Monday, May 9, 2022

Legality of Abortion Before Roe/Wade by State (originally published 10/4/2021)

Abortion laws in the United States prior to Roe vs. Wade
   Legal in cases of rape.
   Legal in cases of danger to woman's health.
   Legal in cases of danger to woman's health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus.

   Legal upon request

If Roe/Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, abortions would become illegal in every State. The States would have to pass abortion, or anti-abortion laws individually, as it was before Roe/Wade.

The Federal government could make abortions illegal in every State in the Union, if both Houses passed such bills and the Supreme Court voted approval of those bills in an at least 5-4 majority.

It's very plausible the Supreme Court could overturn Roe/Wade. I doubt both Houses of Congress would pass bills to make  abortion illegal throughout the country. They would not have the votes for that. Another scenario would be if the Supreme Court had the correct worded case to decide the Supreme Court could outlaw States from allowing abortions, then the Congress would have to pass a law allowing States to have abortions if they wanted.

But, be careful what you wish for. Roe/Wade was decided based on a right to privacy. Those against Roe/Wade claim there is no right to privacy in the Constitution that allowed Roe/Wade to become law. If Roe/Wade is to be overturned the Court will have to say there is and never was a right to privacy. That could eliminate privacy rights most Americans think they have. A right to privately worship as one deems necessary. A right to own a gun, and many other assumed rights based on the privacy of being an American. 

For 200 years legal scholars never read the Second Amendment as giving individuals the right to own a gun. It was just a given in the tradition and practice of Americans. Then 200 years later the Court decided that American individuals did have a right to own guns. A simple reinterpretation by a different Court. 

Roe/Wade has been the law of the land for over 40 years. Chief Justice Roberts called that a legal precedent, that he would not seek to overturn. But the Court is now a majority conservative Court with religious law as its main belief system. It seems we are headed to overturn Roe/Wade no matter how many millions of citizens suffer. People should remind themselves of that suffering, because it was a great persuader of passing Roe/Wade. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Remington Hit With 73 Million Dollar Lawsuit


Relatives of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre have reached a $73 million settlement with Remington, concluding a lawsuit that saw a gun manufacturer for the first time face potential liability following a mass shooting in the United States.

The landmark victory comes after a protracted legal battle over how Remington marketed its Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, which was used in the December 2012 killings of 20 first-graders and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman fatally shot his mother before the elementary school rampage, then killed himself.

“Today marks an inflection point,” Veronique de la Rosa, the mother of six-year-old victim Noah Pozner, said at a press conference Tuesday. “Today is a day of accountability for an industry that has thus far enjoyed operating with immunity and impunity, and for this I am grateful.”

In their lawsuit against Remington, which has since filed for bankruptcy, families of the victims argued that the gun maker irresponsibly marketed the weapon to at-risk young men such as the Sandy Hook shooter through product placement in violent video games.

Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, has denied the allegations. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News on Tuesday.

Attorney for the families, Joshua Koskoff, began Tuesday's press conference by displaying photos of the victims and described details about the final days of their lives: the Hanukkah candles that Noah proudly lit for the first time; the favorite diner breakfast that fellow first-grader Jesse Lewis loved to eat; the Christmas music that teacher Victoria Soto would listen to on her drive into work.

“These families would pay everything, give it all back, just for one minute” more with their loved ones, Koskoff said.

The path to a settlement was complicated, with the lawsuit making its way through the state Supreme Court after Remington argued it should be shielded under a federal law designed to prevent gun manufacturers from being held liable for crimes in which their guns were used. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would allow the suit to go forward.

Last July, attorneys for Remington offered nearly $33 million to settle the suit. At the time, Koskoff praised Remington’s insurers for their offer, even though the families did not accept.

Then in September, Remington subpoenaed school records of children and educators killed in the massacre.

Attorneys for the families immediately moved to seal those records.

“We have no explanation for why Remington subpoenaed the Newtown Public School District to obtain the kindergarten and first-grade academic, attendance and disciplinary records of these five schoolchildren,” Koskoff said, The Connecticut Post reported. “The records cannot possibly excuse Remington’s egregious marketing conduct, or be of any assistance in estimating the catastrophic damages in this case. The only relevant part of their attendance records is that they were at their desks on December 14, 2012.”

Parents and other relatives of the victims spoke of their hopes Tuesday that this settlement would prevent other families from experiencing the pain that they had by setting a new precedent for the firearm industry.

"Our legal system has given us some justice today," said Francine Wheeler, mother of first-grader Benjamin Wheeler.

"True justice would be our 15-year-old, healthy and standing next to us right now, but Benny will never be 15," she added. "He will be six forever, because he is gone forever. Today is about what is right and what is wrong."