From left, Democratic Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Ilhan Omar, Jackie Speier, and Carolyn Maloney at the Supreme Court, credit Tom Williams, CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty


Wednesday February 21, 2024

02.21.24Carlos Aguilar

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Wisconsin Supreme Court rules for a stronger democracy

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Stephen Maturen:Getty Images

Wisconsin now has legislative maps that align more closely with voters’ political preferences, a significant development that will fuel more competitive contests and could break Republicans’ longstanding grip on its legislature.

The maps, which were approved by both chambers of the Republican-led state legislature and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Monday, change the breakdown of the state’s Assembly and Senate districts from predominantly GOP leaning to nearly evenly split between the two parties. This redistricting means that Democrats actually have a shot at retaking the majority of the State Assembly in November, a prospect that was virtually impossible under the state’s prior maps, which the GOP had heavily gerrymandered in its favor.

Read the rest on Vox

Alabama Supreme Court quotes Bible in ruling outlawing IVF treatment

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The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade immediately diminished the quality of health care provided to pregnant patients in states that ban abortion. Suddenly, obstetricians could no longer adhereto basic standards of care, and were instead forced by law to provide inferior—and often life-threateningmedical treatment to patients. Friday’s shock decision from the Alabama Supreme Court declaring that embryos are legally “people” will have a similarly devastating impact on the standard of care afforded to women struggling with infertility. The decision takes dead aim at IVF as it’s currently practiced, subjecting providers to ruinous damages (at best) and criminal prosecution (at worst). IVF clinics simply cannot operate under the draconian new constraints imposed by the court unless they adopt new, experimental techniques that are vastly more onerous and painful for patients. Judges are once again playing doctor, to the extreme detriment of women trying to build families.

Read the rest on Slate

New study finds living in an abortion ban state worsens mental health

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From left, Democratic Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Ilhan Omar, Jackie Speier, and Carolyn Maloney at the Supreme Court, credit Tom Williams, CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

The false idea that getting an abortion makes women irreparably depressed and anxious, that it causes a deep psychic wound, has for decades been used by anti-abortion activists to support abortion restrictions.

But the argument is entirely based on anecdotes, personal beliefs, and vibes. No good science has demonstrated this link.

That’s not because nobody’s tried to answer the question of what the mental health impacts of abortion are on the women who obtain them. It’s because the answer to that question, over and over again, is: none. In study after study, researchers have consistently shown that getting an abortion does not cause mental health problems.

What does reliably worsen women’s mental health, however, is banning or restricting abortion access.

Read the rest on Vox 

Justice Alito sides with homophobic jurors, attacks same-sex marriage

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is complaining that people who oppose homosexuality were being unfairly branded as bigots, despite that being a dictionary definition of bigotry.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a case about whether it is legal to exclude potential jurors based on their religion. The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Jean Finney, who is lesbian, against her longtime employer, the Missouri Department of Corrections, for workplace discrimination and retaliation due to her sexuality. During jury selection for the trial, which Finney won, her lawyer asked the judge to remove three jurors who had expressed beliefs that homosexuality is a sin. Finney’s lawyer argued their religious beliefs would bias them against LGBTQ people.

Read the rest on New Republic