Milwaukee: The Supreme Court’s Dobbs Decision is yet another blow to the shaky foundations of American democracy as shocking as the revelations of the January 6th Committee.

 

Right-wing extremists, funded by billionaires and our largest corporations, have seized control of the Republican Party and are using it as an instrument to systematically undermine our democratic institutions. Donald Trump is the first president in American history to resist the peaceful transfer of power after losing an election. Although Trump’s 2020 coup failed, he and his Senate allies succeeded in packing the Supreme Court with ideological hacks willing to legislate from the bench. Although the GOP has only won the popular vote for president once in the last thirty years, they have a 6-3 majority on the court willing to impose a tyranny of the minority.

 

“These extremist politicians masquerading as judges, without regard for public opinion or settled legal precedent, have set equality back over half a century and imposed their will over the most personal choices of every woman of childbearing age,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “If this extremest court is allowed to get away with its assault on women’s autonomy, no rights will be safe. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas proposed reconsidering the cases which protect marriage equality, access to contraceptives, and intimate relations between LGBTQ people. Unless they are stopped by the defenders of democracy, the assault on women’s rights will be only the beginning.”

 

Here in Wisconsin, the Dobbs decision sets women’s equality back over 170 years, turning the clock back to a pre-Civil War criminal abortion law which was passed before women even had the right to vote and when slavery was still the law of the land. This archaic law is being held in place by a gerrymandered GOP majority in the Legislature, that with the assistance of the same Supreme Court which overturned Roe vs. Wade has a guaranteed super majority regardless of how the people of Wisconsin vote in November.

 

In the face of a tyrannical minority that is willing to seize every ounce of power within their grasp, the only way to restore democratic rule is to lean into our power. First, we need leaders who support women’s reproductive rights to be willing to use all the power at their disposal. It is a great first step that Governor Tony Evers has committed to grant clemency to anyone convicted under Wisconsin archiac abortion law, and that Attorney General Josh Kaul has promised not to enforce the law. We need equal courage from Congress and the White House in the coming weeks.

 

“The only solution to the tyranny of the minority is for the majority to use the electoral process to reclaim democratic rule,” said Kraig. “The most immediate way to address this dangerous decision is to elect a Congressional majority in November willing to use its power to codify Roe v. Wade. But that will only be a temporary solution. Make no mistake, this rogue Supreme Court can be counted on to revoke such a law. The only way to control it is to elect Senators and Members of Congress willing to end the filibuster, unpack the Supreme Court by adding actual judges, and use the power the Constitution provides Congress to limit the court’s jurisdiction. These steps may seem radical to some, but in fact they are fully authorized under our Constitution, which does not limit the number of justices to nine, and gives Congress power over the court’s jurisdiction. These are protections against a wayward Supreme Court that the framers added as a check on judicial tyranny.”

 

“American corporations and billionaires, beneficiaries of an economy they rigged against working people, are major actors in the attack on democracy. They funnel millions into GOP campaigns to aid their own selfish interests. Corporate titans such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce developed and funded the strategy to pack the Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Kraig continued. “The Supreme Court’s decision in the infamous Citizen United case has given the super rich and the biggest corporations an outsized influence in our elections, and they have used it to fund a radical party that is bent on ending America’s experiment in multiracial democracy. A new majority in Congress must adopt a robust definition of democratic restoration which checks the judicial tyranny of the Supreme Court and addresses through transformational reforms economic inequality, tax fairness, and the corrupt system for financing political campaigns. Only then will our rights be safe.”

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