Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’


The Big Rubber Stamp

September 20, 2018


As Monday draws near, Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS nomination seems all but certain.  Unless Professor Ford’s testimony is given and is supported with the corroborating testimony of others who were present at the party where the alleged sexual assault occurred, the process will be a stalemate of “he said/she said” and Kavanaugh will sail into a lifelong seat on the United States Supreme Court.  The central issue in this controversy is whether Kavanaugh is the kind of man who does not respect women and their rights.  After being nominated by a self-professed pussy-grabbing groper of a man who cheats on his wife with porn stars and playmates, it seems that Kavanaugh and Trump may share similar values with regard to women, but equally so, none of his so-called Christian “family-value” Republican colleagues seem to care. No, they are hell-bent on a single-minded course to overturn Roe v. Wade. Cannot anyone see the underlying connection between these events and Republican ideology?  Is it not all about control over women’s bodies? Is this truly a religious issue or a political assessment, a plea for votes?  Does the truth matter or is this just a calculated exercise in the appearance of fairness in order to save as much Republican support as possible in the midterm election, straddling the fence between the esoteric religious beliefs of their supporters and the pragmatic awareness of women’s rights to control their own bodies as expressed through the “Me Too” movement.

Abortion, is it the taking of a life?  Evangelicals would have us believe it so, but in truth, it’s not so clear cut.  Certainly, a fetus is a form of life.  There are many forms of life that are not human such as plants and animals and there are other living organisms as well.  While all these forms are living things, none is a human being.  Human organs are also full of life. A liver has life within it, as does a kidney, a heart and so on, yet none of these organs constitutes a human being in and of itself. They grow and eventually decay as life passes from them. So, it would take infinite wisdom to determine at what point a fetus is no longer an organ within a woman’s body and has become a human being, a life form capable of self-sufficiency outside her body if called upon. Scientists look at this conundrum and label it “fuzzy logic.”

All religions share the common belief in an after-life of one sort or another and the belief in a system of reward and punishment for the deeds of one’s life on this earth, which depends on the existence of something called the “soul.”  Without a soul, there can be no afterlife.  Central to the argument against abortion is whether the fetus is an independent human being and therefore may possess a soul.

To maintain the separation between church and state is very tricky indeed, as almost all laws have as their basis moral precepts derived from religious law… “thou shall not steal, thou shall not murder, thou shall not commit adultery etc.” These universal precepts can be agreed upon by all, but we have to ask,” is murder a religious concept?”  “Is thievery a religious concept?” or are these pragmatic realities around which are formed social systems we know as laws, which brings us to the issue of abortion and the battle between women’s rights and religious beliefs.

Bluntly put, religious beliefs have no place in law but figure prominently in politics.  It would be wrong to adjudicate a legal issue to placate or reward a religious constituency.  There is an extreme danger in supporting religious-based legal decisions as it takes us just one small step away from a Theocracy such as the Taliban maintain.  The Taliban and other religious forms in that region of the world have had total control over women’s bodies for centuries, their education, their rights, their mode of dress and their right to speak openly.  While we are not that far gone in the United States, the confirmation of a man to the Supreme Court, a man who has attempted a rape and whose nomination is supported by the “good ole boys” who are all too willing to normalize his behavior as a youthful rite of passage while decrying his accuser as mistaken and confused, betrays their willingness to ignore the rights of women to determine what happens to their own bodies.

So, the plan seems pretty clear: Offer Prof Ford the limited opportunity to speak; have Cavanaugh deny her claims and rubber stamp his nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee will not seek the truth through investigation, but will stage an event in an attempt to placate women voters while fulfilling Trump’s promise to overturn Roe v. Wade with his hand-picked nominee, a man who has demonstrated both in theory and in practice that he does not support women’s rights.