A few weeks ago, Sergey Kadinsky authored an article about “Swastikas and Stars among Anti-Vaxxers at Bronx Protest.” Then came Michael Flynn’s comment in a church about the United States having one religion under G-d. I called out Jews on the political right to speak out. The response was disappointing - but not shocking. The latest comment was from Lara Logan, host of “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” on Fox, who compared Dr. Fauci to Josef Mengele. “He (Dr. Fauci) represents Josef Mengele, Doctor Josef, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps and I am talking about people all across the world are saying this.” This statement was made on Chanukah. Logan was condemned by Jewish organizations such as ADL, AJC, and the Auschwitz Museum, yet were met with silence from the Jewish right. It is unfortunate since they will have no credibility when they then attack those progressives whose comments warrant a response. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be willing to condemn conduct no matter who does it. Anything less makes you nothing more than a partisan organization.
On to my main comment. This past week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the case involving the Mississippi abortion law. As an appellate attorney, it was fascinating being able to hear the oral argument. It is great that the Supreme Court now allows audio transmission of its proceeding. I hope that they take the next step of allowing the proceeding to be livestreamed with video. The more the country can see the Court in action, the more they can have confidence in the system.
If you heard the demeaner of the attorneys, you would have no idea that they were arguing one of the most important decisions to come down from the court in many years. The lawyers also were peppered with questions, including some that seemed to come out of left field. When I heard the lawyer respond, you can tell that she was unsure why the question had any relevance to the case. I have been in that position before. If you asked the lawyers if they did a perfect job, they would say that they should have answered at least one question differently. It is human nature. I have done that many times.
In this case, the audio was significant, since it gave the county the ability to hear both sides of the issue. Unfortunately, in this polarized society, people tend to only hear from those who agree with them. I doubt that many minds were changed in the country as a result of hearing the opposing side. However, I would hope that it would result in people acknowledging that the other side has some merit to their argument. Just like with most oral arguments in appellate courts, I doubt that what happened at the Supreme Court changed the minds of any Justice.
What was frustrating was listening to the post-argument commentary. They had reporters who were not lawyers. They had lawyers who were not appellate lawyers. They even had the father of one of the children killed at the Parkland School shooting comment about the argument. The only people who have the experience to address the argument are those who either clerked in the Supreme Court or argued before the Supreme Court. The rest of them are just merely pontificating. For example, one of the discussions was these commentators who were concluding how they thought each Justice would decide the case based on the questions posed to the attorneys. I have repeatedly heard from judges from various appellate courts that this is a fallacy. Sometimes the court is asking a tough question to give counsel a chance to respond hoping that the response would be helpful to convince another judge to go their way. It would make sense here because of the quality of counsel.
The father of the child killed at Parkland attacked those who oppose abortion because they support the life of the unborn fetus and yet are against gun control. A better argument is that they oppose women who say that they have a right to have an abortion because a woman has the right to do what she wants with her body yet are against government mandates concerning COVID-19 for the same reason that a person has a right to do what they want with their body. They could try to respond by arguing that protecting life is more important. However, that same argument can be made concerning vaccine mandates since they save lives. Chuck Todd from “Meet the Press” asked Senator Mike Lee that question and he was unable to give a direct answer.
The Supreme Court’s decision is expected next summer. Depending how it turns out, it may make the midterm elections more competitive than anticipated.