It’s 1972 All Over Again. 

With permission of Scott M. Graves
Images courtesy Missouri Historical Society

On Monday, May 2, 2022 Politico broke the story that a draft decision written by Chief Justice Samuel Alito (George W. Bush appointment to the court) intends to rescind the 1973 decision Roe vs. Wade which gave all women in the United the States the right to seek an abortion. 

We discuss some of our concerns with such a decision including:

It is in and of itself, an unprecedented event that a decision is disclosed months prior to being published.

Conservative appointees by the Bush and Trump administrations promised in their hearings that they would work within a framework that Roe v Wade is the law as a fundamental basis. Clearly, they were lying to the congressional committees overseeing their appointment.  Can we have any truth in a country where Supreme Court appointees can lie to get their way? What happened to conservative disdain for ‘activist judges?

We’re worried for the consequences this decision has as a start. We know that culturally conservative groups have been aligned by design with large business interests to form the contemporary Republican party.  Where does this go from here?  Are we headed for a world where culture wars are won by the right as first step of appeasement, then rollbacks continue as they have or accelerate from the last 40 years to create the ultimate corporate welfare state?

Co-host Scott M. Graves reminds us of the parallels to 1857’s Dred Scott decision Let’s offer an overview.

The Dred Scott decision, formally Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford ruled that a slave who had resided in a free state and territory (where slavery was prohibited) was not thereby entitled to his freedom; that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had declared free all territories west of Missouri and north of latitude 36°30′, was unconstitutional. The decision added fuel to the sectional controversy and pushed the country closer to civil war.

In plain English, the decision’s core argument was that a black person in the US could not be considered a fully human being and one with all rights of US citizenship because in the US, white people were not willing to see them as such. 

This decision accelerated what was already by 1857 spiraling out of control following earlier compromises including the Compromise of 1850, the events of Bloody Kansas following the Kansas/Nebraska Act and the Fugitive Slave Law, among others all leading to the election of 1860 and the secession of South Carolina in 1861.

The Alito draft and the decision contained therein is similar in that it really appears to have the capacity to create a tipping point where citizens must earnestly fight to reverse the rollbacks of limiting specific groups of citizens of their rights.

We start with news breaking today that our local Heywood Hospital is in talks with UMASS Memorial Health System to merge, a story broke by Worcester Business Journal and we offer our media minute on the premiere of our series on Gardner’s Sludge Landfill Expansion.

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