Viewpoint: Supreme Court looks to save Trump but find women not worth saving

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Viewpoint: Supreme Court looks to save Trump but find women not worth saving
Karen Rubin, Columnist

Anyone listening to the back-to-back Supreme Court sessions – first on Idaho’s rejection of the federal requirement to provide emergency health care for pregnant women and next inoculating Trump against accountability for committing fraud to overturn the election and violating the peaceful transfer of power - had to be sickened, incensed and scared.

The Christo Fascist Supreme Court majority seems to be poised to rule that women do not have the right to emergency medical care to save their health and their future fertility standing at death’s door while also facing the likely loss of their baby, too.

At the same time, they seem likely to rule that Trump, in a second term, can have his political rival assassinated, sell nuclear secrets to Putin, extort paying vital military aid to Ukraine until President Zelensky announces an investigation into his political rival, Biden (wait, that happened); take $1 million to appoint someone an ambassador; take kickbacks on foreign aid he authorizes; mount a deadly insurrection; and commit election fraud without criminal liability as long as he claims retroactively these are “official acts.”

Listening to the oral arguments in these two cases was shocking – a study in strategic, willful obliviousness to the real consequences of overturning a woman’s right to reproductive health care, the real consequences of ignoring the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection and the conspiracy that led up to it, ignoring the growing use, even normalization, of intimidation and violence as a political weapon.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh postulated that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted for breaking any law that doesn't specifically mention “the president.”

Justices Amy Coney Barrett and John Roberts tried to exempt Trump's actions as “official.” Justice Clarence Thomas refused to recuse himself despite the fact that his wife joined the insurrection.

Justice Neil Gorsuch said presidents would wind up routinely pardoning themselves every four years (vs. not committing a crime for which they could be prosecuted).

But Justice Samuel Alito takes the prize for absurdity, saying that presidents must be immune from prosecution or else it would “destabilize our democracy” because they would be so fearful of being prosecuted after leaving office, they would take desperate measures to stay (what only Trump among our 45 presidents did).

Just the opposite, Justice Jackson asserted. “[The realization that a president might be criminally prosecuted is] what has kept the Oval Office turning into Crime Central. But once we say ‘no criminal liability, Mr. President, you can do whatever you want,’ I’m worried that we would have a worse problem than the problem of a president feeling constrained to follow the law while he’s in office.”

“I respectfully disagree,” Trump lawyer D. John Sauer smugly retorted. Even ordering the assassination of a rival, Sauer said, “could well be an official act.”

Michael R. Dreeben, counselor to the Special Counsel, countered: “Executive immunity would license a president to commit ‘bribery, treason sedition, murder’ and as in Trump’s case ‘conspiring to use fraud to overturn the results of an election and perpetuate himself in power’.”

In response to Thomas, who loves to justify egregious decisions based on twisted cherry-picking of “history and tradition,” asked for historical examples of criminally prosecuting an ex-president.  Dreeban replied, “The reason there were no prior prosecutions is because there were no crimes” warranting criminal prosecution.

So desperate to give Trump a lifeline back into the presidency, the Justices ignored the facts of the case in front of them and the right of the American people to see justice done, establish safeguards for free and fair elections, and know if a candidate for president is an insurrectionist, in fact, ineligible under the 14th Amendment.

“I'm not focused on the here and now of this case,” Kavanaugh said. “I'm very concerned about the future.”

In the case pitting the federal emergency health care law, in place since 1986, against Idaho’s extreme abortion ban, the radical justices concocted hypotheticals, theoreticals and gobblygook that would give them an excuse to nullify the preemption of federal law that has applied for decades over the recently enacted state’s abortion ban.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited visceral examples of women suffering sepsis and hemorrhaging due to pregnancy complications but not quite at the point of threatening their lives and a patient who was denied an abortion earlier in her pregnancy and by the time she was able to deliver, the baby died and she was forced to have a hysterectomy.

Asked whether Idaho’s ban applied in those situations, Josh Turner, Idaho’s Constitutional Litigation & Policy chief, cavalierly replied it was a case-by-case assessment and up to prosecutorial discretion whether to prosecute the doctor.

But that is the problem – doctors are too afraid of being prosecuted, of losing their license and being locked in expensive litigation, to give their patient the care they should have.

“The situation on the ground in Idaho is showing devastating consequences – women and doctors in Idaho are in an impossible situation: doctors facing a grave threat to their health but not yet death have to delay care and let her deteriorate, or she has to leave the state,” said Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, arguing on behalf of the federal government

Even Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a religiously anti-abortion activist, showed sensitivity if not sympathy to the plight of a woman frantically coming to an Emergency Room with some pregnancy horror.

But her Christo Fascist male cohorts completely ignored the woman’s health emergency. What most concerned them was spending: Could the federal government withhold its funding unless the recipient complies with its “conditions?” (Answer: yes.) And states rights: Can the federal standard preempt the state abortion ban? (Answer: yes.)

And what of the unborn child? asked Alito, who wrote the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, ending women's constitutional right to seek an abortion up until fetal viability. Doesn’t the doctor have an obligation to protect “the interests of the unborn child?” he asked, laying the groundwork for his ultimate goal, fetal personhood.

Prelogar countered that Alito’s reading of the statute was “erroneous” and the hospital only has a duty to stabilize the pregnant woman since the likelihood is that the fetus has no possibility of surviving.

“What Idaho is doing is waiting for women to deteriorate and suffer the lifelong health consequences with no possible upside for the fetus,” Prelogar said. “It just stacks tragedy upon tragedy.”

The conservative Supreme Court Justices in the majority can act with impunity because no one can or will stop them.

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