All posts in the SCOTUS category

Friend Felix Speaks Again

Published July 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel


If you like pretty poems, please look away,

for here I lament decay, dying and death.

I’m not bemoaning my dying contemporaries,

who lately fall like old-growth trees in a forest.

Nor do I pre-grieve my own impending death.


My concern is for the fate of our democracy,

as it is doing a dangerous dance with doom.

Our precious political freedoms are eroding.

Our fractured center seems not to be holding.


Our democracy could be in its death throes.

Female bodily autonomy has been outlawed,

voting rights have been wantonly suppressed,

there is massive support for Trump’s Big Lie.


The Supreme Court defies the majority’s will.

Throughout our land gun fetishism flourishes.

Louder liars shout down the voices of veracity.

Violence grows, the environment degrades.


This Independence Day is a day of gloom.

Sadly I fly our tattered flag upside down.

Today I can’t sing Happy Birthday America!

In these dark days, I weep as I sing of thee.


Felix Gagliano,  July 2022



Published July 6, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign  was formed “to provide resources about Christian  nationalism and how it distorts Christianity and harms our neighbors. Earlier this year, BJC worked with secular partners at the Freedom From Religion Foundation to publish a comprehensive report on Christian nationalism and its role in the Jan. 6 attack. This project, which serves as a resource for lawmakers and the general public, includes the most complete record to date of how Christian nationalism helped fuel the insurrection.

Dismantling Christian nationalism starts with questioning assumptions and myths that underlie common statements, like “America is a Christian nation.” We can affirm a productive role for religion — including but not limited to Christianity — in our public square without providing Christianity or Christians a place of privilege in our laws and policy.

The constitutional framers protected religious freedom by balancing two guarantees in the First Amendment: the free exercise of religion and the prohibition against its establishment by the government.

These values are being challenged in this election year by politicians and other leaders. Doug Mastriano, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania, participated in the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 and has been subpoenaed by the Select Committee. He also has repeatedly blended religion and government in his public speeches, saying at one point: “We’re going to bring the state back to righteousness, this is our day, our hour to take our state back and renew the blessings of America.”

This kind of language — harking back to some idealized “time in America” — is one way that racism and white supremacy become coded into Christian nationalism. Violent extremists, such as the insurrectionists at the Capitol and more recently the shooter at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, use Christian language and symbols in conjunction with overtly racist rantings in attempts to cloak their actions in respectability and divine authority.

The Christianity they summon and the Jesus they imagine — a white, muscular figure who seeks and wields political power — is not only not present in the Gospels, it is refuted by the Gospels.

The tumultuous events of 2020 have called the question about where we white Christians stand on white supremacy. History is recording a roll call vote that requires us to declare our position.

At this time of reckoning, we can remain loyal to our heritage and ancestors through defensiveness and inaction. Or we can rededicate ourselves to the work of handing down a healthier faith and country to our children and our children’s children. But we can’t do both.

My hope is that enough of us will awaken from the fevered nightmare of white supremacy and finally choose a future in which we work shoulder to shoulder with our Black and brown brothers and sisters to achieve the promise of a multi-racial, multi-religious America.

This post was adapted from the afterword in the paperback edition of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American ChristianityCopyright © 2021 by Robert P. Jones.


From another bailiwick we find Elie Mystal in the May 2022 Nation urging we take off our gloves (or is it put them on?) in opposing SCOTUS’ overturning of Roe v. Wade:

We now live in a country where the government cannot force you to wear a mask on a plane during a pandemic but can force you to carry a pregnancy to term against your will.  It is a country where the government won’t ban certain kinds of assault rifles but will ban certain kinds of  medical care….

Mystal, who is an attorney and the justice correspondent at The Nation, where he writes about the courts,  suggests [urges] that we drop “choice” as our rallying cry against our loss of rights.  “Choice” was a rational argument, but it is insufficient as a fighting posture. “I am done ceding the moral space to Christian fundamentalists.  Forced birth–literally commandeering a person’s womb and forcing threm to incubate cells against their will–is evil and barbaric and cannot be compelled by a legitimate government….The fundamentalist program will have to be opposed–and opposed vehemently–through policy, the courts, and moral  suasion”.

Mystal urges Democrats to learn how to fight the moral battles: Perhaps it’s time for Democrats to stop trying to compromise with the Christian fundamentalists who have taken control of uteruses that don’t belong to them and start trying to fight them.



Published July 1, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Photo by Nan

ALLONS ENFANTS DE LA PATRIE, but I wasn’t sure what the whole song said.  I looked it up and saw only the first line was really appropriate, but the beat and vigor were and are a pick-me-up!

All in response to the nytimes news that New York is fighting back!  I hadn’t thought there was any place left to move, but if I were a tad younger I like to hope I would hit the road:

The big news is that New York just passed a law to prohibit hand guns in subways, buses, parks, hospitals, day cares, Times Square and private property unless the property owner expressly okays it. The state legislature also initiated the move to protect abortion rights, but the process will require time.  Do read the original article.

From <>


I Couldn’t Say It Better, so…

Published July 1, 2022 by Nan Mykel

The court’s most immediately lethal decisionremains Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. But do not let Dobbs distract from the onslaught that followed it. If anyone still doubted that the Supreme Court served as the nation’s chief policymaking institution after Dobbs, Thursday should put that to rest. The court is ruthlessly efficient, putting our gridlocked Congress to shame with its speedy and definitive resolution of the most pressing issues facing the country today. It does not require hourslong hearings or endless negotiations to operate. The six-justice conservative majority chooses which conflicts to prioritize, takes up cases that present them, then picks a winner, nearly always for the benefit of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.


Consider the issues that SCOTUS has resolved this term—the first full term with a 6–3 conservative supermajority. The constitutional right to abortion: gone. States’ ability to limit guns in public: gone. Tribal sovereignty against state intrusion: gone. Effective constraints around separation of church and state: gone. The bar on prayer in public schools: gone. Effective enforcement of Miranda warnings: gone. The ability to sue violent border agents: gone. The Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases at power plants: gone. Vast areas of the law, established over the course of decades, washed away by a court over a few months.


From Nan: Sorry I’m not good at reblogging.  Visit  dianeravitch posted on Diane Ravitch’s blogMark Joseph Stern: The Most Hopeless Day of SCOTUS Term?

The Smell of the Dragon

Published June 29, 2022 by Nan Mykel






During a long interchange of thoughtful comments and replies on a recent blog, the author says, “To be frank, my former party has one primary mission that they try to mask – give more money to rich people and help them keep it. This is the key reason for conservative judges to side with companies in liability lawsuits. Everything else is ancillary to that purpose. A key ruling by SCOTUS last week made it easier for companies to escape liability.”

Nan says, “My brain can no longer embrace the many-faceted fascade of the political dragon, but can recognize and smell it.”

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