Supreme Court, Senator Mcconnell, Amy Coney Barrett discussed on Our Body Politic
American democracy tens of millions of people including more than half the number who voted in two thousand sixteen have already cast their ballots on this show. We're bringing you a black female doctor in michigan. Who questioned an officer not wearing a mask. She talks us through how she dealt with that. And the deeper questions. It brought up for her workers rights icon dolores huerta. She talks about what she's still doing for society at the age of ninety and how she makes time for adventure an errand hanes of the nineteenth our goto on all things political. She waited hours to vote in philadelphia and she wants to know why that should make everyone mad. But first let's talk about our courts just forty days. After the death of justice ruth bader ginsburg a new supreme court. Justice was appointed to fill her seat with a fifty two to forty eight vote. Senate republicans confirmed amy coney barrett in a single term president. Donald trump has appointed three of the nine judges that sit on the supreme court and the trump administration has appointed roughly a quarter of federal judges on the bench. Alexis mcgill johnson. President planned parenthood action fund. She's had the political battle over the courts front of mind. Thanks for joining us. Alexis thank you so much for having me fry. So let's just keep it real. You know we have a a newly confirmed supreme court justice she has not said what she is definitively going to do but seems unlikely to be a big champion of reproductive rights. Do you and your colleagues at planned. Parenthood feel the despair that a lot of other people are feeling. Are you feeling inspired to action. Or what's going on i. I would say that the majority of americans still believe that rose should be the land. We're talking seventy seven percent of americans and what we have in justice. Barrett now is the culmination of a series of power. Grabs based on. Rules changes from senator mcconnell and the trump administration to rush through a supreme court nominee. That is quite contrary to where most american set and so where we sit is certainly very concerned. There are about seventeen cases. That are in the pipeline. They're literally one step away from the supreme court that could create further burdens or limit access to abortion if not outright overturn roe and so we are obviously incredibly concerned but even more concerned that we're in a situation in our democracy where the rules of the game have shifted away from the majority of the people and that's actually just dangerous in a democracy so you're the president and ceo of planned. Parenthood federation of america in the planned parenthood action fund and in the action fund. Hat one of the things that that organization that part of your larger organization has been doing is waiting for appointment of federal judges. And so get a little deeper into this whole question of how you interact with the whole process of who becomes a federal judge and of course then how that affects policy. Yeah well i mean over the last four years what we've seen is An expedition of the number of judges that between senator mcconnell and president trump. they've confirmed over two hundred and fifteen incredibly conservative judges to lifetime appointments on the federal bench. And you know these judges that will sit at the circuit. Court of appeals court. These ten of them have been considered completely unqualified by the american bar association. One judge at least has been very vocal in similar language to judge just as barrett around. Ibf feeling that that is an unnatural process. And i think that you know the where we engage we. We continue to support the the research to help our senate colleagues understand what is at stake as they are doing their confirmation process. The reality is they've been very successful in shifting. The rules change so that we used to be able to filibuster bad judges the now Senator mcconnell changer will so various simple majority Which is what they held over the last few years that has allowed them to rush through the number of appointments that they've made and that's you know again it's harmful to democracy. It's harmful to into how he should be governing and that's really Bottom line with its daycare. What would you see. Differences between say trump's second term and a biden first term since so much has already happened in the appointment of federal judges and with the supreme court let in Vice president biden senator harris. We know we have champions of Sexual reproductive freedom. We know that they will be committed to everything from repealing hide to identifying ways legislatively to support legislation that can help us codify roe federally and i think those are the opportunities that we have. The biden administration also has a ton of work to. Do you know the aca on the line at next month. Literally a Almost a Just a few short weeks from now. And so the other things that help us ensure reproductive freedom and access to gender equality can also be stripped away if the as ruled unconstitutional. Things like having our birth control covered under the aca ensuring that gender discrimination doesn't happen we don't pay more for healthcare than than men. Those are the sorts of things that i think can be incredibly impactful under a biden administration. That would be exciting. I think under a trump administration were already living the fear right. We're we're living the fear of both Supreme court that now where he's appointed three of nine judges cementing that conservative majority. We are already seeing. We've been forced out of titled ten. The nation's oldest and largest family planning program limiting access to family planning and rural areas in low income communities and our response to it. Is you know to continue to fight to continue to engage our sixteen million supporters and demonstrate. What's at stake. And if we have to do that state by state because that's where the face will turn now into state legislatures and tell us a little bit about what planned parenthood. Does that a lot of people might not know about providing some health services to men and to the lgbt community etc. Absolutely let planned. Parenthood is first and foremost a healthcare provider for and we provide all range of sexual reproductive health. We do a lot of sexual education outreach. And part of that education is also to our to our legislators to ensure that we have robust policies that that ensure that we're building accidents more access to healthcare them less. You know i mean. We have to remember that route a moment today. Where we've just seen the every day is the next highest day of of new cova transmissions over two hundred and twenty-five thousand americans died in this last seven months of the pandemic and the idea that in thirty days the senate could come together and rush through this nomination and not rush through code relief. Bill not rush through cova testing. Bill not focused on the comprehensive policies around healthcare that are potentially bankrupting families a these the kinds of things that as a public healthcare voice. And if we're not out there yelling and screaming about about what's happening healthcare broadly. Then we're not doing our service. Well alexis mcgill johnson. It's been great talking to you. Thank you so much thanks. Very alexis mcgill. Johnson is president of the planned. Parenthood action fund women of color for progress.