Judge shopping to deny access to abortion pills
“Trump judge’s ruling could ban abortion pill across the US.” – Guardian
“Far-right groups have asked to reverse the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, which has been on the market for decades. A Texas judge could upend what remains of abortion access across the US if he agrees to a request by far-right groups to reverse federal approval of a key drug used in medication abortion, which accounts for more than half of pregnancy terminations nationwide. Reproductive rights advocates say the ruling could have a “devastating” impact on the already fragile abortion care landscape, severely eroded by the US supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.” – Guardian
Who is Judge Kacsmaryk? How much has he donated to Republicans? What is judge shopping? How do right wing extremist groups create laws that deny the majority of Americans their rights? How has the GOP packed Supreme Court politicized justice? What can you do to fight for women’s rights? Start with this Power Map.
Why is this case so important?
“More than 3.7 million women have used Mifepristone, which is taken with its companion drug, Misoprostol, to terminate unwanted pregnancies, since the abortion pill became available in the United States more than two decades ago. Last year, more than half of documented abortions in America were done with help from the abortion pill.
The pill’s ubiquity, its ability to be sent quickly and discreetly through the mail, and be taken within the privacy of one’s home, has made it a desirable option for anyone seeking to end an early pregnancy. For the women in the 14 states that have banned or severely restricted the practice since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, it’s one of the last practical alternatives left.” – Rolling Stone
“The suit has been widely ridiculed by legal experts as rooted in baseless and debunked arguments,” Caroline Kitchener and Perry Stein wrote in The Washington Post on Sunday. “But in recent weeks, abortion rights advocates and some in the Biden administration have grown increasingly concerned that the case is likely to be decided entirely by conservative judges who might be eager for a chance to restrict abortion access even in Democrat-led states.” – The Atlantic
Republicans politicize the courts
“The laws they’re reading haven’t changed. What has is the political lean of the court, and it hardly happened accidentally. No one can mistake that judicial nominations have become a partisan bloodbath, and Republicans…The Dobbs decision is the result of partisan wrangling that transformed the Supreme Court from America’s most trusted, politically ambivalent institution into one that appears solidly in the grasp of a single party.
That process of politicization is long and unmistakable, but it went into overdrive in 2016 when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to host hearings for Obama’s final nominee to the Court, Merrick Garland. President Trump went on to appoint Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the bench. Then in the final months of Trump’s presidency, McConnell reversed on the precedent he fabricated to deny Garland a hearing and rammed Amy Coney Barrett through a last-minute confirmation process. If there was any decorum left in the Supreme Court nomination process, it died in October of 2020.” – Renew Democracy Initiative
Who is Judge Kacsmaryk?
- “Judge Kacsmaryk serves on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
- President Trump nominated Kacsmaryk on September 7, 2017 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and he was confirmed on June 19, 2019, on a 52-46 vote.
- He was previously Deputy General Counsel at a Christian law firm, the First Liberty Institute, which noted he was “the first confirmed judge who’s gone directly from a religious liberty law firm to the federal judiciary.”
- Kacsmaryk is anti-choice. He recently ruled that teenagers can be prohibited from using contraception without parental consent.
- He has also issued opinions allowing for discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and limiting the rights of immigrants seeking asylum.” – NARAL
- Kacsmaryk made campaign contributions to Josh Hawley for Senate, Ted Cruz Victory Committee, Cruz for President, and Texans for Senator John Cornyn Inc. – FEC
What’s is judge shopping?
“How Judge-Shopping Has Turned the Judiciary into a Rubber Stamp for Nonsense. For the 26th time in two years, the Texas attorney general Ken Paxton recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging a Biden administration policy.The case was filed in Amarillo. Why Amarillo? By filing there, Mr. Paxton had a 100 percent chance of having the case assigned to Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk — appointed to the bench by President Donald Trump in 2019 and a former deputy general counsel to the First Liberty Institute, which frequently litigates religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court.
By taking advantage of a loophole in federal procedure, these plaintiffs are able to rely on a small handful of district judges appointed by Mr. Trump to thwart major features of President Biden’s agenda. The tactic upends the tradition of random assignment of judges and raises serious questions about the fairness and impartiality of the judicial system. – Esquire
Republican court packing
“Kacsmaryk was put on the bench by Trump precisely for his hardline beliefs in this arena. He was an anti-contraception warrior at First Liberty, a hard-right conservative Christian litigation shop in Texas, suing the government over the Affordable Care Act’s contraception requirement and filing an amicus brief in support of a Washington state pharmacy that refused to dispense emergency contraception.” – Balls And Strikes
“In only four years in office, and with the help of one particularly gullible pro-choice Republican, former President Donald Trump was able to appoint three such justices. They all voted to strike down Roe, signally, unequivocally, the bitter end of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as a dispassionate, non-partisan branch of government, and ushering in a new era in which no right can be considered safe, and no judicial precedent sacred.
And with the demise of a bedrock precedent like Roe, other fundamental rights are now squarely on the chopping block as well. The court’s three liberal justices warned in their dissent that the majority’s “cavalier” attitude toward decisions once considered settled “places in jeopardy other rights, from contraception to same-sex intimacy and marriage.” On cue, in solo concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the court should reconsider protections on contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage next.” – Rolling Stone
What you can do?
“With a safety record of over 99%, medication abortion care is safer than Tylenol. Attacks on medication abortion care are not based in science—they are politically motivated. Lying about medication abortion care is part of anti-choice groups’ longstanding disinformation campaign meant to further stigmatize abortion and block access to care. Medication abortion care helps give people the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives and families. Without it, millions of people will be stripped of their reproductive freedom.” – NARAL
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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.
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