Connect with us

Ticker Views

The Supreme Court triggers war at the ballot box next year

Published

on

There is no video when the Supreme Court sits to hear cases before it. An inherently conservative institution, the presence of cameras is too jarring for most of the justices, who serve life terms

However, the audio quality is really excellent – and everyone following the abortion case in the US Supreme Court last week was rapt. 

Was Mississippi’s law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy constitutional? 

Could it be squared with two crucial precedents:  the ruling, now almost 50 years old, in Roe v Wade, that established a constitutional right to abortion, and a 1992 ruling,

In Planned Parenthood v Casey that affirmed Roe and admonished that undue burdens in state laws could not impede access to abortion services.

What almost everyone listening in to the Court’s questioning of the lawyers heard was that the conflict between the Mississippi law and Roe was a direct one; that at least five justices felt that Roe should yield to Mississippi; that there was little appetite for a proposition from Chief Justice Roberts that the Court could uphold Roe and still permit the 15 week abortion ban to stand, as it just meant a shift of Roe’s window for abortion services from 24 weeks to 15; and that for perhaps the five most conservative justices – Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett – there was an all-but-explicit sentiment that Roe had been wrongly decided, and that the precedent should fall.

In other words, it appears from how the justices reacted last week was that there is a clear majority to at the least affirm the Mississippi law and likely to completely overturn Roe – that after 50 years of being on the books, a constitutional right to abortion will be severely limited if not eliminated.

If that happens, what happens next?

If the Court does overturn Roe, it would likely rule that abortion is not a constitutional right and that it is up to the political process to authorize it – or not.  This would make the 50 state legislatures – and Congress – the ultimate arbiters of the availability and scope of abortion services.

That would mean that it would be up to Congress to pass a law for abortion services to be available uniformly across the country.

Eliminating a constitutional right that has been in effect for 50 years will be devastating to tens of millions of women across the country.  This will provoke a most explosive reaction.

Aside from civil rights and racial justice, abortion is the most significant social issue in the country

The ruling in Roe was sought for decades by abortion supporters, and the repeal of Roe by the Court has been sought by abortion opponents for decades. 

Every Federal spending bill has language in it over how Federal dollars can or cannot be spent on abortion services. 

Every judicial appointment to the Federal courts is scrutinised and vetted for their position on abortion. 

Especially over the last 30 years, this issue has dominated the confirmation process for those nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Trump was resolute in championing his appointment of anti-abortion justices to the Court. 

Trump got three of them approved by the Republican-controlled Senate – upending the Supreme Court’s political balance just so the Court would get to this day.

Since the Court will have shifted the abortion debate from the judicial branch to legislatures across the country, there will be an immense political reaction from coast to coast, and that reaction will be nationalized and carry over into the midterm elections for Congress next November.

Why? Because a state-by-state approach can be transcended if Congress passes a national law to protect abortion rights

While the Supreme Court might strike down Roe by finding there is nothing in the Constitution that provides a right to abortion services, it is not unconstitutional for Congress to pass a law protecting the provision of abortion services to all women in the United States.  

Indeed, in anticipation of what the Supreme Court is deciding now, the House of Representatives in September passed, by a party-line vote of 218-211, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, which provides:

“Congress finds… Abortion services are essential to health care and access to those services is central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States. Abortion access allows people who are pregnant to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, their families, and their lives,

“A health care provider has a statutory right under this Act to provide abortion services, and may provide abortion services, and that provider’s patient has a corresponding right to receive such services …”

The Senate could pass it too – if there are enough Democrats to vote to change the Senate rules to end the filibuster and allow a simple majority vote on this legislation.

As abortion rights are supported by 60 per cent of voters, suddenly Democrats have a huge accelerator of support in the midterms next November. The message: elect Democrats to Congress if you want to protect abortion rights.

If the Supreme Court overrules Roe, it will be war over abortion at the ballot box.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

Continue Reading

Ticker Views

Trump’s campaign debut was panned – but don’t underestimate his chances

Published

on

Last weekend, Donald Trump held two events in New Hampshire and South Carolina, his first official forays onto the 2024 presidential battlefield. 

The experts panned it.  

“Former President Trump’s first campaign swing of the 2024 campaign generated little of the excitement that has long defined his glitzy political rallies…The widespread sentiment among Republicans there is that Trump served the country well, but he’s unelectable in 2024.”  

Axios, the super-sophisticated DC political newsletter

“As he hit the trail for the first time since launching a third bid for the White House in November, signs of Trump’s newfound vulnerabilities came into focus. The trip effectively ushered in the start of the 2024 Republican presidential primary campaign season, with Trump fighting to keep his place at the top of a potentially crowded field.” 

The Washington Post

“He remains the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, yet the solidity of his support seems increasingly in doubt.  Longtime donors have been reluctant to recommit. Leaders in the Republican National Committee are openly encouraging other candidates to run. Voters rejected the handpicked candidates he vowed would win Republicans control of the Senate, but whose losses instead left the chamber in Democratic hands.”

The New York Times

A lot of the political class is talking about Trump in the past tense, and not the future, briefing out to the media that his rambling, Fidel Castro-like  monologues bore his audiences silly, that his obsessions and battles with his political enemies do not have the reach they did in 2016 and during  his term in office, that he is immersing himself more deeply in extremist QAnon cult waters, that he faces indictments and trials that will derail his campaign and might even put him in jail.

Trump 2020

And more: that Trump wallows in the “stolen” 2020 election, knowing that there was no way he could have lost since he got 12 million more votes than in 2016.  Trump never concedes.  Six years later, he does not acknowledge that Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016 – and that he won only because she lost in the Electoral College.

The telling critique – the one driving Republicans in private to say that Trump is done (or should be done, or will be done) is that Trump is a loser. 

That Trump lost Republican control of the House of Representatives in 2018, bringing back Nancy Pelosi who secured not one, but two impeachments of the president; that he lost the White House in 2020; that he lost control of the Senate in January 2021 when Democrats swept both Georgia Senate seats, giving them control of that chamber; and that Trump-backed candidates in Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Arizona again cost Republicans control of the Senate in the 2022 midterms.   As Vince Lombardi, legendary gridiron coach of Green Bay and Washington, said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Lombardi would say Trump was a loser.

Trump is having none of it, and his iron resolve was on full display for those listening more closely when he gave his orations last weekend.

“Maybe he’s lost his step,” Trump said in evoking the musings of some Republicans. But, “I’m more angry now, and I’m more committed than I ever was.”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump points as he announces that he will once again run for U.S. president in the 2024 U.S. presidential election during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The anger is palpable.  The Trump 2023 brand joins his anger with the hottest culture war buttons he can press. Immigration, the open wound that is the southern border, the wall he will finish, the rapists and criminals who are flooding in and that he will keep out tomorrow.  Immigration is his lead-off weapon.

Then promises of energy independence and oil forever.  Utter hostility to electric vehicles and wind energy – especially if the windmills are offshore.  No transgender women in sports.  No way they are tolerated.  A purge of woke content from school curricula, schoolbooks, school libraries, and school boards.  Parents empowered to fire the principal of the schools their children attend; Trump says the parents can vote them out of their jobs.

Trump never goes far into the culture wars without conjuring up Hunter Biden, the president’s son. 

Hunter Biden with Joe Biden

Trump cannot get enough of Hunter’s laptop and the criminality of the Bidens, their business dealings and their money.  We can barely follow all the Trump twists and turns in this tale, but there is no mistake that Trump wants Hunter nailed and his father to bear the consequences.

Reprising his role as Commander-in-Chief, Trump said, in case we have not been paying attention, that we are on the brink on World War III. That Ukraine would not have happened if he had been president. That we could have a peace deal “in 24 hours.” Trump wants to call Putin and knows Putin will be waiting for that call.

Trump’s great loyalist, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, was on the podium with Trump and put it this way after the event. “How many times have you heard we like Trump’s policies but we want somebody new? There are no Trump policies without Donald Trump.”

That’s the message Trump delivered to his base last weekend.  And that’s how Trump intends to win.

Buried in Trump’s massive monologue was the core of what could be a winning message.   “My mission is to secure a middle-class lifestyle for everyone.  I did it before and I will do it again.  And we will be respected in the world once again.”

Three powerful sentences which, coupled with the red meat of his anger and rage, mean that Trump is very much alive and kicking.

Continue Reading

Ticker Views

Leading athletes and medical experts push for medicinal cannabis in sport

Published

on

Leading lawmakers, medical experts and athletes are pushing for therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain and injury

Basketball star Brittney Griner is one of the leading players of her generation. She jumped into the spotlight for serving a sentence for possession of cannabis oil in Russia.

It begs the question whether medicinal cannabis and athletes are a good mix. Well, many lawmakers, health experts and athletes around the world want to break down the stigmas associated with its use.

Many want to use Griner’s ordeal as motivation to change cannabis laws and therapeutic use exemptions in sports.

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health has spoken closely with Dr. Peter Brukner who is a world-renowned Australian sports medicine clinician and researcher.

Dr. Peter Brukner

Brukner believes athletes should be able to compete in their field with medicinal cannabis because it doesn’t enhance their performance.

“Medicinal cannabis is arguably performance diminishing rather than performance enhancing…

It’s likely to be taken off the ban list in the near future.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

“I don’t see there are any risks at all.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

Brayshaw believes there are higher risks for athletes becoming addicted to anti-inflammatory and opioids. As opposed to any risks associated with taking medicinal cannabis.

He explains it enables athletes to function in a healthy way, pain free.

Overall, there is hope Griner’s case will break down stigma surrounding natural medicines and athletes.

In Australia, there are tens of thousands of new applications for medicinal cannabis every month.

“We’re seeing a significant stigma reduction… There are 30,000 new applications every month [in Australia] for medicinal cannabis...

In the right hands, and through a GP it can be a very safe alternative to opioids and anti-inflammatories in the treatment of chronic pain.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

There are also growing calls for countries to adopt therapeutic use exemptions in sport, including in the Australian Football League.

“We’ve got Alistair Clarkson and Damien Hardwick on our board, they’ve taken a keen interest… Yes, it’s on the rise.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

Continue Reading

Ticker Views

Why is China’s changing its strategy to handling the pandemic?

Published

on

Changes to China’s COVID policies are coming thick and fast, much faster than many people anticipated given how strict the country has been in the last few years, the latest big announcement is around an app that people had to install on their phone

Then it tracked them when they travelled across the country, alerting them if they’ve been to a high risk COVID area, the government says that that app is now deactivated and people no longer have to have it installed on their phones.

It’s yet another indication of the change in China’s strategy to handling the pandemic.

We’ve seen changes related to quarantine, and also testing as well. And a real change in narrative from the authorities when talking about the virus and how dangerous it is. Now officially case numbers are dropping.

But that is largely due to the fact that much less testing is taking place, and we are seeing signs that in reality cases are surging.

There’s queues of people outside of pharmacies, queuing to get medication for colds and for fevers, and also self testing kits as well.

On social media, many people in China now saying that they have caught COVID For the first time, or that they know a number of people who have COVID When previously they didn’t know anyone at all.

So it’s clear that cases are rising, and this is coming just the month before the Chinese New Year holidays, which will take place at the end of January, traditionally a time when millions of people will travel across the country.

We would expect that to happen this year, as travel within China is now much easier.

So we would expect COVID cases to spread across the country talking to travel and is yet no sign of when the borders will open internationally.

Still very, very hard to get into China and very strict. When people do enter and the procedures they have to follow.

Maybe the government will wait and see how the first phase of reopening goes domestically, before thinking internationally?

Continue Reading
Live Watch Ticker News Live
Advertisement

Trending Now

Copyright © 2023 The Ticker Company PTY LTD