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NWW Weekly Connection

July 3, 2022
Constitutional Crisis - Finding Our Light

Due to the serious nature of the US Supreme Court's rulings and their impact on Americans, the three of us have chosen to educate ourselves, remain inspired, practice self-care and take action. We hope this helps you too.

We do not see our stand as political. We see it as being at the heart of the freedoms, rights and social structure we've benefited from for nearly 100 years. At stake now are our voices, how we live, who we love, the future for Americans and our country's global impact for good.

Yes, there is a lot to take in here. But if we don't pay attention, our democracy could end.

There is a treacherous train coming down the tracks, heading in the direction of destroying the rights of Americans.

It can be tempting, and sometimes necessary for our own sanity, to want to avoid this truth, finding it far too painful to experience.

So how do we hold our center, continue to come from a place of love--and hope--during a time like this?

We benefit from holding two truths at the same time: one is, this is frightening--and the other, we will prevail. We. Will. Prevail.

Now, more than ever, is a time for us to benefit from three focuses:

We must take care of ourselves, really practice self-care. Find what keeps you centered, clear of focus, feeling love--and uncovering authentic joy--and do it. This can happen in a number of ways. You know what they are.

We are wise women, and know how to excavate the non-suffering parts inside us. We know how to unearth the joy inside that springs from fond relationships, our simple, daily practices, our gratitude and our resilience.

Hold family, friends, community close to the heart. Feel the love you have for them and gather together. Mourn what needs to be mourned. Celebrate what lights up as a result of loving connection.

Take all actions from your loving core, your highest and best self--to the best of your ability. Your best may vary from moment to moment, and it’s important to remember, we are not going for perfection, but rather progress. Progress is movement and keeps us from staying stuck in a state of paralysis.

New World Women is dedicated to co-creating a new world together. May we hold one another close, walk shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart.

This is the time of great transition and knowledge is power. This U.S. Constitutional crisis did not happen overnight. It has been 50 years in the making. To understand this better, we offer you the wisdom and knowledge of American political historian, Heather Cox Richardson.

Today at noon, Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the first Black female justice on the Supreme Court.
Before Justice Brown took her oath, the court also signaled the end of the federal government as we know it. . .

. . . With the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision of last Friday, the court simply tore up 49 years of law and history, ending federal recognition of a constitutional right Americans have enjoyed since 1973.

Today, the court’s decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency reversed almost 100 years of jurisprudence by arguing that Congress cannot delegate authority on “major questions” to agencies in the executive branch. At stake were EPA regulations that would push fossil fuel producers toward clean energy in order to combat climate change. The vote was 6 to 3, along ideological lines. That the court agreed to hear the case despite the fact that the rules being challenged had been abandoned suggested they were determined to make a point.

That point was to hamstring federal regulation of business. The argument at the heart of this decision is called the “nondelegation doctrine,” which says that Congress, which constitutes the legislative branch of the government, cannot delegate legislative authority to the executive branch. Most of the regulatory bodies in our government are housed in the executive branch. So the nondelegation doctrine would hamstring the modern regulatory state.

To avoid this extreme conclusion, the majority on the court embraced the “major questions” doctrine, which Chief Justice Roberts used today for the first time in a majority opinion.

That doctrine says that Congress must not delegate “major” issues to an agency, saying that such major issues must be explicitly authorized by Congress. But the abuse of the Senate filibuster by Republican senators means that no such laws stand a hope of passing. So the Supreme Court has essentially stopped the federal government from responding as effectively as it must to climate change. And that will have international repercussions: the inability of the U.S. government to address the crisis means that other countries will likely fall behind as well. The decision will likely apply not just to the EPA, but to a whole host of business regulations.

As recently as 2001, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the nondelegation argument in a decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the court must trust Congress to take care of its own power. But now it has become law.

In the dissent, written by Justice Elena Kagan, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Kagan argued that Congress had, in fact, properly given authority to the EPA to act, recognizing that agencies need to be able to respond appropriately to new and big problems. “Congress knows what it doesn’t and can’t know when it drafts a statute; and Congress therefore gives an expert agency the power to address issues—even significant ones—as and when they arise.” She noted that “[t]he Clean Air Act was major legislation, designed to deal with a major public policy issue.” “This is not the Attorney General regulating medical care, or even the CDC regulating landlord-tenant relations. It is EPA (that’s the Environmental Protection Agency, in case the majority forgot) acting to address the greatest environmental challenge of our time. She concluded: “The Court appoints itself—instead of Congress or the expert agency—the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening. . . "

. . . The court also said today that it will consider making even greater changes to our country. It will hear Moore v. Harper, a case about whether state legislatures alone have the power to set election rules even if their laws violate state constitutions. . .

. . . Until now, states have interpreted “legislatures” to mean the state’s general lawmaking processes, which include shared power and checks and balances among the three branches of state government. Now, a radical minority insists that a legislature is a legislature alone, unchecked by state courts or state constitutions that prohibit gerrymandering. This interpretation of the Constitution is radical and new. It caught on in 2015, when Republicans wanted to get rid of an independent redistricting commission in Arizona. . .

. . . That doctrine would also give to state legislatures the power to control who can vote, and how and where they can do so. It would strip power from elections commissions and secretaries of state, and it would take from state courts the power to challenge gerrymandering or voter suppression.

Republicans currently control 30 state legislatures, in large part thanks to the gerrymandering and voter suppression in place in a number of those states.

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