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Supreme Court Justices Appear to Signal a Pro-Life Win Is Coming in Massive Roe v. Wade Challenge

Western Journal

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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case that could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade.

Mississippi law bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and the case heard today, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenges that law.

The oral arguments started at 10 a.m. eastern time, and now there are reports saying that the Court seems to be poised to uphold the Mississippi law.

In abortion cases, the Court’s main precedent is Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which say that women have the right to an abortion up to about 24 weeks of pregnancy.

After 24 weeks, a fetus is typically considered viable (able to survive outside the womb), so it is no longer able to be aborted.

On behalf of the state of Mississippi, the state’s solicitor general, Scott Stewart, argued that there are other good alternatives to abortion, such as safe haven laws, that still allow parents to forfeit child responsibility, Axios reported.

Julie Rikelman argued on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. Rikelman is the senior director at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The justices asked Rikelman about viability.

“Why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? Viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice, but if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked, according to NPR.

“If the Court were to move the line substantially backwards — and 15 weeks is nine weeks before viability, your honor — it may need to reconsider the rules around regulations because if it’s cutting the time period to obtain an abortion roughly in half, then those barriers are going to be much more important,” Rikelman answered.

The Supreme Court already leans conservative after former President Donald Trump nominated three new justices during his presidency. The Court is now balanced six to three in favor of conservatives.

According to NPR’s reporting, at least the three newest justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — already appear to be leaning toward upholding the Mississippi law.

Justice Clarence Thomas is also expected to side with the Mississippi law, particularly due to his opinion during Casey, SCOTUS Blog reported.

Thomas is the only current justice who was also on the Court during Casey and he joined the opinion of previous Chief Justice William Rehnquist saying, “Roe was wrongly decided, and that it can and should be overruled.”

However, Mississippi is specifically seeking for the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. While the justices seemed in favor of upholding the law, there still seemed to be a disagreement on the Court over whether to formally overturn the precedents.

“But the justices were once again deeply divided over whether to formally overturn those precedents, as Mississippi and its supporters are seeking,” SCOTUS Blog reported.

But Justices Samuel Alito, Thomas and Kavanaugh seemed to favor overruling Roe and Casey outright.

“The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice … and leaves the issue to the people to resolve in the democratic process,” Kavanaugh more specifically said, according to the U.K.’s Guardian.

The justices asked questions concerning fetus viability, as well as the basics of constitutional rights.

Alito was rather outspoken at one point in the questioning. Axios reported him saying that “the fetus has an interest in having a life and that doesn’t change from the point before viability to the point after viability.”

However, Justice Sonia Sotomayor critically asked Stewart, after his argument that the right to an abortion is not outright listed in the Constitution, “How is your interest anything but a religious view?”

“The issue of when life begins has been hotly debated by philosophers since the beginning of time. It’s still debated in religions. So when you say this is the only right that takes away from the state the ability to protect a life, that’s a religious view, isn’t it?” she asked, as Axios reported.

The more liberal-leaning justices also commented that overturning Roe v. Wade could make the Court too political and undermine the legitimacy of the nation’s highest court.

“If people actually believe that it’s all political, how will we survive?” Sotomayor continued, as Yahoo News reported. “How will the Court survive?”

According to The Texas Tribune, a decision on this case from the Supreme Court is expected sometime this summer.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Op-Ed: Xi Jinping Is Watching Putin to Decide When to Attack Taiwan

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House.

Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule.

Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.”

Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities.

The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November.

Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.”

Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted.

So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned from the Ukraine war that an attack on the democratic island nation will earn him severe economic sanctions, further threatening China’s economy. Thus, he intends to delay any invasion until after he is assured another term.

The other reality for Xi’s anticipated assault is identified by Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s economic adviser for almost six years in the early 2000s.

Illarionov, now a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, said the Chinese are learning from Putin’s war. He explained that Putin’s “decision to invade Ukraine is based on his absolutely correct understanding of President Biden. Without Biden in the White House, Putin would never invade Ukraine.”

Xi learned from Putin that Biden is weak and broadcasts what he will and won’t do — a predictable enemy.

“Mr. Putin is a very good psychologist,” Illarionov said. “He studied [security agency] files for Mr. Biden. He understood that’s a person who would never do anything against his invasion against Ukraine.” In fact, Biden showed his hand long before the war began.

Last year, Biden removed sanctions on Nord Stream 2, renewed the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreement without negotiations, did nothing about the buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and ordered U.S. warships out of the Black Sea after a Russian-Dutch naval confrontation. Putin perceived these moves as weaknesses, an effort on Biden’s part to avoid confrontation.

Biden’s representatives weren’t any better.

He sent William Burns, the CIA director, to Moscow, where, according to Illarionov, he offered guarantees “on issues of security, even when Russian troops [were] on the Ukrainian border and ready to attack Ukraine. That can be understood only in one way: Biden administration is giving green light for Putin to attack Ukraine.”

Then, in December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart to discuss the Ukraine crisis. However, Illarionov said, “90 percent” of the discussions were about the Iran nuclear deal, yet again “giving a green light to Mr. Putin to attack Ukraine.”

On other fronts, according to Illarionov, Biden recalled American citizens and military personnel from Ukraine. He even offered to help President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leave Ukraine. Once again, Illarionov said, “Mr.  Putin understood these signs in the exactly right way”: as weakness and a go-ahead to invade.

Xi understands that Biden was never serious about stopping Putin’s war. In fact, Illarionov said Xi, like Putin, “understands very well that there is a unique window of opportunity … when Mr. Biden is the president. With any other U.S. president … [an invasion of Ukraine or Taiwan] would be impossible.”

The Russian concluded, “This dangerous moment will last at least until January 2025, until hopefully another president will be in the White House.”

Of course, there are numerous other lessons from Russia’s war for the Chinese dictator. His invasion of Taiwan will be tougher than Putin’s assault on Ukraine because the Chinese are attacking a well-fortified island nation 160 miles from the mainland, a true logistics nightmare. Further, unlike the go-it-alone fight forced on Kyiv, the government in Taipei expects the U.S. and other Western powers to directly intervene.

The most important lesson for Xi is that Biden is a predictable, weak enemy who broadcasts his intentions. So unless the Biden team finds better foreign policy acumen, we could as soon as late fall see the skies reflect green lights signaling Xi to assault Taiwan.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House. Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule. Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.” Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities. The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November. Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.” Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted. So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned…

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Americans’ Summer Vacations on Chopping Block Thanks to Biden

Western Journal

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For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally.

This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg.

“Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet.

Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent.

And that’s not all.

The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV.

And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy.

Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN.

“Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said.

So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981.

As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate.

Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said he’s not waiting until vacation season to start scrimping, according to The National Desk.

“I’m seeing almost a 25 percent increase in my fill-up price. So, like, before it used to cost me $45. Now it’s like $60, $65,” he said.

Like so many others, Khokhar said he’s now changing some daily habits because of rising prices.

“I’ve started kind of doing the math and how much each mile basically costs me. So it’s like $0.10, $0.15, so it’s like, is it really worth going to hang out with my friends?” he said.

In an Op-Ed for the New York Post, Kevin Williamson said President Biden has found a way to make a bad situation worse.

“When you don’t have any fresh ideas or real principles — and when your long-term goals are limited by the fact that the president, who was born during the Roosevelt administration, isn’t exactly buying any green bananas — then the easiest thing to do is to throw money at every problem,” he wrote. “Throwing money at things is how you make inflation worse.”

“Biden, who was in the Senate in the 1970s, is old enough to remember the word ‘stagflation,’ which is what you get when you have a stagnant economy and inflation at the same time,” Williamson said.

“And it is what you get when you combine the wrong monetary policy with the wrong fiscal policy, the wrong trade policy, the wrong regulatory policy, and the wrong energy policy.

“And that’s how you make inflation worse.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally. This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg. “Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet. Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent. And that’s not all. The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV. And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy. Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN. “Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said. So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981. As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate. Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said…

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