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What a week for the Constitution and states’ rights! I don’t think I ever expected to see the decisions that have been handed down in the last week – especially the decision on Roe v. Wade!
I have written before about abortion “rights,” but I’ll stick to what I see is the most important part of this, and that is the sending it back to the states.
I have not read the full decision that the justices released – either the for or against – but I do know I never believed that birth control of any kind is covered in the Constitution of the United States. We are guaranteed “life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness,” NOT healthcare, life insurance, a house, a car, an education, or a funeral. We have totally lost the premise of self responsibility for the consequences of our own behavior. None of the young women I see protesting against this new ruling have a clue what it was like before there was any type of birth control available.
Fifty years ago an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy was a family embarrassment. There were not birth control pills, IUDs, or other means to prevent pregnancy except to just plain not have sex. Back street abortions were all that were available to fix a “mistake.”
Roe v. Wade provided the ability for safe and sterile abortions. With all the other means of birth control now on the market, I’m not sure abortions should still be available at all, but, if they are, it is back where it needs to be – at the state level. We’ll see how that plays out.
Another decision was the ability for an individual to pray in public – even if you are a public employee. A school system football coach was fired because he knelt in prayer after games – by himself. I wonder how it would have been handled if it was “just” a parent?
The “threat” was that he was a “public” employee so his private rights were not to be protected. For all of you school teachers, coaches, state employees, federal employees, postal workers, and (I hope) military, your rights to pray have been returned to you! Our rights to the religious freedoms our country was founded on have been upheld! Amen!
Now please keep in mind, if a member of a different faith than yours practices their religious beliefs in public, they are also within their rights to do so. If someone spreads out a prayer rug, pulls out their crucifix, or lights some incense, it’s OK. We are again a nation of individual freedoms.
And then, we have a decision that reinforces our Second Amendment rights to own guns and to carry them as protection. New York state had a law that prevented EVERYONE from owning guns for any reason, and the Supreme Court has overturned that law.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily prevent the process of concealed carry permits or other limitations that the state might now place on people when they purchase firearms, but they cannot have an across-the-board prohibition for everyone. With all of the discussion over gun control, this decision provides an idea of how other legislation will proceed to protect our rights.
But, we still have several other decisions that should have been released by the time this edition of the paper comes out. There is one on immigration, one on EPA authority on power plants, one on job protections for veterans, and one on Native American lands. Each one of these issues is important in its own way.
The “Remain in Mexico” policy put in place by President Trump is being challenged by the Biden administration, but has so far been upheld by lower courts. Even though the policy is still technically in place, illegal immigrants are no longer required to stay in Mexico while they apply for entry into our country. This is the reason for the massive numbers coming across the border and being released/relocated into the interiors of the United States.
Our federal government is not enforcing even the relatively lax immigration laws that we have on the books so this ruling by the SCOTUS will determine if we will have wide open borders or if we return to some semblance of immigration control.
The issue of EPA is another Trump-era rule that a lower court ended that had given the Environmental Protection Agency the ability to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. Since the Biden administration’s EPA has not replaced the previous rule, this decision could set the limitations, or lack thereof, for the future authority to be given to the EPA.
This is another attack on fossil fuels which we depend on for our energy needs. The more restrictions placed on our energy producers, the more the price of energy will increase.
There is a federal law in place that protects veterans returning to the work force after suffering service-related injuries while serving our country. This particular case is about a veteran who could not return to his prior job as a Texas state trooper, but was denied a comparable job to accommodate his disability, and he filed a suit against the state.
This is an issue that determines if the states are immune from lawsuits under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The ruling could have very positive or negative results for our veterans who work for state agencies.
And, the last one relates to if state laws apply on Indian lands. It also questions whether a Native American and/or a non-Indian are treated equally under the law. To some degree I guess the question is if Native Americans on Indian land are protected from non-Indians on Indian land.
It is based on a case regarding a non-Indian father being charged with child neglect on his Native American Indian child while on Indian land. This does not specify if the Indian land is recognized as a reservation or not.
I have never paid much attention to the Supreme Court and its decisions, but this time I’ve decided it might be worth following as the decisions come out. The SCOTUS is, after all, the final determination of our laws. Interesting!