Scalia Calls Abortion, LGBTQ Rights, Death Penalty 'Easy' Cases
At a book signing in Washington, DC, last week Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia called overruling Roe v. Wade, criminalizing homosexual sex, and ruling the death penalty constitutional all "absolutely easy" cases.
While speaking at the signing at the American Enterprise Institute, Scalia said: "The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state."
Abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, and the death penalty are all hot button issues, but it is particularly notable that the Supreme Court is expected to make a decision about whether or not to take up a case addressing the issue of marriage equality in the term that began last week. They are not expected to make the decision until after the presidential election in November.
Last week, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (R) named Scalia as his model Supreme Court judge in a debate against challenger Elizabeth Warren (D) and was promptly booed by the debate crowd. Warren's campaign manager Mindy Myers sounded off on Brown's pick after the debate: "Scalia: the same judge who said he was 'adamantly opposed' to Roe v. Wade. Who opposes equal protection for women. Who even opposes the right to contraception. Yes, that Antonin Scalia. This wasn't a trivial question like 'who's your favorite superhero.' It matters. As a United States Senator, Scott Brown gets a vote to confirm our Supreme Court Justices. He gets a say as to whether the Democrats or Republicans control the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the Supreme Court was filled with a majority of Antonin Scalias, our country could move in a terrifying direction for all of us."
Media Resources: Think Progress 10/5/12; Washington Post 10/5/12; Huffington Post 10/1/12; ElizabethWarren.com 10/2/12
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .