Landmark Case Roe v. Wade Analysis; and Government Agencies Delay Food Safety FOIA Requests

Landmark Case Roe v. Wade Analysis

In headline news, on May 3 a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion was published in Politico. Samuel Alito’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would overrule the landmark cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Alito writes that abortion is no longer a constitutional right and he leaves it up to the states to enact and enforce laws restricting a woman’s right to choose.

Alito wrote that Roe and Casey must be overruled, finding no constitutional right to abortion. If four more conservative members of the Supreme Court agree — which Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett reportedly do at the present time “all reproductive and privacy rights will be imperiled.

If the court overrules Roe, its expected that half the states will outlaw or severely limit abortion. Thirteen states with so-called trigger laws would immediately ban the procedure. Five states that have pre-Roe abortion bans could once again enforce them. And 14 states would ban abortions before fetal viability.

Prohibition of and restrictions on abortion would disproportionately affect poor women and people of color. People suffering early miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies could be adversely affected if Roe is overturned. Fertility procedures such as in-vitro fertilization, egg extractions and stem cell procedures could be outlawed. Other unenumerated rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution would be jeopardized. They include the right to travel, the right to vote and the right to interracial marriage.

Guest – Attorney Marjorie Cohn – Professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she taught from 1991-2016, a former criminal defense attorney, and past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures, writes, and provides commentary for local, regional, national and international media. On May 6, Marjorie published an article on Truthout titled: Will Demise of Roe Be a Death Knell for Contraception, Marriage Rights?


Government Agencies Delay Food Safety FOIA Requests

The US Freedom of Information Act is a 1967 federal law requiring federal agencies to disclose information to the public. The logic being: a government of, by and for the people, is transparent and accountable to those people. Getting the act passed was a democratic victory of the movement in the 60s. Over the last half-century, FOIA requests became critical tools for both journalists and activists seeking to illuminate federal agency activities.

The problem is– its getting harder to wrest information from recalcitrant government agencies. Federal agencies began both heavily redacting information, or ignoring requests entirely. And delays got noticeably lengthier. The law gives agencies 20 business days to respond. But in 2019, the average wait time for a reply to your FOIA request was nearly six months (177 days).

This forces public safety groups to begin expensive and lengthy lawsuits to get data that’s rightfully ours. Todays guest has experienced this frustrating process “first requesting information; then waiting years for respective agencies to respond; receiving either no reply or replies with much the data blacked out; and finally, being forced to sue.

Guest – Zach Corrigan, is a champion of food safety and senior attorney at Food and Water Watch. Back in 2018, Mr. Corrigan became concerned when Trump both removed 40% of the federal inspectors and allowed for faster slaughter lines in our nations hog slaughterhouses. Letting hog slaughterhouses regulate themselves makes foodborne illness nearly inevitable, because Trump’s new rules precluded adequate safety testing. COVID itself should have taught us that human health is inexorably linked to the health of all other animals and the environment. Yet even the Biden administration is pandering to the meat industry by deregulating it.

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