Ted Cruz on a Mission

Ted Cruz Just Told Us What the Right’s Coming For Next.

Abortion rights are just the beginning.

Written by Lauren Elizabeth and published in Medium.com 7/23/2022

Ted Cruz (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik/AP)

America is still reeling, of course, with most of us struggling to come to terms with the gravity of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. It was just days later, after all, that we heard the story of a ten year old little girl in Ohio who was forced to travel out of state to Indiana in order to get an abortion and not be forced to carry her rapist’s baby to term. Indiana, it’s certainly worth noting, is poised to implement its own draconian anti-choice legislation in the coming weeks, and the story was made even worse when the state’s attorney general announced to a FOX News audience that his office would be launching an investigation into the doctor who helped the girl get an abortion.

All because she helped a little girl, and ensured she would not be forced to go through the trauma of giving birth to her rapists baby.

The right’s endeavor to turn a uterus into the property of the state, and weaponize the state against privacy and women’s reproductive healthcare is — as so many of us have come to realize — only the beginning.

But, we’ve had glimpses of what they’re coming for next.

None other than Texas’ Ted Cruz gave us another insight just recently.

Virginia Chamlee with PEOPLE Magazine writes:

“…On Sunday’s episode of his podcast, Verdict With Ted Cruz, the Republican said the 2015 case that legalized gay marriage in the U.S. “was clearly wrong when it was decided.”

“It was the court overreaching,” Cruz added, USA Today reports.

Elsewhere in the episode, Cruz compared the Obergefell case to Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion until being overturned by the court in June.

The issue, Cruz suggested, is that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to the states.

“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history,” Cruz said. “Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting.”…”

Ah, yes.

The court stepping in to ensure the government doesn’t get between you and your doctor when it comes to healthcare, or ensuring that the government doesn’t get to step in and prevent two consenting adults from getting married on the basis of gender or sex…that’s government overreach.

Seizing our bodies as property of the state though, and forcing us to give birth…that’s perfectly acceptable?

Women using coat hangers in desperate attempts to give themselves abortions…that’s fine. By Ted Cruz’s logic, that’s simply American history. Simply the price we pay for having a uterus, and the federal government has no right to step in and ensure safe abortion access in states that don’t want to provide it.

After they came for our bodies, can we really be surprised they’re coming into our homes and bedrooms next?

Can we really be surprised that after they’re dictating what happens inside our bodies, they’re trying to dictate who we can and cannot marry? They’re all about freedom though, right? Freedom to control. Freedom to discriminate. Freedom to dictate the most intimate details of someone else’s life.

In his concurring opinion for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, Clarence Thomas was practically begging. Begging for cases to come up through the courts where the Supreme Court could overturn rights to contraception, allow for the reimplementation of sodomy laws, and the right for LGBTQ couples to marry.

Ted Cruz, of course, is using the platform of his podcast to essentially do the same.

All they’re looking for is one lawsuit. They just want one lawsuit related to each of these specific issues to make its way to the Supreme Court, and they’re ready and waiting to overturn each one of those past rulings.

This is war, and we better start acting like it. Right wingers like Ted Cruz and Clarence Thomas…they’re nothing but creeps. Sick freaks. Absolute monsters who are literally dedicating their careers and their power to attempting to control who you marry, what you can and cannot do in your bedroom, and what grows inside your body.

Of course, hearing stories like these I can’t help thinking about Ted Cruz’s young daughters. One is eleven, the other fourteen. Fourteen. Barely even a teenager, but certainly old enough to understand the weight of her father’s stance on these issues.

What if one of them is gay? What if one of them gets pregnant their senior year, and absolutely does not want to carry a fetus to term and put their body through that, let alone raise a child? Oh, I’m sure Cruz would ensure his daughter got whatever she needed. They’re above these laws, after all. But imagine being in that situation, knowing what their father has done. Knowing that countless other girls have been robbed of the freedom he’s ensuring they will still have, and carrying the weight of that with you.

Honestly, my heart goes out to them.

Abortion Decision Draft

What’s Missing from Alito’s Decision to Revoke the Right to Abortion

In a leaked draft, the Justice points to “history and tradition” but ignores the context of both the past and the present.

By Jessica Winter and published in the New Yorker May 3, 2022

Just in time for Mother’s Day, a draft of the majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case focussing on the constitutionality of a fifteen-week abortion ban in Mississippi, was leaked to Politico, which published it on Monday night. In the draft, Justice Samuel Alito repeatedly cites the Fourteenth Amendment, which specifies that any right conferred by its due-process clause must be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” The right to an abortion—which Roe v. Wade and its successor, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, ascribed to the due-process clause—has no such roots, Alito argues. “Until the latter part of the 20th century,” he writes, “there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Zero. None.” Alito is entirely correct that, in 1973, the Supreme Court was somewhat out of step with its time in codifying women’s rights. When Roe was decided, a married woman in the United States needed her husband’s permission to get a credit card, something that did not change until 1974. No state outlawed marital rape until 1975. No man was found liable for sexual harassment until 1977. Pregnancy was a fireable offense until 1978. Alito does not itemize forms of gender-based subjugation that persisted after Roe, many of which might be persuasively argued as “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” But the history of such discrimination offers helpful context for why some conservatives might have seen the legalization of abortion—and the freedom that it conferred on women—as so radical, so potentially destructive to the social order, that they would spend nearly fifty years working toward its reversal.

Other, more recent Supreme Court decisions have rested on the presumption of a right to privacy in the due-process clause—Lawrence v. Texas, for example, which struck down so-called sodomy laws across the country, or Obergefell v. Hodges, which enshrined the right to same-sex marriage. Some conservatives viewed these progressive victories in the same apocalyptic terms as they did Roe, and some progressive activists are legitimately concerned that, if finalized, the decision in Dobbs will open the door to dismantling L.G.B.T.Q. rights. But the draft opinion, which upholds Mississippi’s ban on abortion after fifteen weeks of pregnancy, is careful to specify that reproductive rights are special, even unique. No other issue involves “the critical moral question posed by abortion”—i.e., the rights, the standing, the precise ontology of “fetal life,” “potential life,” or “an unborn human being.” This uncertainty, Alito writes, requires the Court to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” He adds, “At the time of Roe, 30 States still prohibited abortion at all stages. In the years prior to that decision, about a third of the States had liberalized their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process.” (The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw Roe in broadly similar terms—as an interruption to a more organic, less contentious advance of reproductive rights—albeit from the other side of the aisle.) Roe intruded on the will of the people, Alito contends. The decision was “exceptionally weak,” an “abuse of judicial authority,” “egregiously wrong from the start,” and one that “short-circuited the democratic process.”


If a majority of the Supreme Court decrees that Roe is, at its core, a subversion of American democracy, then there is some symmetry in the fact that four of the five Justices voting to end it were appointed by men who won the Presidency despite losing the popular vote, that three of them were appointed by a man who was twice impeached, and that one was appointed to an essentially stolen seat. A majority of Americans support abortion rights, but Republican-controlled legislatures in heavily gerrymandered states do not, and it is those lopsided governing bodies that are responsible for Mississippi’s fifteen-week ban, for Texas’s six-week ban, and for bills that would restrict or ban abortions in at least twenty-one other states should Roe be officially overturned. On the national level, gerrymandered districts in the House, conservative overrepresentation in the Senate, and Joe Manchin’s dedication to the filibuster will almost certainly doom any federal action that President Biden may attempt. Minoritarian rule, regardless of its merits, is also deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition, and it is grimly easy to foretell what will result from it now: an increase in adverse maternal-health outcomes, especially for poor women and Black and brown women; unjust prosecutions of women who suffer miscarriages; enormous pressure on already overtaxed clinics in states that preserve abortion rights; and more.

To the layperson, at least, the decades-long debate—undertaken by scholars on the left as well as the right—about if or where a right to abortion is found in the Constitution can look like a pedantic fixation. Childbirth can be physically and psychologically debilitating, and so can parenthood, even in the most favorable and desired circumstances; it would not seem to require a law degree to determine that carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term and being forced to give birth is a matter of life and liberty. Abortion rights are only a part of one of the central, most vexing, most consequential questions of our entire judicial system: Who does your body belong to? Who is in possession of you, of your self, at any given moment in your life? Is it you? Is it your parent, is it your spouse or sexual partner, is it a physician, is it a police officer or prison warden, is it a state legislature, is it the God you pray to? Is it Samuel Alito?

Lewis Powell, a moderate Nixon appointee to the Supreme Court, voted with the majority in Roe, following an incident in which a young colleague at his law firm came to him in desperation after his girlfriend bled to death as a result of a botched abortion. (Powell intervened with the local prosecutor on the young man’s behalf, and no charges were filed against him.) Powell was confronted with a body that had been harmed by the law, and he acted accordingly. In the Dobbs decision, Alito nods a bit at women’s lived experiences in a manner at once abstract and upbeat, implying that the need for abortion has diminished since 1973, owing to weakened stigmas against single mothers, prohibitions on pregnancy discrimination, and the fact that parental leave “is guaranteed by law in many cases,” among other reasons. He does not mention that American women have the highest maternal-mortality rates in the industrialized world, that America is the only industrialized nation without mandated paid leave, that sixteen per cent of its children live in poverty, that it spends something like two per cent of what some Scandinavian countries do on day care per toddler. Alito does not quantify what the end of Roe means, nor does he personify it; there are no women here. There is “the womb”—the generic vessel outside of which the fetus cannot survive—but there is no body. For all the suffering and havoc that may result from this decision, it is a bloodless text, on a matter that is all blood.

The Link Between Texas’s New Abortion Law and its New Voting Laws

For decades, Republican strategists have seen exploiting both issues as a way to hang on to power.

Written by Sue Halpern and published in the New Yorker 9/3/2021

Photo by Ali Khalil on Pexels.com

Insurance companies, taxi-drivers, friends, donors to nonprofits, health-care workers—any and all people with even a minor role in enabling an abortion are potentially liable. The law is not only a radical departure from convention, it’s a repudiation of due process, granting standing to individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have it. A more judicious Court, rather than one with a majority of Justices selected because of their ideological opposition to abortion, would have halted the implementation of the Texas law for this reason alone.

The Roe decision took a calendar approach to abortion, allowing a woman to terminate a pregnancy for almost any reason during the first two trimesters, with some state regulation of abortion allowed after the first trimester, and more after the second trimester, at which point a fetus is viable outside the womb, and a state’s interest in protecting it becomes “compelling.” Even so, anti-abortion activists used the trimester timetable to chip away at Roe. The Court’s 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey upheld a constitutional right to abortion, but eliminated the trimester timetable, which opened the door for states to determine their own standards surrounding fetal viability. Scores of restrictive statutes followed.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice nonprofit, between January, 2011, and July, 2019, states enacted four hundred and eighty-three new abortion restrictions. The Texas law, S.B. 8, is the most recent and extreme iteration of these. At six weeks, many women do not know that they are pregnant, but, according to anti-abortion activists, that is when a fetal heartbeat is first discernible. Medical professionals, though, say that this is misleading, because at six weeks, though the cells that will eventually form a heart may have begun to emit electrical signals, a fetal heart will not fully develop for about another fourteen weeks. Nevertheless, S.B. 8 penalizes health-care providers who fail to search for a signal or who continue to treat the patient if they detect it.

Texas was already one of the most difficult places in the country to obtain an abortion. Guttmacher reports that there was a twenty-five-per-cent decline in the number of abortion clinics in the state between 2014 and 2017. In 2017, ninety-six per cent of Texas counties had no abortion facilities. Last year, Governor Greg Abbott issued a temporary ban on certain health-care procedures, including abortions, ostensibly because of the coronavirus pandemic. If the ban had been long-term or strictly implemented, women in the state would have had to travel an average of four hundred and forty-seven miles, round trip, to obtain abortion services.

What makes the Texas law especially odious is that, by empowering random individuals to enforce it rather than leaving that to officials, the authors of S. B. 8 have complicated the ability of abortion-rights advocates to block the law in court, as there is no state agent to sue. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his dissent, “The desired consequence appears to be to insulate the State from responsibility for implementing and enforcing the regulatory regime.” This clever subterfuge gave the Court’s conservatives an opportunity to make the disingenuous claim that they were allowing the law to stand because it was not yet clear that the defendants in the case “can or will seek to enforce the Texas law against the applicants in a manner that might permit our intervention.” The Justices further claimed that they were not ruling on the merits or the constitutionality of the law—though it is unconstitutional, according to the protections afforded by Roe—and suggested that the plaintiffs could, in theory, challenge S.B. 8 going forward. In a stinging dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “Taken together, the act is a breathtaking Act of defiance—of the Constitution, of this Court’s precedents, and of the rights of women seeking abortions throughout Texas.” And what of those women? According to a report in the Texas Tribune, the day before the law went into effect, a clinic in Fort Worth saw more than a hundred women right up to the midnight deadline. The next day, they had to turn away patients who no longer met the new restrictions.As the challenge to S.B. 8 was working its way through the courts, Republicans in the Texas legislature were busy writing similarly draconian laws to make it harder to vote, especially for people of color. S.B. 1, the bill that inspired Democratic legislators to flee the state earlier this summer in order to deprive their Republican colleagues of a quorum, was finally passed this week, and was sent to Governor Abbott for his signature. Among its provisions, the law requires monthly citizenship checks; entitles partisan poll watchers to move freely within polling sites and makes it a criminal offense to obstruct their observation of election workers; and eliminates twenty-four-hour and drive-through voting. Though the two laws address different domains, they are connected: in Texas and elsewhere in the country, a ligature of racism connects efforts to deny people of color their right to vote and women—disproportionately women of color—their right to terminate a pregnancy.

The Roberts Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, enabled Republican legislatures to pass hundreds of laws, such as S.B. 1, in Texas, to make it harder for people—again, particularly people of color—to vote. (The Voting Rights Act was intended to rectify the long history of denying Black Americans all the benefits of citizenship, including the right to cast a ballot.) Well before Shelby, in the nineteen-eighties, Republican strategists, most notably Paul Weyrich, who famously said that “our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down,” understood that to hold on to power Republicans had to do two things: keep Democrats from voting and find new Republican allies.

People of color were a suitable target for their first aim, since they tended to vote, overwhelmingly, for Democrats—hence the various attempts to suppress the vote in the years before Holder, such as gerrymandering and the multitude of laws passed in its wake. Meanwhile, some evangelical Christians, who had largely eschewed politics, turned out to be ripe for conversion when they found themselves unable to obtain tax-exempt status for “segregation academies”—schools that followed what they claimed to be a Biblical mandate to keep the races apart. According to the historian Randall Balmer, in 1979, six years after Roe, Weyrich encouraged Jerry Falwell and other evangelical leaders to seize “on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term . . . because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools.”

It is undeniable that there are sincere people with a deeply held belief in the sanctity of life, which, for them, overrides a woman’s right to control her own body, but that is not the motivation of the authors of S.B. 8. If it were, we would see those legislators apply the same standard to gun control, abolition of the death penalty, enforcement of public-health mandates, and a commitment to the social welfare of children, especially children born into poverty. Instead, those legislators appeal to “the right to life” in the same way that they invoke the term “voter fraud”—in order to consolidate their power and pursue an anti-democratic agenda.

President Biden responded to the Supreme Court majority’s decision to abet this ploy by stating that his Administration would be launching “a whole-of-government effort to respond . . . to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe, and what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties.” Others reacting to the Court’s dereliction have renewed calls to add more Justices and to end the filibuster. There are also calls for Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act in order to create a federal abortion law to override S.B. 8 and other anti-abortion state statutes. Still, though any of these measures has the potential to reinforce the protections codified by Roe, none of them will help the women who are being turned away from clinics now, and they won’t shield their supporters from the bounty hunters who have been authorized to track them down. And, given the glacial pace of congressional “action,” these measures likely won’t prevent other states from passing copycat anti-abortion statutes. (Within twenty-four hours of the law’s going into effect, the president of the Florida state Senate said that he was considering introducing similar legislation.)

By doing nothing to stop S.B. 8, the Court has effectively sanctioned extortion. Days before the Texas law went into effect, an activist on TikTok posted a computer script designed to overwhelm a Web site created by an anti-abortion group to report those who have violated the law; the script allows users to inundate the site with fake claims. How pathetic that a few lines of code may have temporarily offered the most effective way to protect the rights of Texan women.