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Tlaib, Reproductive Rights Advocates Call for U.S. Supreme Court Reform Amid Ethics Scandals

During a Wednesday news conference in Detroit, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) joined reproductive rights advocates and called for major reforms to the judiciary amid growing concern about ethics issues involving the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tlaib called for reforming the high court through law and expanding the body, which currently has nine members. 

“These justices are not acting in the best interest of the American people,” said Tlaib at Central United Methodist Church in the city’s downtown section. 

The tour comes amid news reports about three Republican-appointed justices coming under fire for alleged ethics issues, including Justice Clarence Thomas taking undisclosed gifts from a Republican mega donor and Justice Neil Gorsuch not disclosing the sale of his home to a Supreme Court litigator. Chief Justice John Roberts’s wife, Jane Roberts, also allegedly made more than $10 million in commissions working with law firms, including some that had cases before the Supreme Court.

GOP-appointed members hold a 6-3 majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The event was a stop on the “Just Majority” campaign’s nationwide bus tour. The campaign, whose slogan is ‘Democracy Demands A Fair And Ethical Court,’ is sponsored by leading reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, civil rights, racial justice and court reform groups.

“We are here today because the Supreme Court of the United States is no longer a source of justice,” said Cecile Richards, former Planned Parenthood Federation of America president.

 U.S. Supreme Court | Susan J. Demas

Also attending were Nicole Wells Stallworth, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan (PPAM) executive director; reproductive rights advocate Karen Finney; and Caroline Fredrickson, a former Biden Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States commissioner. 

Speakers also raised concern about right-wing court rulings, including on gun violence prevention and abortion rights. 

Through its 2022 Dobbs ruling that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Stallworth said that the U.S. Supreme Court — and some lower federal courts — have “undermined democracy and the will of the people.”

“We have been fighting to restore reproductive freedom in Michigan and safeguard access to reproductive health care,” said Stallworth. 

The tour is scheduled to continue this week in Chicago. 

The Detroit event comes one day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other speakers at PPAM lobby day in Lansing impressed upon attendees the need to solidify the right to reproductive health care in Michigan law and remove hurdles to abortion that remain on the books.

“There is more work to do here to repeal outdated, medically unnecessary, unconstitutional abortion restrictions,” Whitmer said at the event at Lansing Central United Methodist Church. “There are several pieces of legislation and policies that we can pursue and I look forward to working with all of my allies here with Planned Parenthood and my partners in the legislature to make sure that we get it done.”

The policy recommendations from PPAM include removing the requirement for consent from a parent or legal guardian for a minor to access an abortion and removing the 24-hour waiting period for an abortion. 

Source : Michiganadvance