What’s the state of our rights? Stay tuned

The concept of states’ rights has never been pure.

The Confederates who eventually went to war over the right of their states to own men, women and children ditched their reasoning — that what they did was none of the federal government’s business — when the enslaved escaped to states willing to grant these brave human beings their freedom.

Then, it was time for Southern politicians to demand revisions and ever harsher penalties added to existing Fugitive Slave laws that punished those who escaped and anyone who aided them, including offering bounties that ensnared even freed Black citizens (“12 Years a Slave,” true story).

Hypocrisy has always been a feature, not a bug in the American way, especially for those deemed not worthy, not possessing “rights which the white man was bound to respect,” as Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford opinion in 1857.

You don’t have to reach back to pre-Civil War days for examples that prove the philosophy of states’ rights can be quite malleable when it interferes with a desired outcome.

A current proposal favored by a Missouri legislator, aimed at a clinic in neighboring Illinois, seems cut from the same cloth. It would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident obtain an abortion, including the out-of-state doctor or the person who connected patient to clinic.

Such laws, if approved in Missouri and elsewhere, while unconstitutional on their face and sure to be subject to a slew of lawsuits, could nonetheless serve as chilling warnings for anyone tempted to help a desperate client, friend or family member.

Local News Roundup: Ripple effect of leaked Supreme Court draft opinion; $3.2 billion proposed budget for Charlotte; Cawthorn in the headlines again

The leaked draft Supreme Court opinion on the possible overturning of Roe vs. Wade has people talking all over the country about the potential impact of the ruling. We’ll talk about how overturning Roe vs. Wade would impact North and South Carolinians and what local people are saying about it.

No property tax increases are in the plan for the Charlotte’s new budget, with employee bonuses and raises at the top of a $3.2 billion proposed budget. We’ll talk about some of the budget details and reactions.

Madison Cawthorn continues to make headlines, this time after a nude video was released.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police holds a news conference calling attention to a series of sexual assault cases in Charlotte. We’ll talk about the cases highlighted and why.

And despite work to improve them, Mecklenburg County’s park system ranks among the worst in the country.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

The Daily Drum: Supreme Court Document Leak, Roe v. Wade

It has never happened before in the modern history of The Supreme Court.  A draft of a court decision… leaked to a news organization and now very public… before the court takes the  vote.  This draft on the issue of abortion… suggests that the landmark 1973, Roe v. Wade decision could be overturned.  Chief justice John Roberts saying today… the draft is authentic… but not a final decision of the court. We look at what this means for the independence of the court, abortion rights, even election politics.

 

A Contentious Fight over a Supreme Court Vacancy

If you thought it was going to be a slow summer in Washington, think again. When Justice Anthony Kennedy resigned, it meant the justice who was most considered a swing and unpredictable voter could be replaced with someone who leaned even more to the right. Democrats, who saw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stall President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, want to delay President Trump’s pick (the second vacancy he has filled) until after the midterms.

A simple majority vote is all that is needed in the Senate. A key to activity from the both parties could hinge on the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and whether its fate hangs in the court’s balance.