How did a probate judge get the power to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Clete Wetli, Contributor

With all of the hypocritical right-wing pearl clutching over ‘activist judges’ making law from the bench, it’s shocking that newly elected Madison County, AL Probate Judge Frank Barger felt like it was in his limited judicial purview to grant an aborted fetus the right to have an estate and an attorney in an obvious underhanded ploy to overturn Roe v. Wade. What’s equally stunning is that Barger doesn’t even have a law degree because it’s not currently a requirement to hold the position. But, he has somehow decided that he can upend centuries of precedent and grant legal rights to an aborted fetus in a clearly misguided attempt to prosecute a woman who simply did not violate the law when she decided to have a legal abortion.

What makes this rogue Probate Judge’s actions so despicable is that he’s using a recently passed Alabama ‘personhood’ statute to justify his blatant, religiously-motivated overreach.  The obviously unconstitutional Alabama law that was passed during the last midterm elections states that a fetus and mother have equal rights under the law and it was a highly partisan political attempt to make abortion illegal in the state in direct defiance of Roe v. Wade. In this particular case, the suit was filed two years after the abortion occurred which suggests that, again, this is a scheme designed to circumvent established constitutional law and precedent.

Sadly, this could lead to an enormous amount of very negative legal consequences if this absurdity is upheld. In short, it implies that all abortions are murder and because murder has no statute of limitations, it would open up legal liability to any woman alive who ever had an abortion. That’s just wrong in every way imaginable. But, that’s been the plan of extremist conservatives all along.

That’s what’s terrifying about Trump stacking the Supreme Court with ultra-conservative white bread frat boys who view their position on the high court as a chance to infuse their religious and extreme conservative beliefs into lasting legal precedent. This is dangerous and this must be stopped. Women should never be criminalized for exercising their right to choose or for making decisions about their own bodies.

The biggest outrage in this pathetic ploy is how conservatives have branded themselves for decades as the ‘law and order’ party, yet they continue to show no regard for the Constitution when it serves their political advantage. Whether it’s equal rights or equal pay for women, extremist Republicans have continued to try to pass laws that ensure women will be treated as second-class citizens. This latest bizarre and unethical plan is just another example of what conservatives and their religious zealot base thinks of women.

It’s time to demand that Probate Judge Frank Barger be impeached for his ignorant judicial malpractice. It’s also time to demand that Probate Judges in Madison County actually have a law degree as a pre-requisite to holding office. Next, people should demand that Alabama rescind its unconstitutional abortion laws because they are in direct conflict with existing federal law. After this horrific fiasco, Republicans have no right whatsoever to utter complaints about ‘activist’ judges.

In this unfortunate case, the woman who had the legal abortion deserves our sincere support She does not deserve public censure, not vengeful prosecution, and certainly not mountains of legal bills so that rabid Republicans can throw more red meat to their far-right religious base as they try to out-conservative each other. This is simply a travesty.

Let’s stand up for women and fight this judicial overreach. Probate judges shouldn’t be making any type of decisions in a legal matter such as this. Shame on you, Probate Judge, with no law degree, Barger. We can only hope you’re looking for another job in the next trimester.

Not a yellow dog, not a blue dog, I’m my own Dem dog

blue dog, yellow dog, democrat

Franklin, Contributor

Hey guys and gals, Franklin here! I’m the Canine-American of the Yorkie persuasion that’s editor, poet, and mascot for Lately, after some kibble and long nap in the human’s laundry basket, I’ve been doing some thinking about this whole yellow and blue dog metaphor stuff that some Democrats have been trying to sell to young pups. If you ask me, it’s kinda like chasing your tail- pointless and embarrassing.

See, the whole notion of “yellow dog” is basically an absolute and non-wavering pledge to party; meaning you’d vote for a yellow dog before you’d vote for any Republican under any circumstance. Now, let’s be clear, I’m all for party loyalty and I’m 100% behind the Democratic platform. However, this could be a dilly of a pickle if there’s a candidate running as a Democrat who’s decided that they want to toss a few planks they don’t particularly care for. You see this with hot-button issues like abortion and gun control. Also, there’s sometimes a dreaded DINO, a Democrat in name only.

Well, then there’s the “blue dog” which is essentially a walkin’, barkin’ contradiction, an un-housebroken oxymoron- basically, in other words, it’s a conservative democrat that just piddled on your carpet. This breed of pooch seems to have originated in the bayous of Louisiana and these dogs usually favor unfettered gun rights, some are pro-lifers, and a few even take a hard line stance on immigration issues. They ain’t quite Republicans, but they really ain’t quite Democrats either. They claim the leftists choked ‘em until they turned blue…  Or, maybe, they just couldn’t stomach becoming a full fledged Republican… who knows? I might be confused, but it sorta sounds like a dog that wishes he was part cat, just sayin’.

Now, I’m not sure how y’all feel about all that. I’ve always been my own Dem dog. I signed up because I believe in the platform- all of it. I mean, some policy things are certainly up for debate, but other things just seem to be core values that really aren’t up for negotiation. Abortion rights, collective bargaining, welfare, universal healthcare, public education- these aren’t just bartering chips, they’re a true reflection of liberal American values. Nations aren’t formed so that everyone can be on their own.

Hell, dogs get that. Why do you think we have packs? Now, just because you’re in a pack doesn’t mean you have no choice or no freedom. But, some things are sacred and some things are deal-breakers.

I guess I’m just saying that we, as Democrats, have got to start getting back to our FDR roots. We’ve tried to be yellow and blue, but maybe it’s just time to be true. Maybe, it’s time to tell some folks to find a new party if they’re not on board. Maybe, it’s time to tell some state party leaders, especially in Alabama, not to crap next to their food bowl.

I may not be the brightest dog, but I’ve always known not to bite the hand that feeds me. I also know that the guy who feeds me is a whole lot better off if he’s got a job making decent money, knows he’ll be taken care of if he gets sick, and generally feels stable in his life. Nothing worse than a guy so frustrated, that he takes it out on the dog.

Got no use for a dog who thinks he might be a cat. I believe those are the weird ones who think the litterbox is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

I guess what really hit me is that being a Dem dog is something you should be proud of and not try to turn it into something else.

If you’re a Dem dog, be your own dog and find out what it’s like to be a Dem dog unleashed!