Illustration of the founding fathers, credit Jon Stich


Wednesday May 8, 2024

05.08.24Carlos Aguilar

How originalism ate the law and made our lives worse

Say It Louder

Illustration of the founding fathers, credit Jon Stich

America is being led astray by a small handful of folks who are drunk-driving on originalism—and not in a funny Marx Brothers, spin-around-in-circles-and-all-fall-down sort of way. No, it’s in a children-murdered-in-their-classrooms, women-hemorrhaging-in-parking-lots, environmental-and-health-regulations-destroyed kind of way. And that’s because the whole nation is currently lashed to a small, stupid, perpetually changing theory of legal interpretation variously known as “originalism,” or “textualism,” or “original public meaning,” or “history and tradition.” A theory that is—unless you were born in the 1990s—younger than you are.

Most Americans are well aware that the MAGA supermajority on the current Supreme Court is drunk on something. But originalism is the invisible force that allows a handful of unaccountable jurists to unravel both progress and understanding and also the wants of the majority.

Read the rest on Slate 

What being trans in prison is really like


Illustration of various faces, credit CHRIS CORTEZ AND THE MARSHALL PROJECT

The last few years have brought a wave of anti-trans legislation. Hundreds of bills have aimed to prevent trans teens from using certain bathrooms, teachers from using kids’ preferred names or pronouns, student-athletes from competing on the teams they feel comfortable on and medical providers from prescribing gender-affirming medical care. Some states have even tried to send parents, medical personnel, educators and others to jail or prison for providing gender-affirming health care to minors and adults.

Lawmakers supporting these bills refer to transgender people’s lives as a “woke social experiment” or “left-wing gender insanity.” Partly because of this rhetoric, trans and gender-expansive people are disproportionately targeted by violence, both inside and outside the criminal justice system.

Read the rest on Marshall Project

Conservative lawyers are suing women who cross state borders to get abortions

Less Of This

As soon as Collin Davis found out his ex-partner was planning to travel to Colorado to have an abortion in late February, the Texas man retained a high-powered antiabortion attorney — who court records show immediately issued a legal threat.

If the woman proceeded with the abortion, even in a state where the procedure remains legal, Davis would seek a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the abortion and “pursue wrongful-death claims against anyone involved in the killing of his unborn child,” the lawyer wrote in a letter, according to records.

Now, Davis has disclosed his former partner’s abortion to a state district court in Texas, asking for the power to investigate what his lawyer characterizes as potentially illegal activity in a state where almost all abortions are banned.

Read the rest on Washington Post

Some in the legal community believe that investing in Black women is unconstitutional

Speaking Of...

They might be courtroom adversaries, but Arian Simone swears she and the man suing her venture capital firm want the same thing: an America where race does not matter.

The difference is that Simone believes race-specific initiatives like the Fearless Fund are essential to achieving that ideal. Given that Black-owned start-ups secured less than 1 percent of the nation’s VC spending last year, she said, “I can’t stop.”

But the conservative activist driving the lawsuit, Edward Blum, says racial equity is not one-sided. That’s why he insists that the fund’s grant program for Black women is discriminatory, in one of the most-watched civil rights cases since he was on the winning side of the landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned race-conscious college admissions.

Read the rest on Washington Post