Donald Trump has now fulfilled one of the many promises and threats he made while on the campaign trail.
After lower courts blocked the September version of what has become known as the “Muslim Travel Ban,” which was the third attempt, the Supreme Court up upheld a version of the travel ban. The ruling was 5-4 ruling, with the five conservatives in the majority.
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018
Of course Donald Trump immediately took to twitter to announce the news that everybody already knew. But Trump’s tweets actually became fodder for the travel ban case. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the president’s statements do not endanger the travel ban. To be clear, the court was not considering whether such a ban was righteous or even consistent with America’s own lore; only that the White House was within its rights to issue the ban under the justification of “national security.”
But that’s not the only major decision the court handed down this week. Its decision in NIFLA v. Becerra ruled in favor of so-called “crisis pregnancy clinics” which aren’t clinics using any reasonable definition of the word. What they really are is little more than missionary-led storefronts which exist to ply vulnerable women with anti-choice propaganda. The court ruled that California could not force those deceptive centers to post signs explaining they do not offer any medical services whatsoever. They also aren’t required, if asked, to inform the women in question that free or low-cost abortions are available. This is a huge blow to reproductive choice. As the name indicates, a “crisis pregnancy clinic” is not where one would a woman to enter because she has been trying to conceive for ages, was excited about her at-home positive test, and would like to have a sonogram. Rather, these women are in crises, whether that has to do with how they became pregnant, an abusive partner, concerned they would be disowned by family, etc.
But that’s not the only blow to women’s reproductive autonomy. In January 2018, Trump released a list of his Pro-Life Accomplishments and that list does not include the hundreds of bills passed at state-level limiting abortion access.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to appoint anti-choice Supreme Court Justices at any opportunity. He went so far as to say that, if elected, he would make sure Roe v. Wade was overturned immediately during his third debate during the 2016 election cycle.
That was considered pretty far-fetched, but Roe v. Wade has been dying death of a thousand cuts by various laws limiting access. The came the news that Justice Kennedy was retiring. While Kennedy is a conservative justice, he is a moderate conservative who has long been considered a “firewall” for Roe v. Wade. It’s implausible that his replacement will be less conservative.
The future is uncertain, but one can’t help but wonder what exactly the American people would do if a landmark ruling such as Roe v. Wade or Obergefell v. Hodges is overturned.
After all, the Gorsuch seat is basically illegitimate, having been the longest vacated Supreme Court seat in history as Republicans held it hostage following the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Nobody really believed the GOP would get away with that. The assumption was that the gears would grind and of course President Obama would rightfully choose Scalia’s replacement. So we didn’t really panic. We didn’t really do anything.
Will we do anything except panic if our rights are rescinded by a Donald Trump sponsored Supreme Court?