising, and that only gullible people would fall for the idea that they’d ever do anything – since both Dems and GOP could raise money from the rubes forever on the issue. Alexander Cockburn repeated these talking points during every election season – even taking the position that he liked the GOP appointments better, particularly Stevens and Souter. So the idea was that there was no real point to voting for the Dems anyway, since of course they were supposed to be just the same as the GOP. As it turns out, Cockburn didn’t live to see the consequences of his rhetoric.
Had a few people in the swing states not fallen for that kind of rhetoric in 2016, and had a few active mainstream Dems in the swing states not chosen to stay home in 2016 because it didn’t make a difference to them, we would not now be having this unfortunate conversation.
Now, more than ever, people need to learn their lesson from 2016 and not hide under their beds. If we are to change anything, it will require everyone showing up to vote every time. No excuses.