Catholics for Choice Update: Bishops Use Fortnight for Freedom to Lobby for the Right to Discriminate

The so-called Fortnight for Freedom is an annual campaign organized by the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), ostensibly to promote religious liberty. It uses an auspicious feast day to start—on the church’s calendar, June 21 marks when two martyrs who suffered political persecution, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, were killed under Henry VIII—and ends on July 4, the American Independence Day. But the campaign uses freedom and flag to cloak the bishops’ real objective: lobbying for the right to discriminate against anyone who disagrees with them. Their campaign to redefine religious liberty is dangerous. Underneath their rhetoric, the Read More …

A Winding Road Ahead for Abortion Rights, State Obligations, by Lisa Faye Petak

The road out of Amarillo, Texas is long, no matter what direction you take. To get to Dallas, it’s 366 miles. But when the help you seek cannot be found in your home state of Texas, it means 286 miles and a final destination in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or the only slightly less daunting 260 miles to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These are the options for a woman seeking an abortion in North Texas, should a 2012 omnibus bill of abortion restrictions survive. Last week, the Supreme Court stayed enforcement of the law as clinics and state officials prepare their writs Read More …

Guest Blog: Anne Traum, Clark Constricts Right to Confront Accusers

Last week in Ohio v. Clark, the Supreme Court held that the Confrontation Clause did not apply to the accusatory statements of a three-year old child that led to the defendant’s felony convictions. All nine justices agreed that the child’s statements were not “testimonial” under Crawford v. Washington, and thus could be admitted at the defendant’s trial without an opportunity for cross-examination. The Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Alito (with Justices Scalia and Thomas each concurring separately), limited Crawford’s reach by extending the emergency exception, suggesting that most statements to non-police and by young children are not testimonial, Read More …

Guest Blog: Angela Morrison, Kerry v. Din and the Discriminatory Legacy of U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Law

Justice Scalia’s reliance in the plurality opinion on a statute that stripped women of their citizenship and found its justification in the law of coverture does, however, further demonstrate the sexist history of the United States’ immigration and nationality laws and how it continues to negatively impact women today. Read More …