Background Briefing: September 8, 2021


Mexico’s Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion While SCOTUS Does the Opposite

We begin with the stark contrast between the Mexican Supreme Court which ruled on Tuesday that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion, removing penalties against women who have had them in the border state of Coahuila, while across the border in Texas, the opposite is happening thanks to the reactionary U.S. Supreme Court. Joining us is Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University whose research focuses on Mexico-U.S. relations. The President of the Association for Borderlands Studies and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, her latest book is Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexico and we discuss how for now the court’s decision which decriminalizes but not legalizes abortion applies only to the northern state of Coahuila. But the Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling in a very Catholic country sets a legal precedent for the nation and anti-abortion activists have already begun work to force 28 states to revise their laws since only Mexico City and three other states allow abortions on request.


Is it Time For Biden to Pack the Supreme Court?

Then we speak with Lawrence Douglas, the Chair in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College and a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian. His latest book is Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown in 2020 and he joins us to discuss his latest article at The Guardian, “President Biden, Texas shows we can’t wait any longer. It’s time to pack the court.”


Toppling the Confederate Traitor in the Former Capital of the Confederacy

Then finally we examine the politics behind the removal of the enormous statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the last Confederate statue remaining along Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue. Carl Tobias, Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Richmond, joins us to discuss the pair of rulings from the Virginia Supreme Court last week allowing the removal after an intense national debate over the purpose and symbolism of the 12-ton statue in the city that was once the capital of the Confederacy.