04:48 GMT23 January 2021
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    What You Need to Know About the SCOTUS Ruling on Indiana's Abortion Law

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Hannah Dickinson, associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women's Assembly.

    The US Supreme Court is siding with a lower court and striking down part of an Indiana abortion law. The high court declared invalid the part of the law prohibiting abortion because of gender, race or disability of a fetus. However, a portion of the law was upheld that requires fetal remains from abortions to be buried or cremated. This happened a lot faster than I thought it was going to. The Supreme Court Tuesday sidestepped part of a case that could have tested the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, turning down an appeal to reinstate the strict Indiana abortion law. This law has two parts. The first part banned abortions sought solely because of fetal characteristics like sex or disability. The law's second provision required abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains. The court's decision, issued without briefing on the merits or oral arguments, was unsigned and just three pages long. It stressed that the decision to uphold the fetal remains provision "does not implicate our cases applying the undue burden test to abortion regulations." Indiana, the court said, has a "legitimate interest in proper disposal of fetal remains," quoting an earlier decision.

    Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, who was behind the botched effort to remove alleged non-citizens from the state's voter rolls, resigned Monday as the Texas legislature's session came to a close. What does say about the whole discussion on voter suppression? Whitley, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December, needed a two-thirds vote from the state Senate to be permanently confirmed to the position, but voting rights groups put pressure on Texas Democrats to stop the confirmation following his voter purge efforts. Earlier this year, Whitley's office sent local election officials a list of more than 90,000 people on the voter rolls who it suspected might not be citizens. Whitley, the state's chief elections officer, asked officials to vet the list and possibly remove those names from voter rolls. The list was compiled by flagging the names of people who at one point told the Texas Department of Safety they were not citizens and then also registered to vote within several years.

    In European Union parliamentary elections, the traditional centrist coalition lost its majority, while far-right and far-left populist parties made gains. A recent New York Times article states, "But if Europe has been an incubator for resurgent nationalism in recent years, it now also feels like an active battleground. With Europe's decades-old project of unity increasingly in the balance, the voting energized both sides on a polarized continent. It was a contest between angry, disaffected nationalists who want to beat back what they see as a remote and overreaching bureaucracy in Brussels, against the once-sleepy, complacent supporters of Europe looking to defend a unity that can no longer be taken for granted."

    The United States walked out of the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday to protest against Venezuela assuming the rotating presidency of the UN-sponsored forum — the same thing it did a year ago when Syria took the chair. Is the US fighting a losing battle? The Trump administration, which has stepped up sanctions against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, has not ruled out military action to remove what it and dozens of other nations consider an illegitimate government and which they accuse of rigging a 2018 election.


    Hannah Dickinson — Associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women's Assembly.

    Bob Phillips — Executive director for Common Cause North Carolina, the Raleigh-based chapter of Common Cause, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.

    Alexander Mercouris — Editor-in-chief of The Duran.

    Joe Lombardo — Co-coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    The Duran, Conference on Disarmament, Common Cause, voter purges, Voter Supression, Abortion, populism, SCOTUS, Indiana
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