Background Briefing: May 3, 2022


Alito’s Leaked Draft Opinion Overturning Roe and Casey

We begin with the leaked draft opinion of the forthcoming Supreme Court decision on the Mississippi abortion ban written by Justice Alito that almost gleefully calls for Roe and Casey to be overturned. Joining us to discuss this rare example of a constitutional right being taken away is Michele Bratcher Goodwin, a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She is the host of the popular podcast, On the Issues with Michele Goodwin, at Ms. magazine and is the author of a number of books, most recently, Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood. We discuss how 50 years later this 1973 7 to 2 Supreme Court decision in which five Republican-appointed justices voted with the majority has come up against the new radical right wing Republican party and its political operatives in robes. 


The Five Conspiracy Theories Putin Has Weaponized

Then we go to the U.K. to speak with Ilya Yablokov, a lecturer in journalism and digital media at the University of Sheffield in England whose research interests include disinformation, conspiracy theories, international broadcasting and political communication as well as journalistic practices of (self-)censorship in the post-socialist countries. He is the author of Fortress Russia: Conspiracy Theories in the Post-Soviet World and co-author of Russia Today and Conspiracy Theories: People, Power, Politics on RT, and we discuss his article at The New York Times, “The Five Conspiracy Theories That Putin Has Weaponized.


The Dilemma Putin’s Ukraine War Has Created For the U.S. Left

Then finally we assess how much sanctions will damage Russia’s economy and force Putin to negotiate an end to his war in Ukraine which he has doubled down on with the expectation that he will declare war and call for a full mobilization on May 9. Joining us is David Kotz, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Fellow in the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism and coauthor with Fred Weir of Russia’s Path from Gorbachev to Putin: The Demise of the Soviet System and the New Russia. We discuss his article at The Democratic Left, “The Ukraine War: Dilemma for the U.S. Left.”