Who always gets rights in America?

As the implications of the court’s [anti-]abortion decision continued to reverberate across a divided country on Saturday, many of whose who decried the ruling expressed mounting worry that it would not simply restrict abortion access. Instead, they said they saw in the ruling a watershed that could trigger the repeal of a host of other protections — for racial and ethnic minorities, gay people and others — that were established on similar legal grounds as Roe. That possibility was not just paranoid speculation, they noted: It was spelled out by several Supreme Court justices on Friday…

“It’s like we’ve woken up in the 1950s,” said Madison David, 26, a massage therapist who on Saturday morning was perusing the stalls at a farmers market outside the Capitol building in Madison, Wis. For weeks, she said, she had been riding high on Lizzo’s anthem “About Damn Time,” which David said she views as an ode to the progress women and other historically oppressed groups have made. Now, she said, the ruling had reaffirmed for her the need to prepare to fight for rights — even ones that seemed to have been secured by previous generations…

“The court has for a long, long time said: Look, if we define liberty only in terms of what was permitted at the time of ratification of the Bill of Rights or the 14th Amendment, then we’re stuck in time,” said Scott Skinner-Thompson, an associate professor of law at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Because in the 18th and 19th centuries, this country was not very free for many, many people — particularly women, particularly people of color.”

People who spend their lives only looking backwards for guidance end up believing they profit the most by echoing the past. But, history books are not the same as mathematics textbooks. And the history books today’s conservatives rely upon for guidance are a couple centuries out of date. Try that out for medicine, sometime. I’m sure we can find you a special on leeches.

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