April 13, 2024
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Don’t know if everyone is following how utterly corrupt and bribe-able Clarence Thomas is, but the most amazing part is that Harlan Crow put Thomas on the gravy train and Thomas not only took all the spiffs, but didn’t fill out his ethics reports about all the gifts. That tells me Thomas knew is was shameful but liked those free trips too much plus it was too much work to recuse himself from any court cases involving Crows pet projects. (Harlan Crow doesn[t want anyone to know how much bribes gifts he gave to Thomas) 

If you look at this picture, you’ll see Clarence Thomas AND Harlan Crow at the swearing in of James Ho, who is now on the 5th circuit. Oh, and the slimy guy on the left is cowardly Ted Cruz, who ran away from Texas to go to Cancun for a vacay during the Big Winter Freeze that killed some Texans and spends his time drumming up anti-*woke* battles instead of doing things that benefit Texans. Cruz and Ho apparently also had no problems getting shuttled around on billionarie H Crow’s private jet. What? Flying commercial must be just for ordinary peasants.

Anyway, Hoi is a real extremist who is anti-abortion and if you want to read a great article that pokes fun at how nuts Ho is, read this from Jezebel.

The ridiculous abortion pill lawsuit is still ongoing, and its latest stop was a Wednesday hearing at the ultraconservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The three judges drawn at random to hear the case were all appointed by Republicans—and two by Donald Trump—so we knew it was going to be bad. But it was truly something to behold.

The wildest comment came from Judge James Ho, who was notably sworn in by Clarence Thomas in Republican megadonor Harlan Crow’s library in 2018. “Is pregnancy a serious illness?” he asked. “When we celebrated Mother’s Day, were we celebrating illness?”

For context, the plaintiffs are claiming that the FDA was wrong to approve the abortion drug mifepristone back in 2000 under the regulatory pathway it used because, they argue, pregnancy isn’t an illness (and it’s offensive to suggest otherwise). Ho clearly embraced this argument in his questioning and didn’t even remotely feign objectivity.

Jessica Ellsworth, the lawyer for Danco, the pill’s brand-name manufacturer, responded that the FDA used the words “illness, condition, and disease” interchangeably, so it’s wrong to say the agency was calling pregnancy an illness. Still, pregnancy can be life-threatening (even more so for people living in states with abortion bans!) and for every person who dies from pregnancy, another 70 women come close. As I’ve written previously, pregnancy is not a benign event….

It’s pretty rich to see a judge try to defend the sanctity of the process, here, when this entire lawsuit is a farce. It was filed 22 years after the FDA approved the drug—only after Roe was overturned—and in a Texas district with a single anti-abortion judge, whose cases funnel up to this very conservative appeals court. In other words, the case has been rigged from the start.

What a right-wing idiot Ho is.

Now read this. You will laugh

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is where law goes to die—a place where the nation’s most partisan jurists recklessly wield their power to enact hard-right policy under the guise of judging. But even by the court’s own dismal standards, Wednesday was a shitshow of epic and catastrophic proportions. A nightmare three-judge panel heard the never-ending mifepristone case, which seeks to pull the “abortion pill” off the market in all 50 states. The hearing was a humiliating farce from start to finish as Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod, James Ho, and Cory Wilson assumed the role of pro-life warriors hellbent on changing any rules and ignoring any evidence that might stand in the way of them ruling against abortion.

And here’s the punchline: Nothing these intellectual Lilliputians do will even matter. The Supreme Court has already decided that the 5th Circuit cannot be trusted with this case: In April, it froze the court’s previous decision stringently limiting access to mifepristone, expressly maintaining the freeze until the justices themselves take further action. Elrod, Ho, and Wilson are howling into the wind; they have no power to change a thing about federal regulation of medication abortion. The adults in the room have already put them in timeout. And rather than demonstrate that they can judge responsibly, they seized on Wednesday’s hearing to throw a combination temper tantrum/gaslight party. No lessons have been learned, no maturity acquired. This timeout probably isn’t ending anytime soon…..

These are not serious people. This is not how real judges conduct themselves. This was barely a judicial proceeding. It was a struggle session in which three anti-abortion zealots yelled at attorneys who have already prevailed in this case once at the Supreme Court. Their rage should have been aimed at SCOTUS, but it’s not a good look for lower courts to trash-talk their superiors, so they redirected it to Harrington and Ellsworth instead. (Erin Hawley, wife of Sen. Josh Hawley, argued against mifepristone; the less said about her unceasing stream of shameless falsehoods, the better.)

It’s sad, really, what has happened to the 5th Circuit. In the Civil Rights era, this court led the charge for desegregation, fighting massive resistance with forceful decisions that helped break the back of Jim Crow. And today? Today it is the laughingstock of the judiciary; even other conservative judges—including some of the Supreme Court—refuse to follow its march into the abyss. Wednesday painfully reminded us why.

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