Supreme Court crumbling

The July Free Press Second Saturday Cyber-Salon had the theme “Roe v Wade and Supreme Court Decisions.”

Watch the salon video here.

Free Press Board member Mark Stansbery facilitated the salon, starting off with a photo of the Supreme Court falling down.

Mark introduced the first speaker Ted Glick, progressive activist and author of Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left's Resistance to the Vietnam War and 21st Century Revolution, Through Higher Love, Racial Justice and Democratic Cooperation.

Ted believes that there are four significant US Supreme Court decisions we should be organizing around:

  1. Overturning Roe v. Wade
  2. Ruling that we have the right to carry guns anywhere
  3. The return of Christian prayer in public schools
  4. Taking power from EPA to regulate gas emissions

He spoke how the Supreme Court is a political entity with an agenda that must be countered by  progressive activists in a movement that will change Congress in November, get out the vote, and advocate to increase the numbers of people on the Supreme Court. He recommended the book Power Concedes Nothing for organizers.

Mary Jane Borden, featured in the book Courage in Cannabis, spoke next, going through 14 teachable moments in a Powerpoint, based on the parallels between how both cannabis and abortion have been and are being treated in the US. She wrote a Free Press article with the 14 points you can read here.

Some of the points she mentioned were how both the law against cannabis and abortion are racist, classist, and affect people’s health. She pointed out that prohibition never works.

Felicia DeRosa, activist and educator, spoke next. She talked about how the Supreme Court is focusing on wedge issues that galvanize those whose power is threatened by women controlling their own bodies, people who want to love whoever they want, and people who communicate over social media.

Felicia told us about the outrageous Ohio House Bill 61 that includes a section that, in the case a child in school declares their gender and the officials want to verify it, the adults would be allowed to disrobe the child and examine their genitals.

There are bills in the Ohio legislature that extremely prohibit abortion (HB 598), prohibit people saying “race” or “gay” in schools (HB 616), and prohibiting healthcare for differently gendered kids (HB 454).

Felicia pointed out how there could be better sex education for children, that successfully lowered the abortion rates in Switzerland.

She talked about the national efforts for a Fairness and Equity Act for all Americans. The Equality Act is a landmark piece of legislation that would expand federal civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, jury service, and federally funded programs, such as those for health and education, as well as public places and spaces, according to

Bill Lyons and Joe Motil spoke next about the City Charter Review process. There is one chance left for Columbus residents to influence the decisions at a Tuesday, July 12 5pm meeting at City Council. You can speak, submit testimony or just show up in solidarity.

Thanks to Steve Caruso for being our tech guru!

The next salon will be August 13.

Pete Johnson
President, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism
Contact: 614-253-2571