Reflections From the Chair This Independence Day, Consider

What do recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions say about us? How will this affect you, your children and our future?

Abortion Rights

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court ruled that a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks is constitutional and overturned the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Separation of Church and State

In Carson v. Makin, the court ruled that a Maine program that excludes religious schools from a state tuition program is a violation of the free exercise of religion.

Sides With Coach Over Prayers on 50-Yard Line

Second Amendment

In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the court ruled that states with strict limits on carrying guns in public violate the Second Amendment. Editorial in the Spokesman

Whether you agree or disagree with these decisions, they are changing the culture and trajectory of the United States. Republicans are laying down the gauntlet declaring they are not done yet.  Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said landmark high court rulings that established gay rights and contraception rights should be reconsidered now that the federal right to abortion has been revoked. Thomas wrote that those rulings were demonstrably erroneous decisions. “Don’t Say Gay” And Anti-Trans Laws Pass In Florida, Utah, Other States (buzzfeednews.com)

As I look at the headlines and read the stories, I wonder if my efforts are making any difference at all. I force myself to think about those most affected by these rulings and the laws being touted by Republican legislatures and right-wing media.  I try to see the trajectory of this country and it’s scary.  I see Republicans’ goals as a power and a money grab – individuals, institutions, free press don’t matter, with no regard to what the majority of Americans believe or want.  No matter how loudly right-wing Republicans/Media repeat their nonsense, Democrats are not the ones thwarting progress towards a “more perfect union,” dismantling our constitution or restricting individual or state rights.  

I am a Democrat because we believe individuals have the right to make decisions about their own body and to be protected from harm by enacting common sense gun laws. We believe in science and support green energy. We believe our nation would benefit if everyone had access to health care, education, and experienced the same equity and inclusion.  We can’t make that happen if easy access to voting is denied. Democrats respect norms, not jump over them. We hesitate on overturning the filibuster – but GOP Would ‘Absolutely’ Overturn the Filibuster to Pass National Ban on Abortion, Warns Former RNC Chairman (msn.com) – and so much more.

The following piece was written in 1946 by Pastor Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran minister best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime. The poem is featured on the US Holocaust Memorial.

First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Want to stop the erosion?  Ask questions, sign up to get the word out – do what you can.  Please speak up and reach out – we have to show what we think by getting out the vote. Majority opinion should be respected.  We are in it for the long term, but change happens slowly.

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