Last week was rough.
(For some of us, things have been difficult for a while – in Wisconsin it’s been particularly difficult for those of us who are/were public employees for example.)
But last week was, by far the most audacious example of complete disregard of the Constitution, Precedent, Freedom of Religion (which is literally why our country exists), Respect for Women, and Democracy.
Of course I am talking about the Dodd Decision which resulted in the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. But, the decision on abortion wasn’t the only major decision SCOTUS made last week that will impact millions of Americans and that went against wishes of the majority of Americans.
- On Tuesday SCOTUS ruled that Marietta Memorial Hospital could reimburse their employees requiring dialysis at low rates in the hopes that the employees would switch to Medicare (so they’d be completely off the hook.). DaVita (a dialysis provider, frankly not necessarily the hero in this – they’re just trying to get more business) sued the hospital claiming that the hospital was discriminating against their employees by offering the low reimbursements. SCOTUS said that because the hospital offered the same reimbursement amount to all renal disease patients, whether they had end-stage renal disease or not, it wasn’t discrimination. (End stage costs a lot more.) I think it’s appalling that insurers, especially a hospital, can pick and choose what diseases to cover. (FYI, shockingly Sonia Sotomayor voted with the conservative justices. I wonder if it was her effort to “regain the public’s confidence“. Think she feels differently now? And/or after hearing this?)
- Also on Tuesday, SCOTUS ruled that Maine could not prevent religious schools from receiving public funds through the statue tuition program. Separation of Church and State is gasping for air and about to take its last breath.
- On Thursday three rulings came down. The first SCOTUS ruling was not only an attack on States’ Rights but was an outrageous interpretation of the 2nd amendment. The timing was also deplorable considering the Uvalde, Brooklyn, and other recent mass shootings. In this ruling, the conservative majority struck down a New York State law that set limitations on carrying guns outside of the home.
To me, the Second Amendment seems fairly clear:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.“
It’s that second comma that is the problem. It basically says – because a WELL-REGULATED Militia is necessary for a “State” (or government) to remain free and secure, the government shall not infringe the rights of individuals to keep and bear “Arms.” Setting aside that it SAYS “well-regulated” right in the amendment, my feeling is as long as people are able to have access to some “arms” (it doesn’t define arms, could that be pitchforks, pinking shears, a rolling pin?), I would think the government would be within its right to regulate guns that it felt were a threat to public safety. After all, that is one of the government’s main jobs. But what do I know. I’m no lawyer. Clearly.
I read this article today and I think the question is not just specific to California. Are Americans prepared for black and brown people to be carrying guns in public? This is not going to end well.
- Another ruling was an attack on every American’s right to Miranda. A man named Mr. Tekoh wasn’t read his Miranda rights and was questioned “at length” by a sheriff. He ended up signing a confession.
The judge ALLOWED the confession (which is hugely problematic for so many reasons,) Still, the jury acquitted the man. Mr. Tekoh filed a civil lawsuit against the sheriff for violating his constitutional rights.
These conservatives (@#$%^(#*) Justices have ruled that Miranda isn’t actually a constitutional right. Alito had the balls to say that although Miranda has constitutional roots, “a violation of Miranda does not necessarily constitute a violation of the Constitution.”
Justice Kagan wrote in dissent:
“Today,” she wrote, “the court strips individuals of the ability to seek a remedy for violations of the right recognized in Miranda. The majority observes that defendants may still seek ‘the suppression at trial of statements obtained’ in violation of Miranda’s procedures.”
“But sometimes,” Justice Kagan continued, “such a statement will not be suppressed. And sometimes, as a result, a defendant will be wrongly convicted and spend years in prison. He may succeed, on appeal or in habeas, in getting the conviction reversed. But then, what remedy does he have for all the harm he has suffered?”
- The third ruling on Thursday had to do with an individual on death row. A man was asking that his death sentence be carried out by firing squad instead of lethal injection because his veins were compromised, which means a lethal injection death would be cruel and unusual.
There are only four states in the country that use firing squad as an approved method of execution. Georgia, where this prisoner resided, is not one of those four states.
Coney Barrett, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch were in dissent. They claimed that the man was trying to get out of his punishment because death by firing squad may never be approved in Georgia. It’s telling that these four put execution before the 8th Amendment. But then they are all Federalists.
- AND TODAY (Monday) SCOTUS issued three more decisions:
a. The first was interesting – it will allow some prison inmates to ask for reduced sentences. The reason for this – Trump’s First Step Act, signed into law in 2018. And it was the three liberal justices, Gorsuch, and THOMAS who said Yea! The intent is of the law is to reduce racial disparity. Shame on the other four.
b. The second – And the wall came tumbling down. No surprise the praying coach won. Prayer is soon coming to a public school near you.
c. The third – Doctors are pretty much off the hook (or getting a second chance) on the opioid thing.
There is one more big decision come down the road. That is WEST VIRGINIA v. the EPA. If SCOTUS rules against the EPA, the US will have no way to limit greenhouse gases, power plant emissions or any pollution that is creating climate change. The likelihood that this Supreme Court would rule in favor of WV is fairly high.
I will say though, there are a few things that ensued from this shitstorm of anti-democratic decisions that made me feel better, gave me hope, but also made me recognize that this country is most likely going to become more divided before we return to any semblance of normalcy.
These tweets would be two of them…
ANYWAY, on to my SEVEN THINGS!
1. This Font – Honestly, this is genius and if I could read everything in this font I would not only be a happier person but a more educated one as well. If you click HERE it’ll take you to the Bionic Reading website where there is a Chrome extension you can add to convert pages into the font (I haven’t tried that since I don’t use Chrome) and there is a general convertor where you can either enter a URL (which is great for those really long Atlantic and New Yorker articles) or you can upload a file (unfortunately it only accepts TXT, RTF, RTFD, EPUB or DOCX – NO PDFs.)
Maybe someday everything will have Bionic Reading as an option and we can just turn it on!
[Found on Upworthy]
2. This Seventeenth-Century Woman Artist – Artemisia Gentileschi – “Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes” (c. 1624-27), oil on canvas, 73 11/16″ x 55 7/8″. Detroit Institute of Arts
3. This News about Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody – O…..M…..G I don’t know how many of you made it through the pandemic watching videos of Mandy and Kathryn (like I and millions of others did) but I could watch the two of them ALL DAY! Sadly, this show will only be a 30 minute sitcom on Showtime, it’s called Seasoned. Just like with their home videos, their son Gideon is involved. I cannot wait!!!
To get an idea of what it’s gonna be like…
[Sent to me by Ann L. – Thanks Ann!]
4. This Clever Pride Flag – Kitsch + Pride Month = Perfection.
[Found on Queerty]
5. This Chihuly Museum – How have I never heard about this???
It’s located in Seattle.
Photos by Mellanie Mercier
[Found by my friend Mellanie]
6. This Sparkling Water – Finally something I can drink that isn’t caffeinated, has no sugar or artificial sweeteners, and isn’t overly carbonated. I picked up an 8 pack of this from Imperfect Foods and gave it a try. Was I delighted! Found out it’s at my local grocery and I promptly picked up a second 8 pack. I really like the raspberry-lime flavor. The only other one I’ve tried is the “Arnold Palmer” (half lemon/half tea).
They have cocktail recipes on their website. These would be genius in cocktails or mocktails!
7. These Magazine Covers – I think all of them except for the Blondie cover are from the best decade of the 20th century, the 1980s (the Blondie one is from the 70s.) Richard Bernstein created the covers of Warhol’s Interview Magazine from 1972 through 1989. Iconic.
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