IF IT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE, WHY ISN’T IT GOOD FOR THE GANDER?

Whatever the Supreme Court decides, in all likelihood, it will continue to overlook a truth that it has dismissed since before the “right to choose” became a contested topic: “If it’s good for the goose, why isn’t it good for the gander?” Like abortions, vasectomies are usually performed in a physician’s office or a medical clinic. However, abortions do not hinder a woman from giving birth, but a vasectomy is considered a permanent method of contraception.

VASECTOMIES ARE PERMANENT; “CHOICE” DOESN’T HINDER GIVING BIRTH IN THE FUTURE

For this reason, men are usually counseled and advised to consider how the long-term outcome of a vasectomy might affect them. However, there is no consideration of “her.” There is no thought of a wife or a domestic partner. The decision of a man to continue or have the ability to procreate is protected from government interference, yet a woman’s rights are constantly subject to challenges despite the U.S.Constitution. Victims of rape, incest, and poverty are crying out their messages but no one wants to hear their truths.

Until someone with authority addresses the issue, we have no hope of ever realizing what is occurring sexually, as well as criminally, in our nation. And even under such circumstances, society as a whole has to be sufficiently prepared and enlightened to throw off the blinders that limit its ability to perceive itself, including the part of the social order that sits on the Court. They will not be privy to every case where procreation occurred on a battlefield instead of a bedroom. In cases, too many to number, the bedroom is the battlefield. Domestic violence has become an uncontrolled reality around the world. Lack of adequate legislation has not criminalized domestic violence. Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations worldwide. A woman is at higher risk of being abused during pregnancy and long-standing abuse may change in severity. What happens to the natural right of self-preservation?

A CONSPIRACY OF GENDER INEQUALITY

There is, indeed, a “conspiracy of gender inequality,” but it is a cultural conspiracy of distortion, and lies that have been going on for thousands of years. And just as we have begun to wipe away the cultural conspiracy of silence concerning woman-shaming and woman-blaming, we must now wipe away this similar conspiracy that obscures the very nature of misogyny.

Perhaps this is why we avoid this truth. Maybe to truly understand the magnitude of the resistance to equality is also to understand the magnitude of men’s inhumanity to women.

As a nation, why are we not more disturbed by the shifting loyalties and transient dedications of the Supreme Court? No justice should be positioned by a political master and employed as his agent to accomplish his policy-making mission, which was impossible unless a nomination succeeded.

IS IT JUSTICE TO REWRITE THE LAW UNDER THE PRETENSE OF INTERPRETING IT?

There are nine Supreme Court justices, but only one seems to understand the United States Constitution. They cannot play God, and have no right to impose their personal convictions on every individual in this nation when it suits them, nor is it justice to rewrite the law under the pretense of interpreting it (again). Basing its decision on the constitutional right to privacy, the Roe Court found this right “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

Characterizing the right to choose as “fundamental” to a woman’s “life and future,” the Court held that the state could not interfere with an abortion decision unless it had a compelling reason to do so. And even then, the state could assert an interest in protecting the potential life of the fetus only once it became “viable” (the point at which the fetus can survive outside the woman’s body, usually at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy). Moreover, it held that a pregnant woman had to have access to an abortion if it were necessary to preserve her life or health, regardless of the stage of fetal development.

Opponents of Roe assert that the decision lacks a valid constitutional foundation. Like the dissenters in Roe, they maintain that the Constitution is silent on the issue. It was not silent on how the Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures of either self or property by government officials. It was not silent on the Eighth Amendment, which protects people from cruel and unusual punishment, such as being forced to give birth to the child of a rapist, a burden no one should be forced by law to bear, while and proponents are advocating for visitation rights for the rapist.

Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is making savages rape again, and that is where the Supreme Court should legislate vasectomies because they don’t have the guts to legislate criminal castration.

THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT HAS MISSED THE POINT

Call it whatever you want — sex-based discrimination,” “gender discrimination,” or “gender-based discrimination,” all of which are intended to be inclusive beyond any discrimination based on gender identity — the United States Supreme Court has missed the point.

Gender bias laws are becoming somewhat predictable and relatively uniform practices of law across states. The new members of SCOTUS aren’t giving nonpartisans much hope. There isn’t anything left to be said about Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett’s decisions speak louder than most of my words.

In June 2019, then-Appellate Judge Amy Barrett reinstated a suit brought by a male Purdue University student who had been found guilty of sexual assault. The Court determined the school discriminated against him on the basis of his sex and violated his rights to due process. Purdue’s decision resulted in Doe receiving a one-year suspension, loss of his Navy ROTC scholarship, and expulsion from the ROTC affecting his ability to pursue his chosen career in the Navy. In addition, the Court found that the university deprived him of his occupational liberty without due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and had violated his Title IX rights “by imposing a punishment infected by sex bias” and remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings.

WHY IS THE GOOSE SUBJECT TO PENALTIES NEVER AT RISK TO THE GANDER?

Is there no sexual bias when a goose is subject to penalties never at risk to the gander? Seemingly, an impartial law provides states with the key legal tools needed to facilitate a systematic rule of law that observes due process to provide equal justice and requires equal protection ensuring that no individual nor group of individuals be privileged over others by the law.

There is, however, a more profound need to find a solid core of concrete action to dissent against the decisions of justices that violate our constitutional freedoms and whose aims are derived by a set of loyalties to those other than the Constitution. This is the challenge Americans will face within the years ahead. It is easier, in many ways, to sit on the sidelines and let history just happen. It is not as easy to look straight into the eyes of a mother who did not want, intend, or should have been one. How about the child who grows up with the knowledge of not being wanted or treated as a mistake? Will Governor Abbott adopt this child and the thousands of others that may result from his “let me be elected again” self-serving decision? Why not let his government “pay the cost for being the boss”? The general rule is that the federal government may not be equitably estopped from enforcing public laws, even though private parties may suffer hardship in particular cases. However, the Supreme Court has made it clear that before estoppel lies against the government, a private party must, at a minimum, demonstrate that all the traditional elements of an estoppel are present. Estoppel cannot be asserted against the government based on oral advice, Heckler v. Community Health Services (NO PROBLEM); nor can the government be estopped merely because it engages in “commercial undertakings,” Federal Crop Ins. Corp. v. Merrill (NO PROBLEM). The rule against estopping the government does not depend upon a showing of impact on the federal treasury, INS v. Miranda; Montana v. Kennedy (NO PROBLEM); nor does it depend on whether a single agent of the government (NO PROBLEM). Abbott made ordinary citizens do his dirty work. The governor is sanctioning another bully in the schoolyard, except this one is an entire state. The Texas law is both unconstitutional and disturbingly detestable; a symptom of a socially polluted and sexist community.

For each and every citizen in this country, there is the need to learn and explore, above all, in terms of our own political understanding, what the Supreme Court is really about today.

Our personal struggle is to be more than one more trained nonstop consumer. Perhaps it is past the moment when we should have paused to teach ourselves how to be loyal to one place we have all paid the price to believe in, America.

Remember, a court that has a heart for no man and a backhand for all women will make its decisions accordingly. After they are gone, their decisions will still be here.

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Dr. Khalilah Sabra, LL.M, (@khalilahsabra): Muslim American Doctorate in International Law, Executive Director (MAS Immigrant Justice Center)

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Khalilah Sabra

Khalilah Sabra

Dr. Khalilah Sabra, LL.M, (@khalilahsabra): Muslim American Doctorate in International Law, Executive Director (MAS Immigrant Justice Center)

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