Like omg! I was watching the news the other day. No, this was not ‘the news,’ like CNN, MSNBC or that ‘other’ station that rhymes with ‘lox.’
This news segment was about people, specifically ‘Twenty-Somethings’ who were returning to work in a Post-COVID World.
Indeed, everyone has to go back to work in a ‘Real’ office. No, you can’t continue to work out of your ‘home virtual office,’ which is in your bedroom. To clarify, the ‘real office’ is located in an office building where grown-ups go to work 5 days a week. Real life. The pre-COVID era. Ah, the good ole’ days.
Apparently, not everyone is happy about returning to the real office. So sad.
Well. Excuse me. Sad is not the appropriate word that expresses the ‘twenty-somethings’ that were interviewed on this show. These women emphatically did not, not, want to go back to work in the ‘real’ office.
I mean really. After listening to their compelling stories, like duh, who could blame these educated, professional women for wanting to work ‘virtually’ from home.
The first woman who was interviewed, quit her job as a paralegal because in the post-pandemic real world, she was required to go back to work in the real office. My word! You go girl!
She stated ‘…when you go from full remote to office, it was like, why am I doing this? It seems like pointless? I was so much more tired, I would come home exhausted, and you know, I wouldn’t want to go to the gym, and wouldn’t want to read a book, like I wouldn’t really want to make dinner. 5 days a week in office, 9–5, which is just unreasonable.’
I hear ya sistah! Oy, too much stress, and being tired is just a total no-no. Clearly, working from 9–5 as a paralegal at the real office, located in the office building prior to the pandemic must have been a heavy burden.
Can you imagine, going to work every day, day in, day out? Tsk, tsk, too much to bear for a twenty-something.
Fortunately, this is a woman of the 21st century who knows how to take care of herself.
The good news is that she found another virtual paralegal job. Yes, she gets to continue to work at home! I am thrilled for her! It is wonderful that she will not be subjected to the demands of working in a real office. Best of all, she will now have the strength to go to the gym, read a book, and cook a meal. Although why cook a meal, when Postmates can deliver dinner in half the time it takes to cook. This of course frees up more time, so you can go out with your friends for cocktails. Which you can do since you will not be tired anymore. Just another perk working from home.
Another person who was interviewed, a 25 year old woman, echoed similar sentiments. She stated, ‘we are more productive at home, we are happier at home, we’re doing what the company asks of us…and going back in is really a form of micromanaging, We don’t want any part of it.’
Wait a gosh darn minute! I have a few questions with regard to this second woman who was interviewed. She used the word ‘home’ several times and said she was ‘happy.’ Was she living at home with mommy and daddy during the pandemic? Was she more productive at home because mommy gave her three meals a day and did her laundry? Is home better to work at because you can sneak in a work-out when you are working virtually? Or binge on a Netflix show? Just wonderin.’
One more thing…this twenty-something essentially said she doesn’t want to be micromanaged at work. Is that right? Stop the presses for a moment and get me off this merry-go-round.
As an adult, in the real world, everyone’s life is micromanaged by someone. I know, there was no college course on this subject. Sad.
Such grievances! These twenty-somethings remind me of my kids when they were teenagers and would yell at me “you are not the boss of me.” Not to be the bearer of bad news, but in a professional work environment, someone is the boss of you. Sad reality check.
Clearly, these twenty-somethings set forth compelling arguments to continue to work virtually from home. Right? Oy vey. Tell it to the Judge Judy.
I mean really…what kind of people are we to require educated professionals to work at oppressive office jobs, which make you so tired at the end of a day, that you can’t even go to the gym. The nerve of employers!
Can you imagine being a twenty-something college graduate and subjected to working at a real job, in a real office, from 9–5? Like what was the point of going to college anyway? Again, college did not prepare students for real life.
When these women were interviewed for this show, their parents must have been so proud of them!
I have kids who are in their twenties. If my kids told me this tale of woe, I would have laughed at them and rubbed two fingers together to show that I was playing the smallest violin in the world, playing the saddest, saddest songs.
I don’t know about y’all, but back in the day, I worked as an attorney. I had to get up very early in the morning, wear a suit, uncomfortable high heels, and get to the office or courthouse.
Oh, and by the by, my ‘work hours’ were not 9 am to 5 pm… that would be like going to Day Camp. My hours were leave the house by 6 am and get home late at night. And then, work some more at home. Everyone micromanaged me and was up my arse. And I never got a ‘thank you.’
Just wait till you have kids of your own… that 9–5 job will be remembered as a vacation!
An Applicant Does Not Have to Be a Rocket Scientist!
Today is December 30, 2020, and there are just a few more days left to finalize college applications. How exciting!
As we live and breathe, students are staring at 15–20 college applications, and confronted with the daunting task of writing 2–3 required college essays per application. This adds up to a total of 60 essays.
CALM DOWN and BREATHE! You do not have to be a genius to write the college essay. #TRUE
Colleges Pose Similar Essay Prompts
Let’s face it kids, we are not reinventing the wheel with college essay prompts. At the end of the day, the wording of the essay questions may vary from college to college, however, the same question is being asked. #TRUE
Since we will not be reinventing the wheel, if an applicant applies to 20 colleges, 60 different essays need not be written. They just need to be ‘tweaked’ to conform to a specific college essay prompt.
Essay Prompt Examples from Duke University and Princeton University
Below are required essay prompts from both Duke and Princeton Admissions. Even though worded slightly differently, the essay prompts pose the same question to the applicant.
Duke University Undergraduate Admissions poses the following required essay prompt for all 2020–21 applicants: essay prompt: Please share with us why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something in particular about Duke’s academic or other offerings that attract you? (200 words maximum).
Princeton University Undergraduate Admissions poses the following required essays prompts for A.B. Degree Applicants or Those Who are Undecided: As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? (Please respond in about 250 words.) Princeton poses the following required essay prompt for B.S.E. (‘Bachelor Science Engineering) Degree Applicants: Please describe why you are interested in studying engineering at Princeton. Include any of your experiences in, or exposure to engineering, and how you think the programs offered at the University suit your particular interests. (Please respond in about 250 words.)
The general essay response would be the same to both colleges. However, each essay response would be tailored to the specific college academic program, courses, and campus community.
The Dean of Undergraduate Admissions is Your Audience
College essays are written for an audience of one person, the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions.
The Essays are the vehicle to show your love for the college and is the student’s personal letter, albeit self-portrait to the Dean. In a meaningful, direct manner, an applicant must communicate to the Dean throughout the required and supplemental essays who they are as a person. The student must describe how participation in extraordinary activities created a unique person who overcame challenges to pursue innovative concepts and ideas that impacted their community and beyond.
The Essay is how an applicant shouts aloud to the Dean to #PICKME #COLLEGEACCEPTANCE!
College Essay Advisors
I always recommend high school students work with a college essay advisor. You do not have to be a genius to write a college essay, however, you need to know ‘how’ to write the essay. There is a certain way of writing the essays, to pique the attention of the Dean. The Advisor does not write the essay for the student but can provide priceless guidance as to how the essay should read to garner the attention of the Dean.
According to Lauren Chattman, an accomplished author, columnist, and college essay advisor, ‘essays are where the student is permitted to boast about themselves and their legitimate accomplishments to effectively increase their chances of admission to top institutions’. Chattman further states that “the key to successful college essays is where the student utilizes a specific writing style to sincerely convey in their own words why they are unique and how they would contribute to the Dean’s College Community.’
#WISEWORDS: Read the prompts and provide a response in your own words.
Even though New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, where are you going? We are still fighting COVID, so this is the time to focus on finalizing college applications. Check each college application deadline!!
For additional insight on the college admissions process, please check out my book on Amazon!
The Hibachi restaurant in Lahaina, Maui is dining at its finest! Home of “Mo’ Butter Mo’ Better.”
Shhh… it is the secret ingredient.
When you dine at a Hibachi restaurant, the host smushes you into a table that seats upwards of twelve people. Did I mention this is indoor dining only?
Back in the day before COVID, you would always have to share a hibachi table with peeps called strangers.
I barely remember those pre-COVID days, but if my mind serves me correctly, we would just sit down, and simply ‘grin and bear it.’
In those days, my greatest fear was the stranger who sat next to me who was either too loud, too drunk, elbowed me too much, spat food when they spoke, had not so subtle fahrt slippage, or all of the above.
Kinda kills the ambiance of fine dining. Don’t ya think?
At a minimum, if I knew the person sitting next to me, I could make a big stink and complain.
By the way, I wonder…can you get COVID through a fahrt?
On second thought, perhaps this was not the best dining choice during COVID.
Whatever. The salted butter sprinkled with salt and a side of grilled shrimp is to die for girlfriends!
Love Thy Table-Neighbor
I know, you are thinking, ‘she is such a biatch!’ Excuse me sistah! Oh my, what short memories you have. Perhaps even worse than mine!
There is COVID in Hawaii. And even though there may not be COVID in Florida, Arizona or Texas, I do not need to be literally sittin’ on top of a stranger. Then again, if my table neighbor is gorgeous and super-hot…there is always an exception to every rule! Shhhh. don’t tell my husband.
The big question of the evening: Would we be lucky and get a table alone, or would we have to dine with strangers?
No more guessin’! We were escorted to the table, which was empty. Hallelujah! Alone at last!
And then… came the other family.
Oy. A million meshuga (Yiddish for crazy) thoughts were racing through my rather unstable mind. This family could be from Mars for all I knew. Actually, I could deal with a family from Mars. Mars instituted mandatory COVID vaccinations.
A family from Mississippi Arizona, South Dakota, not sure. Red States, conspiracy theories, vax chips implanted in your body…yada yada yada.
But really. Humor me. Just imagine, we actually had to share a table with strangers! We have never, ever done that during COVID! Shiat!
My word! What was a girl to do? Where could I run? The good news was that the restaurant stuck us with only one family.
Phew, what a relief. I suppose due to COVID, we did not get a third family literally thrown in our laps!
As it was, we were literally sitting on top of each other. No joke. However, I had to laugh because I believed the air I was breathing was laden with COVID spikes, and they were infiltrating every orifice of my body.
Rather than totally lose my mind, I needed to put my thinkin’ cap on. What would my Spiritual Advisor Dr. Fauci tell me to do?
Like duh! He would have told me not eat indoors at a restaurant. Hmmm. He sounds like my ‘ole big mama!
If he only knew the COVID mess I got myself into. Where was the social distancing? Where was my mask?
And then, I did what any COVID paranoid lunatic would do: I moved my chair and table setting to the very end of the table. My plate was hanging off the table. A useless effort to maintain a teeny-tiny bit of air space between myself and the stranger next door.
Rest assured it would have been easier to just sit away from the table facing the corner.
I was plotzing. FYI, Yiddish word for ‘collapsing or fainting.’ The translation: Sistahs, I thought I was gonna die! It was over; yep, right there in the hibachi restaurant. Sayonara folks.
Why the worry? First of all, no one wore a mask at the table. Why should we? We had to show our I.D. and vaccine card.
But wait. This is COVID. Where is this family from? Mississippi? Did they really get vaccinated? Was their VAX Card legal? How can I find out this information?
You know it sistahs! I looked over this family with a keen eye. Oh please. I was in stealth mode. I was not blatant. You know me… I am the most subtle person ever! Just like a bull in a China shop! But I had to be careful. If they were from Texas, were they packin’ a pistol? I just did not know.
At a Hibachi restaurant, it is the luck of the draw who is your Chef.
And we scored big.
The Chef, who happens to be a part-time comedian and part-time knife magician, finally came on stage to his grill.
He brought the hibachi ingredients: about five pounds of salted butter and three pounds of salt. Grilled salted butter with a dash of shrimp, steak, chicken, and vegetables was the cuisine for the evening.
The Chef entertained us with a show of flippin’ and spinnin’ sharp knives. One false move, and adios to your table neighbor. At least that would have created more space at the table.
Mo’ Butter is Mo’ Better!
What can I say, I love hibachi! I love grilled butter sautéed with salt, and a hint of shrimp, steak, lobster or chicken. I loved grilled butter with a side of garlic and a hint of fried rice.
The dinner was great, as always. I suppose due to COVID, the Chef did not throw shrimp at us to catch with our mouths. Too bad. I loved watching someone get shrimp thrown in their eye!
Maui is a natural oasis. Beautiful flowers. Spectacular waterfalls. Breathtaking sunsets.
Our arrival to Maui was flawless. Airplane was right on time. Rental car was brand new. Drive to Hotel was fast. Arrived several hours early to hotel check-in, and the room was ready. Incredible.
Oh, and that room! High floor, sweeping ocean views, more square footage than a NYC apartment!
Late lunch was delicious. Pool side was heaven.
What more could a girl ask for? Oy. As the mamas say at the Mahjong table, don’t ask.
Somethin’ was rotten in Maui… at least in the master bedroom of this magnificent condo.
I noticed a ‘smell’ wafting from the master bedroom. Definitely not Chanel No. 5.
At first, we could not place that smell. Oh, and by the by, yes, I have a terrible stomach. However, I can assure you I was not the culprit of that odor!
In truth, we just unpacked from a long flight, and at first sniff, the odor had a hint of ‘smelly feet.’ I literally was smelling ‘gently worn’ socks. Not long snorts, just a quick sniff.
You know it sistahs, just what you want to do upon your arrival in Maui.
Well, no one had smelly feet or socks or shoes. What a relief. Right?
I poo-pooed the smell (no pun intended). Thought we just needed to open the sliding glass doors to let in fresh air.
Several hours transpired, and a reasonable person would have believed the master bedroom was successfully ‘aired out.’
Well…oh my gawd girlfriends. Don’t get me started! Then again, y’all know me.
I am not one to complain, but it would have been nice to have a hot shower. Not too much to ask for. Like, hello, this mama does not prefer, but wants, a hot shower.
Do you kinda get the feelin’ this hotel condo was all downhill from this point?
After I took my cold shower, I went into the bedroom to dress for dinner. And I was overwhelmed with a sickening odor. Damn! What was that smell?!
Clearly, airing out the room did not work.
I simply could not define that odor! What was it? Really smelled like sweaty feet; but was not. Oh, I know! Schweatty balls! That’s it! The room smelled like a locker room! Ah ha!
And so began the calls to the Front Desk, Housekeeping, and…the Hotel Manager.
The Front Desk
And the call went like this: ‘Hello, I have two issues. First, no hot water in my shower.’ The front desk person, politely apologized, and said ‘there is a problem with the hot water heaters. All of them.’
Well then, okey dokey. The solution: Grin and bear it. But really, she gave a little ‘chuckle,’ said ‘they were being fixed, and hoped to be repaired by the next day.’
Then I said, ‘My second issue is that my bedroom smells like smelly feet and schweatty balls; it really does.’
And the reply? Silence at first. Sistahs, think for a moment…how does a hotel employee respond to this select choice of words that I used to characterize this problem?
Surely, the front desk person thought I was out-of-my-mind.
Pardon Moi. Girlfriends, am I asking too much? A mama is entitled to a hot shower, and a room free from eau de parfum schweatty balls.
Oy vey. Clearly, that conversation was goin’ nowhere. I requested to speak to the Hotel Manager.
Hold your hats, we be goin’ for a ride!
The Hotel Manager
Poor guy. He never had a chance. I had him at ‘hello.’
Ask yourself: Was he blindsided by my call? Probably.
Did this Manager believe my accusation that the room smelled like schweatty balls? I don’t know. Although, he did laugh and remember the SNL skit! He said he would examine the matter. Not the balls, the odor.
Face to Face Meeting
As a skilled attorney, I prefer to discuss topics such as schweatty balls face to face. Once again, no pun intended.
I schlepped my skinny arse to the front desk, and asked to speak to my new friend, Manager Number 1. Oh, there will be another Manager that got pulled into this drama.
The housekeeping inspection confirmed the room smelled. What a relief! See… I told the truth!
But where was the smell coming from? The carpet? The armoire? The bed? The Manager winced at the bed option, which I agree is kinda gross.
Now it is Manager Number One’s turn to tell the truth. Or at least to start revealing some truthful details. Apparently, the condo sustained ‘some water damage’ from the Epic Storm that slammed Maui a few days prior to our arrival. The wall-to-wall carpeting in the Master Bedroom ‘got a little wet.’
The Manager deemed it best to clean the rug to get rid of the schweatty balls odor. Ok, maybe that will work. I am ‘up’ for that.
Masking the Problem
The rug was cleaned with a ‘cleaner/deodorizer/schweatty balls remover’ when we were at dinner.
Talk about making a bad situation worse.
The moldy carpeting was now doused with chemicals. And again, not smellin’ like a bouquet of roses. I wanted to go to bed with not a COVID mask, but with a gas mask.
Here we go. Manager Number One is not working the next day. Meet Manager Number Two. He had a great idea…change your room.
Sistahs, this hot mama is on a very high floor. The only room available is on the third floor.
The nerve! I shan’t stay on a low floor.
Finally The Truth!
Once again, I schlepped to the front desk to talk to Manager Number Two.
Poor guy. My sharp cross-examination skills had him confess to the real issue. When the epic storm hit Maui, the room we were assigned at check-in, was not secured for the storm. At that time, the room was vacant, and the sliding glass doors were not locked. The master bedroom was soaked from the storm.
Last Ditch Effort
Other than ripping out the carpet, Manager Two worked with Hotel Engineers to dry out the rug and eradicate the odor.
Mission accomplished! Finally, I can breathe. Not perfect, but no mo’ schweatty balls and smelly feet!
Bless the Concierge. They keep leaving me messages. They want to welcome me back to the hotel and to stop by their desk to pick up their complimentary beach bag.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury; you are tasked with the responsibility to determine whether the Texas Heartbeat Act SB 8 is unconstitutional and therefore must be struck down.
The Texas Heartbeat Act SB 8 was argued before the United States Supreme Court on November 1, 2021. The Supreme Court Justices focused solely on the legal procedural issues of this case and did not address the factual issues that address the long standing Constitutional Right to Abortion as set forth in the landmark decision Roe v. Wade.
Thus, the scope of your deliberation is limited to determine whether Texas deprived citizens their Constitutional Right to an Abortion by drafting a law that precludes Federal and State judicial review of the constitutionality of the statute.
The effect is stunning: Texas SB 8 silences a woman’s Constitutional Right to Abortion and prevents her from having her rightful ‘day in court’.
In addition, as you will learn, this so-called ‘law’ deputizes people to become Abortion Bounty Hunters to literally accuse anyone of assisting a woman carry-out her Constitutional Right to Abortion. Which ironically, the Court did not address.
FYI, ignoring issues does not make them go away. But the Justices know that.
Realistically ladies and gentlemen, the Supreme Court appears to be on its way to extinguishing the Constitutional Right to Abortion and Reproductive Health Care for Women that was established in Roe v Wade. Thus, the monumental task of upholding Supreme Court precedent case law rests on your shoulders.
As you hear the facts of this case, I am certain you will conclude that Texas SB 8 in its entirety is unconstitutional and must be struck down. The Supreme Court is having a difficult time garnering a majority vote on this matter, so maybe you can ‘help’ them see the proverbial light and uphold their own precedent. Accomplish what the Supreme Court ought to do NOW.
What is next for women? What other rights can and will be silenced?
The Facts of the Case
Elected officials of the great state of Texas enacted the law SB 8 to prevent women from obtaining an abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.
There are no ‘exceptions’ to this law. It does not matter if the pregnancy resulted from:
SB 8 is a ban on abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.
However, the ban on abortion was not the question before the United States Supreme Court. Surprising…right?
No, not really.
Wait a minute. You ask yourself… “Why didn’t the Supreme Court determine whether SB 8 violates the constitutionally protected right to abortion?” The answer is simple. Well, not so simple.
The Court knew they would hear oral arguments on December 1, 2021, notably the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs case will determine whether the Court will uphold Roe v. Wade.
Until the Court renders that decision, the 50 year-old constitutionally protected right to abortion will continue to precariously dangle by a thread.
The Issue of the Case
The Supreme Court deemed the only justiciable issue before them was whether anyone can sue to stop the enforcement of Texas SB 8. Indeed, a curious question to a non-attorney. Nevertheless, a deeply concerning legal procedural question.
SB 8 Evades Judicial Review
Ladies and gentlemen, I am confident you are confused. Yes, you are correct in thinking that the purpose of this law is to ban abortion. However, that is not why the law was written and enacted. The purpose of Texas SB 8 was insidious at the outset: it was written to specifically evade any judicial review.
What does judicial review mean? Exactly what it says. Courts are empowered to review the lawfulness of a Federal or State statute. In this case, the drafters of SB 8 intentionally wrote this legislation to be beyond reproach; essentially bulletproof to any judicial review.
SB 8, not only enforced a ban on abortion, but legislated that no person, no entity, can sue the State of Texas to argue the lawfulness of this law.
This is the perplexing part of SB 8. Generally, when a person alleges they suffer an injury from a Federal or State statute, that person will sue the entity (the Federal, State or Local Government) that enacted said legislation. The relief sought would be to invalidate the law considered to be unconstitutional or invalid; to stopenforcement of the law.
However, Texas claims SB 8 is not enforced by any State official. Thus, opponents of this law who seek to stop enforcement of it have a real problem determining the correct named party/defendant to sue.
For the pregnant woman from Texas who is prevented from getting an abortion due to SB 8, who does she sue? What party does she name, to argue that the law is denying her constitutional right to an abortion? The answer is… I do not know. And neither did the Supreme Court Justices when they heard oral arguments in this matter.
The unmitigated gall of these so-called Texas ‘legislators,’ who allegedly represent the interests of their constituents. They drafted and enacted a law that prevents the very people who elected them from legally challenging this abortion ban.
Texas Asserts They Do Not Enforce SB 8
Wait a minute…just what did the drafters of SB 8 do? According to SB 8, Texas Governmental Officials do not enforce SB 8. Funny, that is what the State of Texas asserts.
Ask yourself: Well, if the State does not enforce this law, then who enforces SB 8 in Texas?
Pursuant to the law, this legislation deputizes anyone who is not a State Official to enforce SB 8.
Ladies and gentlemen, kindly pause for a moment. Ask yourself: Do you really think the State of Texas is not enforcing SB 8?
Please, follow along with me. Banning all abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy is cruel and unusual punishment to women. And as bad as that is, the insidious component of this law is the deputizing of private citizens to be knighted ‘Abortion Bounty Hunters,’ to hunt down and accuse any person who participated in the procurement of an abortion.
The Abortion Bounty Hunters
Incredulous as this sounds, it is worse than you can imagine. To reiterate, the State of Texas has turned plain ‘ole folk into Abortion Bounty Hunters, to prey on anyone who seeks to get an abortion. Oh, and the bounty is up to $10,000. A rather profitable endeavor to be an Abortion Bounty Hunter.
Keep in mind y’all, Texas says they do not enforce this law.
It does not matter that the deputized citizen/bounty hunter, who becomes a plaintiff in a future civil suit to claim the reward, was not directly injured by the person they are suing. Which is odd, because in the real world of civil litigation, a plaintiff must allege he/she sustained some injury caused by the defendant.
Then again, this is Texas. Clearly, they just make up their own rules.
Seriously ladies and gentlemen. SB 8 appoints private citizens to become bounty hunters to sniff out abortion in Texas. It is clear these bounty hunters are acting as an arm of the State of Texas, and this ‘bounty hunter’ will become eventual plaintiffs against their prey to recover the cash reward, the bounty, for enforcing the law.
According to Justice Clarence Thomas, ‘SB 8 plaintiffs are acting in concert with Texas to enforce this law.’ To clarify ladies and gentlemen, this means that the great state of Texas is enforcing this law.
Sorry Texas, your government is enforcing this law. But y’all already know that. Shame on Texas. They can’t hide behind their bounty hunters and proclaim they do not enforce the law.
Aiders and Abettors of Abortion
The following are just a few of the people who can be sued for ‘aiding and abetting’ the procurement of an abortion and be liable for payment of the cash reward:
The husband/partner who drove a woman to an abortion clinic/private physician.
The cab/uber driver who drove a woman to an abortion clinic/private physician
The nurse who assisted in the abortion.
The Doctor who performed the abortion.
The woman who received the abortion.
A shocking list of ‘so-called’ aiders and abettors. These people are your sister, mother, brother, father, uncle, grandma, grandpa, doctor; get the picture?
Right Leaning Justices
Apparently, some Supreme Court Justices were more concerned about a State appointing Bounty Hunters to enforce their laws, as opposed to banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court is supposed to be ‘apolitical.’ However, this Court is clearly aligned along partisan lines, which is a no-no. The Justices who were appointed by Republican Presidents, do publicly espouse conservative political views. Yes, these ‘right leaning Justices,’ who now comprise the Majority rule of this Court, are not ‘fans’ of Roe, and have expressed a willingness to dilute that Landmark Decision.
Once again, that is no excuse to not address this Texas ban on abortion.
Women Have Constitutional Rights
Clearly, the majority of the Justices are aligned with Texas in this matter. Did these Justices forget that the very Court they sit on has ruled that a Pregnant Woman has Constitutional Rights, but the unborn fetus does not?
A fetus at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 15 weeks, and 23 weeks is not recognized by this Court to have any Constitutional Rights.Roe v Wade determined the viability of a fetus at 24 weeks; the RIGHTS OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN MUST BE BALANCED WITH STATE RIGHTS.
Oh, don’t you love selective memory.
However, are you really surprised? I am not. Let’s be serious. Texas clearly does not care about the health, safety and welfare of a woman. Because if they actually did care about a woman, they would not have enacted SB 8.
And why should the Justices address the abortion component of SB 8 now? No matter that all abortions in Texas have come to a screeching halt due to this law. No matter that women are suffering. No balancing of a pregnant woman’s rights with that of the State. This is just another news cycle, hoped to be forgotten.
The pain and suffering experienced by thousands of Pregnant Texas Women who are unlawfully denied their right to an abortion will not be forgotten. As of this writing, 62% of Americans polled support Roe. The Court cannot turn a deaf ear on the ‘pulse’ of the Majority of Americans.
The Justices are working on their own timetable: they heard the Mississippi case on December 1 and will continue to erode at the Court’s rule of law by not upholding precedent.
Great message from the Court: Screw you Texas Women.
Legalization of Bounty Hunters
Justice Kavanaugh, in his infinite wisdom, pondered what would happen if the court upheld SB 8 and thus permitted the State to use bounty hunters to limit other Constitutional Rights.
I ask you: At this moment in time and history, what is more important than a woman’s Constitutional Right to Abortion and to Reproductive Care?
Well, Justice Kavanaugh was more concerned about the potential restriction of the Second Amendment. Really? Bless his heart.
Guns? What do they have to do with Abortion Rights?
Oh, and yet, this case gets better. The Firearms Policy Coalition, submitted an amicus brief and was very concerned that ‘Blue States’ (i.e. California, New York) will act just like Texas and create unlawful procedures and penalties to enforce a law that is blatantly unconstitutional. Mind you, they were not talking about the Texas ban on abortion being unconstitutional.
My word! Heavens to Betsy! This coalition was sickened at the mere thought of liberal states banning the sale and ownership of handguns and appoint bounty hunters to hunt down gun-totin’ people. Can you imagine?
Of course, Kavanaugh agreed with this amicus brief and envisioned the ownership or sale of a handgun would be illegal in States like New York and California, if the court upheld SB 8. Oh, my word! Don’t you love the ‘tit-for-tat’ game?
Children of the Court, oh, I mean Justices, stay focused on the Abortion component of SB 8, not the procedural smoke screen.
Reap What You Sow
You betcha Kavanaugh! Your worst nightmare came true! Bravo to Governor Gavin Newsome of California. Newsome just proposed a gun law that would be modeled on the Texas one. Sucks when you have to take your own medicine.
In simple English, SB 8 is a nasty law. It completely ignores established Constitutional Law, exempts itself from any Judicial Review, and deputizes citizens to become Abortion Bounty Hunters to enforce a law that in fact violates Constitutional Rights. Not to mention it silences women’s rights.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, consider this thought: If women are stripped of their Constitutional Right to Abortion and Reproductive Rights, what is the next right women will lose? The right to vote? What about rights that are not protected by the Constitution? What if a State wants to enact a law that prevents women from attending college or driving an automobile?
I betcha did not think women could be stripped of those rights. If it happens in other countries where women’s rights are restricted, why not here?
If SB 8 is constitutional, a State is empowered to enact any law that is not subject to judicial review. Frightening to say the least. What is to become of the good ‘ole U.S. of A.?
The Supreme Court, as a result of its inaction to declare SB 8 unconstitutional, has caused this matter to spiral out-of-control. The Conservative Justices, by their own doing, are making this Court impotent.
The Constitution is a living document. The ‘Founding Fathers,’ the Men (no women) who wore the wigs, were actually forward thinking human beings. They purposefully drafted the Constitution to grow with our nation, not against it. They founded this country to not be ruled by the absolute power of one ruler; they wanted to spread power among different ‘branches’ of government for ‘checks and balances;’ and they wanted to separate Church and State.
The Supreme Court is a separate and distinct arm of government. It should unequivocally not be political. In modern times, it should rise above all the bullshit that occurs in Washington and this Country.
A Woman’s Constitutional Right to Choose: Roe v Wade
In truth, I realized that most people do not know and/or understand the legal meaning of Roe v. Wade. Oh yes, we all know that on a macro-level, it affords a woman the Constitutional Right to choose to have an abortion. However, that is a very broad understanding of Roe.
An attorney would define Roe as The landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Case that afforded constitutional protections for women to choose to have an abortion prior to the viability of a fetus.
Why did I decide to write about Roe v Wade? To define legal terms as ‘viability of a fetus,’ explain how the Constitutional Right to Privacy affords a pregnant woman the right to choose, and the timetable the Supreme Court set forth to delineate when a woman can lawfully obtain an abortion, if she chooses, in this country.
Fragility of Roe v Wade
On September 1, 2021, the State of Texas enacted SB 8, The Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, with no exceptions.
The State of Texas unequivocally limited women’s rights upon the enactment of SB 8, which is in direct contravention of established Constitutional law, Roe v Wade.
To all the non-lawyers out there: The Constitution and Supreme Court Decisions take precedent over conflicting federal and state laws.
Stop the Presses! I thought the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade ruled that a woman has a right to choose to obtain an abortion prior to the viability of a fetus.
I am confident that you all, just like me, do not understand how Texas can blatantly disregard the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade and ban abortion in their state.
However, before we talk in depth about the ‘Constitutionality’ of SB 8 (which will be addressed in another article), we all need to understand Roe v. Wade and how that case legalized abortion in the United States.
Facts of Roe v Wade
Does anyone know the underlying facts of Roe v Wade? I am confident that most Americans do not. Roe was first litigated in 1971… 50 years ago. Jane Roe lived in Texas, was a single, pregnant woman who brought a class action lawsuit to challenge the Texas criminal abortion laws. Texas in 1971 made it a crime to obtain an abortion, with the sole exception that an abortion could save the mother’s life.
Jane Roe wanted to terminate her pregnancy for the following personal reasons:
‘She was unmarried and pregnant.
She wanted to terminate her pregnancy via abortion by a licensed, experienced physician in Texas.
She was precluded from obtaining a legal abortion in Texas, because her life ‘did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy.’
She could not afford to travel to another state to obtain a legal abortion.
She asserted in her lawsuit the Texas abortion statutes were vague and violated her Constitutional Right to Privacy.’
The Right to Abortion is NOT Absolute
Jane Roe argued before the US Supreme Court, “a woman’s right to an abortion is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses.”
What most Americans do not realize, is that the Supreme Court did not agree with Jane Roe’s argument that a woman’s right to abortion is absolute; and disagreed with the notion that a woman is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at any time.
Justice Blackmun’s Supreme Court Majority Opinion
The Honorable Justice Blackmun wrote the Majority Opinion for Roe. The majority opinion is the legal decision rendered by a majority (more than half) of the Supreme Court Justices and explains the reasoning behind the court’s decision on a legal and factual basis.
In the Majority Opinion, Justice Blackmun was cognizant of the differing opinions towards abortion in 1973 and in my opinion, addressed the issue of abortion with great sensitivity and compassion towards all Americans.
The issue of abortion was a ‘hot button topic’ in 1973 and seems even more divisive in 2021. Justice Blackmun’s Majority Opinion articulated a comprehensive review of the history of abortion from ancient Greece and Roman times to present day in the United States.
I believe, the most important part of Justice Blackmun’s majority opinion, was how the Court determined the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, the ‘Right to Privacy’, afforded a pregnant woman the right to choose to have an abortion. However, the court determined this is not an absolute right to abortion. Here is the BUT: The State can regulate abortion vis-à-vis showing a Compelling Interest to protect the health of the mother and fetus; then there is the AND: the abortion must occur prior to the viability of the fetus.
Easy to understand that Roe gives a woman the ‘right to choose to have an abortion,’ but yet it comes with caveats, that we will discuss.
The Issue Decided by the Supreme Court
For all you non-lawyers: Every legal matter that is litigated in court, always has a question, an issue to be decided by the Court.
The issue before the Court in Roe: Whether the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s personal liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive State regulation.
In Roe, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman has the qualified right to terminate her own pregnancy. Please note the italicized words qualified and absolute. These words are critical to understanding the ruling in this case.
The Court determined the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which affords the Right to Privacy against State action, also grants a woman’s qualified right to terminate her pregnancy.
In plain English, the Constitution gave Jane Roe personal liberty protections to fight the Texas ban on abortion; and the Supreme Court granted her a qualified right to get an abortion.
However, in constitutional matters such as the Right to Privacy, the Court will look to balance the State’s interests against that of a Woman’s control over her pregnancy. Yes, balance means reviewing the facts; assessing factors that would determine ‘fairness’ to all parties.
A Woman’s Qualified Right to Get an Abortion
The Court considered whether the following factors would unduly harm a woman who is prohibited by State law from ending her pregnancy:
‘Medical Harm to the woman.
The social stigma of being an unwed mother.
The eventual birth of an unwanted child may bring psychological harm on the family.
The financial, economic stress.’
In this regard, the Court would ask a woman who sought to obtain an abortion, whether the State’s ban on abortion is detrimental and causes irreparable, undue harm to the health and well-being of a woman who is forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy?
The State’s Compelling State Interests to Regulate Abortion
Did you wonder why a State aggressively opposes abortion? In Roe, the State of Texas alleged they have an interest to protect the health of the mother and the fetus.
The Court in Roe determined that a woman has certain fundamental constitutionally protect rights, and when she seeks to obtain an abortion, the State may limit these rights by asserting a compelling state interest.
Remember: The Supreme Court REGULATED a woman’s right to abortion to effectively balance a woman’s privacy rights with that of the State’s interests.
Compelling State Interest Factors
According to Roe, at some point during the term of a pregnancy, the State interests become dominant for the following reasons:
To protect the Health of both the woman and the fetus.
To uphold Medical Standards.
To Safeguard Prenatal Life.
In addition, the State argued in Roe that the woman’s Right to Privacy is NOT ABSOLUTE throughout the entire pregnancy.
The Supreme Court: The Qualified Right to Terminate a Pregnancy
What does a qualified right to terminate a pregnancy mean? Exactly what it says. No American citizen can just ‘go and get an abortion.’ The Supreme in this case, set up ‘guard rails’ to define:
The Viability of a Fetus. and
Provide a Timeline for the Regulation of Abortion via ‘Trimesters.’
The Viability of a Fetus
The viability of a fetus is a long debated topic. The court concluded, based on historical, religious, and medical facts, that viability occurs when the fetus can survive outside of the mother’s womb at 24 weeks of gestation.
The Court: The Rights of a Pregnant Woman Must Be Balanced with State Rights
As previously discussed, the Court sought to balance the Fourteenth Amendment’s Right to Privacy and State Interests. This was accomplished by the Court identifying three trimesters of pregnancy; each comprised of twelve weeks.
First Trimester: ‘Approximately’ prior to the end of the first trimester, A state cannot regulate abortion. Exception: A state can require the medical procedure be performed by a licensed physician in a medical clinic, office, hospital.
Second Trimester: A state may regulate abortion to promote its interest in the maternal health.
Third Trimester: A state may ban abortion. ‘Considered to be the stage before fetal viability, the State has a compelling interest in protecting the potential human life; however, may proscribe abortion for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.’
The Majority Opinion of Roe v. Wade
As I previously mentioned, Justice Blackmun, who wrote the Majority Opinion, cited the common law. The common law is based on the history of social customs, traditions, and judicial review, and not on statutory law.
To quote Justice Blackmun:
“It is thus apparent that the common law, at the time of the adoption of our Constitution, and throughout the major portion of the 19th century, abortion was viewed with less disfavor than under most American statutes currently in effect. Phrasing it another way, a woman enjoyed a substantially broader right to terminate a pregnancy than she does in most States today. At least with respect to the early stage of pregnancy, and very possibly without such a limitation, the opportunity to make this choice was present in this county well into the 19th century. Even later, the law continued for some time to treat less punitively an abortion procured in early pregnancy.”
The above quote is in my opinion, profound. Why did American women have a ‘broader right to abortion’ in the 19th century, than today? It is even more incredulous to comprehend, how in 2021, some States are relentless in their efforts to ban abortion.
Consequence of Overturning Roe v Wade
The effect of overturning the decision in Roe, means that Texas SB 8 would ‘stand’. The Abortion prohibition in Texas would create a domino effect for every State that wants to ban Abortion.
True. Overturning Roe would greenlight a State’s prerogative to enact legislation that would Ban abortion.
Once again, I ask you all to consider the undue hardship and detrimental effect this would have on all women who reside in neighboring states that prohibit abortion. Women would have to travel hundreds of miles (perhaps thousands of miles) to obtain a legal abortion. Women would have to leave their families to travel via plane, bus, car, or train; women would be required to take days off from work and find childcare for other children in the family in their effort to obtain an out-of-state abortion. The financial costs incurred would be an insurmountable obstacle for many women.
Oh, and by the way… a woman’s choice to have an abortion is not a decision that is made with the ‘flick of a switch.’ There is an emotional component that cannot be quantified. A decision to have an abortion is an individualized process, a thought process subjective to each pregnant woman. Obstacles literally thrown in the way of this process not only unduly harm a woman but can result in permanent emotional and physical harm to a woman for the rest of her life.
Keep in mind that Texas is not the only State in the good ‘ole U.S of A. that wants to deny women their Constitutional Right to choose to have an abortion. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio all want to enact similar heartbeat legislation.
It is clear these States march in solidarity with Texas to disregard established Constitutional protections of the Fourteenth Amendment Right of Privacy granted to all women.
Now. I ask you all to think for just one moment…Roe was first litigated in a Texas courtroom in 1971. It was ultimately argued before the US Supreme Court in 1973. Today is 2021.
Why do we continue to move backward as a nation, and not forward? Why do some folks want to impose more restrictions on choices that affect our own bodies? Keep in mind, that a pregnant woman who chooses to get an abortion does not impact society as a whole. The impact is on her body, her life and her family. Her choice does not affect my life or your life.
Stay tuned… the next article will address the Constitutionality of Texas SB 8.