While I wait on pins and needles for the big two gay marriage decisions, I’m keeping up with Supreme Court decisions like never before.
The Supreme Court decided on 3 important cases in the past week.
I guess one could argue that all cases the Supreme Court decides are important, but anyways.
Those 3 cases are:
- AIDS Funding
- The Right to Remain Silent
The decision: nobody can patent human genes because they are products of nature
My opinion: I do not believe that genes should be able to be patented. I was born with my DNA, it’s mine. I think it’s really messed up that corporations think they can patent parts of the bodies of human beings.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Human Genes May Not Be Patented
2. AIDS Funding
The decision: the government cannot force private health organizations to denounce prostitution to get money to fight HIV/AIDS overseas
My opinion: I’m glad they decided this. I think that requiring organizations to denounce prostitution is counter productive. I think that if orgs were required to denounce prostitution that it would tell the people they treat (who are prostitutes) that they are less than and unwelcome. Which goes against what those organizations are trying to do, which is not to eradicate prostitution but to eradicate AIDS no matter what the source. Because I don’t think you get anywhere by telling people you don’t accept them, a safe space needs to be created to do this important work. And furthermore I don’t agree with compelled-speech.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Provision In AIDS Law Violates Free Speech
3. The Right to Remain Silent
My opinion: I found the whole thing really disturbing. I would like to find a more thorough article on this.
Read up and decide for yourself: on Slate.com: You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent
A good quote from the article:
“The court’s new ruling puts the “defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent,” Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissent (joined by the other three liberal-moderates). “If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances—even if he is innocent.” But if he doesn’t answer, at trial, police and prosecutors can now take advantage of his silence, or perhaps even of just pausing or fidgeting.”
My favorite reporter on all things Supreme Court is Nina Totenberg on NPR.
Check out: Nina Totenberg Answers Your Supreme Court Questions.
Women and Hollywood coverage: “Regal Cinemas Bringing Girl Rising to Theaters”
There is this amazing documentary coming to theaters.
And it’s about educating girls.
It’s called Girl Rising.
The best way to improve the status of women in the world is through access in education.
And there are many places in the world where girls cannot get an education.
This movie tells the stories of 9 girls from 9 countries.
Education can change the world.
And it is one of the tools to help women reach full equality worldwide.
Overall it looks like an incredibly powerful movie.
And it’s amazing how many wonderful actresses are behind this project.
I read a really interesting article called “The War on Sex Workers“.
A good summary would be this quote:
“It is not sex work that exposes sex workers to violence; it is our willingness to abandon sex workers to violence in an attempt to control their behavior. Prohibition makes prostitution more dangerous than it would otherwise be by pushing it underground and stripping sex workers of legal protection. The fight over that policy is about more than just strains between generations of feminism. It is about an unholy marriage of feminism with the conservatism and police power that many feminists claim to stand against.”
I found it via an article on Feministe.
I didn’t realize that there are people working against “sex/human trafficking” that are not actually talking about people that are kidnapped and forced against their will. That is completely not the same thing as prostitution. What the hell?
I did my civic duty, I voted, did you?
“The burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions by health care providers and patients covered by [an employer’s health] plan, subsidize someone else’s participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiffs’ religion. . . . [Federal religious freedom law] is a shield, not a sword. It protects individuals from substantial burdens on religious exercise that occur when the government coerces action one’s religion forbids, or forbids action one’s religion requires; it is not a means to force one’s religious practices upon others. [It] does not protect against the slight burden on religious exercise that arises when one’s money circuitously flows to support the conduct of other free-exercise-wielding individuals who hold religious beliefs that differ from one’s own. . . .
[T]he health care plan will offend plaintiffs’ religious beliefs only if an  employee (or covered family member) makes an independent decision to use the plan to cover counseling related to or the purchase of contraceptives. Already, [plaintiffs] pay salaries to their employees-money the employees may use to purchase contraceptives or to contribute to a religious organization. By comparison, the contribution to a health care plan has no more than a de minimus impact on the plaintiff’s religious beliefs than paying salaries and other benefits to employees.”
So much truth in the above quote.
From Jezebel. The emphasis is mine.