All posts tagged: legal process

Anti-abortion Conservatives’ First Target If Trump Returns

Anti-abortion Conservatives’ First Target If Trump Returns

The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision about the most common pharmaceutical used for medication abortions may be just the beginning of the political battle over the drug. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of lower-court rulings that would severely reduce access to mifepristone. The Court’s acceptance of the case marked a crucial juncture in the legal maneuvering over the medication. But however the high court rules, pressure is mounting inside the GOP coalition for the next Republican president to broadly use executive authority at the Food and Drug Administration and the Justice Department to limit access to mifepristone and to reduce what abortion opponents call “chemical abortion.” “Chemical abortion will be front and center and presented front and center by the pro-life movement if there is a Republican president,” Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, told me. “There is going to be a lot of action we want to see taken.” The possibility of new executive-branch restrictions on abortion drugs, which are now used in a majority …

The Forgotten Tradition of Clemency

The Forgotten Tradition of Clemency

The governor, attorney general, and chief justice of the state supreme court sat atop a wide dais at the front of the Minnesota Senate hearing room on a warm day in June of 2019. One by one, petitioners for clemency—almost always without a lawyer—came to the podium and made their pitch for a pardon, which would erase many effects of their criminal convictions. One man with a long-ago, minor drug offense told the three officials, who comprise the Board of Pardons, about his 16 years of sobriety and desire to hunt with his son. An immigrant from Laos was supported by his wife, who had been the victim of his crime. Another man sought a pardon so he could adopt a stray dog. When each petitioner finished, the board discussed the case and voted as the petitioner listened intently. It was the rawest, most transparent, and utterly thrilling legal process I had ever witnessed. It was also, on that day, frustratingly unproductive. A unanimous vote was required to receive clemency, and that did not happen …