Is Roe v. Wade In Danger?

Pro-choice Americans are worried. In addition to new and restrictive state measures threatening to severely limit abortion rights, the Supreme Court’s recent break with precedent has activists wondering what precedents will be broken next. Might the Conservative Court take on Roe v. Wade?

After decades of accruing small technical advantages, it’s not crazy to say that the modern GOP is on the precipice of achieving one of its highest aims—made possible thanks to some closed polling stations here, a gerrymandered district there, judges confirmed against tradition and precedent, a president who lost the popular vote… none of this is what the public wants. It doesn’t matter. And it’s almost too late.

What is more likely than a total reversal, advocates have long said, is a slow degeneration. Different abortion lawsuits will reach the Supreme Court, and with each decision the court could decide that parts of the state laws restricting abortion access, or laws that are less restrictive than the 6-week bans, are in fact constitutional. This would slowly erode what lawyers and advocates refer to as the “core of Roe”: the idea that laws cannot place an “undue burden” on access to abortion.

Who doubts liberals would overturn Heller, Citizens United on free speech and many other precedents they oppose if they had a majority? Precedents should be overturned on their legal merits, not the politics of the day.

How Will the Trade War Play Into the 2020 Election?

It’s largely agreed upon that Trump’s trade war is an economic loser for the United States. That said, many Republicans think it’s justified. As the 2020 election approaches, how will Trump and the Democrats spin the meaning of the trade war as it spins out of control?

In 2020, Trump will position himself as a populist and nationalist who stands up for the American worker. As for those Americans suffering because of his trade policies, Trump will blame China, prior administrations (for negotiating bad deals), or Democrats in Congress (for not passing bailout packages).

Advisers to the Democratic presidential campaigns expect intense fights over a small number of issues—such as Israel… There is a clear logic to the emerging consensus, but it may not be enough… If Democrats want to beat Trump on foreign policy, they need to place competition with China at the heart of their pitch to voters.

Mr. Biden, the Democratic front-runner, shrugged off the China trade threat as a nonissue.

“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” Mr. Biden said earlier this month.

Will Buttigieg’s Stance on Identity Politics Help or Hurt His Campaign?

The buzz surrounding Pete Buttigieg’s campaign has often focused on the unique constellation of his identity. He’s a gay, millennial Christian. Also a veteran. Also a Rhodes Scholar. But Mayor Pete is taking a stand against identity politics, stating at an LGBT gala event that identity politics have created a “crisis of belonging” in America. More at The Hill.

Pete Buttigieg thinks he can solve the issue of identity politics in America — and his solution is Pete Buttigieg…

Why? Because even though he’s a white man, he’s also openly gay. he is trying to redefine identity politics altogether — and to do so in a way that puts his own identity front and center.

It will be interesting to see whether other Democratic contenders take issue with the mayor’s identity politics remarks. Or if, alternatively, Buttigieg has opened up space to move toward the center which makes it possible for others to follow.

Those are the kinds of quotes that have led to criticism of Buttigieg from women and people of color. They not only sound dismissive of the issues those groups face on a daily basis, they also contribute to the narrative that has developed about Buttigieg being yet another white male candidate who has prioritized reaching out to white working class voters at their expense.

Is Bibi Above the Law?

As Bibi cobbles together a coalition, it’s widely believed that he’s trading off political positions and political promises to party leaders in exchange for their support of a law which would grant Netanyahu freedom from prosecution while in office. Would this effectively put Bibi above the law? More at Times of Israel.

…this time, it’s not just bickering between the officials, it’s not a fight for governance and it’s not justified criticism of judicial activism. This time it is a lethal, dangerous, and anti-constitutional mixture of a new law protecting his immunity from prosecution and a push for a legislation to overturn Supreme Court decisions. In other words – Erdoğanization.

Before the elections, the Attorney General published the details of the cases against the Prime Minister. The publication was thorough and detailed… a very large majority still wanted to see Netanyahu as prime minister. Therefore, no harm will be caused if the legal examination of the suspicions is made at the end of the term of office, as is customary in enlightened countries around the world. This, too, is the essence of democracy… (Translated by the Jewish Journal)

He should be willing to face the pre-indictment hearing. Since he has claimed that there is nothing to the allegations, why does he need immunity? Potential coalition partners should not enable this horse trading; they should not seek to push some narrow agenda merely because they know the prime minister needs them now more than ever. The country deserves strong governance, and it deserves a prime minister who will hold steady the ship of state, even if it means eventually facing the long-simmering accusations.

Why Did Madonna Choose to Perform in Israel?

Madonna faced immense pressure from the BDS movement to boycott performing at Eurovision in Tel Aviv – but Madonna is not easily swayed from her own convictions. Here are three takes on the significance of her decision to play Israel.

I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be… My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.

Listen: Everyone must stand alone… in the difficult work of holding Israel, like any country, accountable for injustice without delegitimizing the state and its people. And Madonna, of all people, is giving a masterclass in doing so. Life, indeed is a mystery.

Besides the fun, Eurovision in Israel serves two great purposes. It exposes the hate, bullying and intimidation campaign of the BDS movement that has been trying for years to coerce artists not to perform in Israel. And it shows they’re failing!!

Is Christian Persecution a Thing?

At a commencement address at Liberty University, Mike Pence warned the Christian students about the religious persecution they can expect to experience in their lives. Is Pence right about Christians being a persecuted group? More at Vox.

This is the “evangelical persecution complex” in action. It may be sincere and well-intentioned — I don’t know Pence’s heart, let alone those of ordinary American Christians who express similar views without the complicating factor of political gain — but it’s misleading and misguided, damaging to real religious liberty issues and the plight of Christians suffering grave persecution abroad.

If there’s a more conspicuous combination of snowflake and drama queen in American politics than Mike Pence, I don’t want to pass the collection plate to him.

How right he is.

Christianity is, after all, the most widely persecuted religion in the world. No need to sugarcoat… For years, there has been an ongoing struggle over the judicial and legislative interpretation of the First Amendment’s respect of religious freedom, with Christians often getting the short end of the stick. Just ask Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy how he’s faring of late with campus crusaders who see his fast-food franchise in anti-LGBTQ light, worthy of destroying.

Today’s Hot Issues

Is Roe v. Wade In Danger? How Will the Trade War Play Into the 2020 Election? Will Buttigieg’s Stance on Identity Politics Help or Hurt His Campaign? Is Bibi Above the Law? Why Did Madonna Choose to Perform in Israel? Is Christian Persecution a Thing?