Handmaid’s Tale, New Season, Now IRL

“No action could be lower or more futile than for one person to throw upon another the burden of [her] abdication of choice.”

-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

To be clear, no one abdicated their choice. It was stolen, much like the dignity and decorum of previous courts. And reading Chief Justice’s concurring opinion, his ass is still chapped over all of this. You can almost hear the ticking together of clutched pearls. His emphasis on ‘restraint’ demonstrates he’s a lone upholder on that one. The NY Times reported yesterday as ‘the day Roberts lost his court’. They aren’t wrong. It’s a fascinating power shift watching it unfold, with (what I would say) the questionable competence of Thomas and the zealousness of the new judges to make names for themselves. It is one of the few times I have seen this sort of power shift play out in my lifetime.

While we knew it was coming, the decision to overturn Roe was a jolt to the nation. Folks who are normally disengaged from the political process called me to discuss the opinion and there’s much discussion of what next.

I’ll offer a bit here that speaks to personal, local, state, and federal issues. I am weary of watching this unfold, but “If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War, so sharpening my metaphorical bows (and pen as it were), am I. My husband, ever the supportive spouse, (who, if you know him, is a devout Catholic and staunchly pro-life) shopped for gas masks and Kevlar for me as it appears I’ll be protesting more now, and after the Rittenhouse verdict and my acquaintance with the APD’s SWAT team in the Citizens’ Police Academy, we feel tactical gear would be wise. His number is what you’ll find in Sharpie on the inside of my left arm. We haven’t found Kevlar we agree on regarding price, weight, and protection, and here’s an article that may be helpful for those trying to discern.

On a personal level, I’ve long been a trusted confidant for friends who needed a particular type of guidance and affirmation in these decisions. Despite my writing, political secrets aren’t the only ones I have kept over the years. That won’t change, albeit if I join an ‘Ask for Jane’ network, the likelihood of my arrest may. Who knew at forty I’d be weighing jail time for a right we’ve had literally all my life?

But that’s the funny thing about freedom and autonomy- it clearly can be stolen.

On the local level, I’m personally curious how we will see municipalities address this in states across the nation. Last night, protesting in front of the Capitol, the Mayor of South Fulton announced South Fulton’s police force will not pursue reports of abortion. As I marched past the GMA offices last night, I wondered what shield they’ll be able to offer cities in Georgia as our Governor has made this issue an early point of his legacy. What will ACCG do for county employees? D.A.’s? This seems like an uncomfortable conversation for the Sheriffs’ Association lobbyist. 

In Atlanta, I’m curious about the future. In Thomas’s concurring opinion, he wrote:

For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is “demonstrably erroneous,” Ramos v. Louisiana, 590 U. S. ___, ___ (2020) (THOMAS, J., concurring in judgment) (slip op., at 7), we have a duty to “correct the error” established in those precedents, Gamble v. United States, 587 U. S. ___, ___ (2019) (THOMAS, J., concurring) (slip op., at 9). After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated. For example, we could consider whether any of the rights announced in this Court’s substantive due process cases are “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Amdt. —————— *Griswold v. Connecticut purported not to rely on the Due Process Clause, but rather reasoned “that specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights”—including rights enumerated in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments—“have penumbras, formed by emanations,” that create “zones of privacy.” 381 U. S., at 484. Since Griswold, the Court, perhaps recognizing the facial absurdity of Griswold’s penumbral argument, has characterized the decision as one rooted in substantive due process. See, e.g., Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. 644, 663 (2015); Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 720 (1997). 

This indicates the Court may take up future rights to privacy, marriage equality, and recognizing the legality of homosexuality. That may make our current LEOs a little uncomfortable. The APD has really embraced their LGBTQ officers and if our state is required to begin enforcing sodomy laws again, that presents a conflict. 

I think like RBG probably was past her prime in her later years, Thomas IMHO may be showing signs of the ravings of an older man disconnected with the realities around him. One would think his wife would check on him, but she’s been too busy with defending her own treasonous plans for a coup. I assume the Thomas household is a little busy right now, and the Justice’s competence things are falling through the cracks.

On a state level, I actually think this could be a positive media moment for Abrams. Kemp is riding this train as far as it will go, and it paves the way for a foil, on which Abrams will easily fundraise and grab media attention nationally. Starting with the 11th Circuit, and moving through the kabuki theater of this foolishness until the progressive arm of the DPG will save us from ourselves. I am not connected in any way to her campaign, but if the Abrams campaign could work out a means of her getting arrested in some small town here protesting the Dobbs decision….it’d be *chef’s kiss*. I’d pick one of the 78 counties without an OB GYN, and (if possible) lacking a hospital to really drive the point home. Crawfordville always comes to mind, with its population of 1,500, no hospital, and the only clinic is at the school, which serves K-12th grade. Maybe Congress member Williams can provide pointers. I’d shoot for the mountains, myself. Not only is it cooler, you get bonus points of being in MTG territory. I’m here for it and will have my popcorn ready. I held a similar opinion in 2014, when I wrote about the Hobby Lobby decision and Hillary’s chances of securing the nomination. I took particular pride following that post when past Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour told me I was wrong about Gwinnett going blue. And then I got the added bonus of Cobb. Hillary claimed both and my bet is, this is a gamechanger for the Abrams campaign that will ensure more support from white suburbanites.  

On a national level, I just don’t think this is going to go in the direction the GOP and Court expect it to. Dobbs is a victory for them- for sure- I just think as companies come out supporting an individual’s choice in healthcare, the free market is going to use this as a PR plan because they know it will win them more loyal customers. The national culture has shifted and as I now personally sit in work meetings introducing myself with my pronouns and on which stolen land I sit, I feel like the states will begin codifying this leading to eventual federal law, by vote rather than court decision. While in the past this might have taken some time, my expectation is that machinations will move more speedily now that we’ve seen what has been lost. The engagement of the white moderates has begun. You can almost hear the roar of the mini vans and the primal cry of the leggings clad ‘mompreneurs’. I can almost feel the fifth wave of feminism rising. No shame in the leggings game- I love my Old Navy ones with pockets for protests, personally.

Ironically, I haven’t lost hope. Quite the opposite. I used to be pretty boring basic b, but here I am getting radicalized. Who knew I’d be protesting so much at 40? Go figure. I tend to think this will roll out the red carpet for Democrats nationally. This isn’t to say that the DNCC cannot still steal defeat from the jaws of victory, but it will be more difficult than on Thursday.  As the nation and party are moving more to the left, my expectation is that this will be righted in the coming years, although not at the court. Knowing now what is on Thomas’ agenda and the lack of Roberts’ preferred restraint of the court. My expectation is that we’ll see a quiet shifting occur across the nation. While Georgia’s legislature has tried to develop rural WiFi, healthcare, and downtowns, if folks can’t get birth control in the coming years, I am curious how that will shift population growth in rural vs. urban areas. Only time will tell.

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