What i read today…

… my reading this morning has been principally around the Supreme Court decision handed down yesterday that allowed Texas’ anti-abortion law, S.B. 8, to remain in effect…

Letters from an American, December 10, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson

This case is about far more than abortion. It is about the federal protection of civil rights in the face of discriminatory state laws. That federal protection has been the key factor in advancing equal rights in America since the 1950s.

The Texas Abortion Decision Protects the Traditional Rule of Law

Hard cases make bad law, and bad decisions make more hard cases. Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that has distorted many areas of our law. The Supreme Court created this monster with Roe, but in the Texas abortion cases decided this morning, it found itself caught between two sides trying to evade or rewrite the rules. On the one side was the Texas legislature: The new Texas abortion law, S.B. 8, is a too-clever-by-half attempt to get around Roe’s distortions by creating its own somewhat-novel enforcement mechanism. On the other side were the abortion clinics and the Justice Department’s lawsuit, both of which treated legal abortion as a constitutional interest so powerful that protecting it required the Court to bulldoze longstanding doctrines limiting the powers of federal courts.

How Narrow is the Pathway the Supreme Court Left for Suits Challenging SB 8 and Other Similar State Laws?

As noted in my last post about today’s Supreme Court ruling in in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, the key question for the future is how close a connection state officials must have to enforcement of the law in question before plaintiffs can potentially bring preenforcement challenges against those officials.

SCOTUS Says State Judges and Court Clerks Can’t Be Sued To Block Enforcement of the Texas Abortion Ban

The Supreme Court today held that Texas judges and court clerks cannot be sued to block enforcement of a state law that prohibits abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected. But it said the plaintiffs challenging S.B. 8, which took effect on September 1, can proceed with claims against state medical regulators.

Justice Sotomayor’s Flawed History To Promote The Myth of Judicial Supremacy

The United States did not fight a Civil War over the theory of judicial supremacy. But judicial supremacy was a contributor to the Civil War. Of course, I speak of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Chief Justice Taney recognized a new constitutional right based on substantive due process in order to resolve a controversial social debate by placing it beyond the power of the elected branches. Sound familiar? In Casey, Justice Scalia directly equated Roe and Dred Scott.

SCOTUS Rules Extreme Texas Abortion Ban Will Remain in Effect, Though Abortion Providers Can Sue

Today, in what could at best be considered a mixed ruling for abortion rights, the Supreme Court decided that abortion providers may sue some state officials in federal court over an extreme Texas abortion law. But in a huge blow, the court will also allow the law to remain in effect while the case moves forward.

The Most Blistering Lines from Sotomayor’s Extraordinary Dissent in Today’s Abortion Ruling

In an especially gripping section of the 13-page opinion, Sotomayor wrote that Texas’ brazen challenge to federal law “echoes the philosophy of John C. Calhoun, a virulent defender of the slaveholding South who insisted that States had the right to ‘veto’ or ‘nullify’ any federal law with which they disagreed.”

“The Nation fought a Civil War over that proposition,” she argued. “But Calhoun’s theories were not extinguished.”

… moving on to readings other than news…

Carl Jung on How to Liveyou make the road by walking…1

Your questions are unanswerable because you want to know how one ought to live. One lives as one can. There is no single, definite way for the individual which is prescribed for him or would be the proper one. If that’s what you want you had best join the Catholic Church, where they tell you what’s what. Moreover this way fits in with the average way of mankind in general. But if you want to go your individual way, it is the way you make for yourself, which is never prescribed, which you do not know in advance, and which simply comes into being of itself when you put one foot in front of the other.2


  1. Antonio Machado [return]
  2. Carl Jung, Selected Letters of C.G. Jung, 1909-1961, via Brain Pickings, Maria Popova [return]