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News of Otsego County

pro-choice

Column by Lang Keith: Move over, Messrs. Plessy and Scott!

Column by Lang Keith

Move over, Messrs.
Plessy and Scott!

For well over a century two cases have been universally considered to be the worst decisions in the Supreme Court’s history: Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. On June 24th the case of Dobbs v. Jackson eliminated a woman’s constitutional right to choose set forth in Roe v. Wade. This egregious decision will doubtless join Dred Scott and Plessy, and thus create a Supreme Court-terribly-decided-case trifecta.

History buffs will recall that Dred Scott held that persons of African descent were not citizens and therefore had no rights and privileges under the Constitution. Not satisfied with that blockbuster holding, the Court went on to strike down the Missouri Compromise. Aside from its horrendous effect on rights of Blacks, Dred Scott’s trashing of the Missouri Compromise led directly to the Civil War by opening the floodgates for the expansion of slavery. The 1896 Plessy decision permitted segregation, which put a constitutional imprimatur on almost six decades of Jim Crow laws in the South and elsewhere. Justice Alito’s opinion in Dobbs falls within the notorious Dred Scott/Plessy pantheon primarily because: (1) it rewrites the until now well-settled principles of Stare Decisis (i.e., stick to previous decisions except in exceptional circumstances); (2) distinguishes relevant prior cases with reasoning that would make a first-year law student blush; and finally, (3) is the result, not of any change in the law, but merely the appointment of new judges.

Women’s reproductive rights rally encourages community involvement

Rebecca Bonker holds up a ‘Trust Women’ sign at the women’s reproductive rights rally at Muller Plaza in Oneonta on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Kevin Limiti/AllOtsego.com).

Women’s reproductive rights
rally encourages
community involvement

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA About 100 people gathered in Muller Plaza at a rally for women’s reproductive rights Saturday, Oct. 2.

The rally coincided with the Women’s March happening across the country as thousands marched in support of Roe v. Wade.

The event featured music and speakers as well as pizza and lemonade.

The looming issue throughout the rally was the harsh Texas anti-abortion laws barring abortions at six weeks and offering bounties to anyone who turns in a person who had an abortion or assisted with one.

Marti Swords-Horrell, a minister at the First United Methodist Church, said she has been a minister for 39 years and came out in support of reproductive health.

“We believe in social principles on every topic you could think of,” Swords-Horrell said on the stance of their church, stating that birth control and abortions “should be available to everyone no matter if you’re rich or poor.”

“It shouldn’t be dependent on anyone else,” Swords-Horrell said.

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