Background Briefing: May 17, 2021


The Supreme Court’s Decision to Revisit Roe v Wade Places Abortion Rights in Jeopardy

We begin with the Supreme Court taking up the Mississippi abortion law struck down by a lower court meaning that four justices on the court chose to revisit Roe v Wade and in doing so in a 6 to 3 conservative court, could mean that soon states will pass their own restrictive laws as Arkansas has just done where even victims of rape and incest are denied access to an abortion. Joining us is Melissa Murray, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network at New York University who is a leading expert on family law and reproductive rights and justice. We discuss how the decision in this case will coincide with the midterm election campaigns and just as anti-abortion activists have been relentless in their attacks on abortion rights, those defending a woman’s right to have an abortion might well be motivated to become politically active if either the Supreme Court rules to uphold the Mississippi ban or takes a less confrontational path to make access to abortion so restrictive that Roe won’t be overturned explicitly, but will be weakened to the extent it will be neutralized. 


Unconditional Support for Israel in Congress is Starting to Erode

Then with the Biden Administration approving a $753 million arms sale of JDAM missiles used by the IDF to destroy the building in Gaza housing the AP and Al Jazeera, we speak with military and intelligence analyst Mark Perry, a senior analyst at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft who has travelled to Israel and the Palestinian territories dozens of times. He joins us to discuss how Israel’s heavy-handed actions are uniting Palestinians in both Palestine and Israel and that unconditional support for Israel in Congress is starting to erode.


The Emerging Role of Millennials in Politics

Then finally we examine the role of millennials in politics and speak with Charlotte Alter who has written a book The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America which profiles millennial politicians like Pete Buttigieg and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez as well as Elise Stefanik, who has just replaced Liz Cheney in GOP leadership in the House as a loyal Trumpster. We also discuss Charlotte’s article at Time Magazine, “The Handmaiden of Trump: How Elise Stefanik Went From Moderate to MAGA.”