This week, a new law took effect in Texas prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most women are aware that they’re pregnant. There are many state laws that seek to impose bans on abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, but none are designed the way this Texas law is. It creates a procedural and legal hurdle to those seeking abortions right now, effectively stopping them altogether, before the law can be challenged and reviewed in court. The Supreme Court decided not to stop the law from taking effect. How was it able to do so, based on emergency filings rather than oral arguments and full consideration of the constitutional issues? What are the political implications of this law and the reactions to it from right and left? Are both sides hemmed into extreme positions on abortion when the majority of the public falls somewhere in the middle? Separately, the Supreme Court had already docketed a case on Mississippi’s 12-week ban on abortions this term. Is the end of the Roe/Casey era near? We discuss.
Also: an op-ed by Senator Joe Manchin in the Wall Street Journal this week is exactly what progressives DON’T want to hear – that he wouldn’t support a $3.5 trillion spending plan to go along with the infrastructure bill. But he didn’t say anything about what he would support. Is that a smart political decision? Should Democrats be more cautious about major spending with rising inflation and the ongoing pandemic?
Then: Jay Powell’s term as chair of the Federal Reserve is up, and President Biden is expected to decide soon whether to nominate him for another four years. Some believe Powell should stick around for his effective handling of the financial aspects of the COVID crisis. David Dayen argues it’s time to appoint somebody who makes the existential threat of climate change a priority.
And, finally: how the bankruptcy system protected the Sackler family, why we shouldn’t pretend vaccine mandates don’t curtail civil liberties, and how the NFL’s campaign to get players vaccinated actually worked.