I love how Republicans think. Not only do they think in pathetically oversimplified terms, they assume that we Democrats only think that way, too. So of course, When Rick Tyler mansplains to Zerlina Maxwell that confirming Rapey McRapeface to the Supreme Court doesn't automatically mean Roe v. Wade will be overturned, Maxwell basically slaps him in the face with a goddamn fish and tells him exactly what the deal is.
OF COURSE it does not mean the SCOTUS justices will gather at 9 a.m. on Monday decide to overturn settled law just like that. We are not fcking idiots. Republicans have been playing the long game, winning local and statewide elections for a generation. They have been lying in wait with these restrictive abortion bills, ready to be signed into law and then challenged in the state courts. When those cases are decided, the loser appeals, and they continue up the court system until it reaches the top. THAT is how it reaches the Supreme Court.
Then the justices decide whether or not to HEAR the case at all. If there is a majority on the Supreme Court who believe there is a legitimate legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, they will win a vote to hear the case, and likely vote in favor of overturning it. That is how it is done. And don't you think for a minute conservative states don't have these laws ready to go, with the pen in the governor's hand hovering over the dotted line.
I don't want to give everything away in this amazing clip, but suffice it to say, Zerlina Maxwell mops the floor with Rick Tyler's smarmy, smug face when she clarifies this for him with stellar and irrefutable detail, and she knocks him out completely flat when he tries to corner her with the stupid-ass, completely fcking irrelevant question, "When does life begin?" Oh, does she shut him up, but good.
My answer to that question is always, "MY life began in 1969, a$$hole. And it matters a helluva lot more than the clump of cells that has only existed for who knows how many days."
TYLER: Merrick Garland was denied a vote, and that was wrong. I think he should have had a vote. But he's not 180 degrees out of phase with Judge Kavanaugh. They're 90 degrees together, they're 10 degrees out of phase. So all this talk about overturning Roe v. Wade, that's not the way the court works. They don't get together and say, "Oh, let's return to Roe v. Wade and overturn it." Having a conservative on the court means that we do look at precedent. We don't upend the court. We look at past decisions. As Kavanaugh said, Roe v. Wade is established law. I disagree with it, but I don't think he'll get in there as one justice be able to overturn Roe v. Wade. I just don't think that's gonna happen.
WITT: I'm not even going to ask you a question, Zerlina. You have just been shaking your head. Just go.
MAXWELL: You know, I love Rick, and we come on every week and we have ideological differences, but I have to push back strongly. The way that it will work when Justice Kavanaugh is confirmed, if they vote later today to do that, is there are bills in state houses right now ready to be passed. For example, in Iowa, a heartbeat bill that essentially says, as soon as you can hear the fetal heartbeat, that means you cannot have an abortion after the fact. Many women don't know they are pregnant at that point. It outlaws access to abortion and many forms of contraception and iuds. So the idea that you have to completely overturn Roe v. Wade is actually a red herring, because in practice, that's not how it's going to work for American women who already in states like Alabama, Texas, Louisiana because of trap laws, another hindrance to access to reproductive healthcare, they won't be able to get their birth control pills, their plan b. So, this is something that is broader than just abortion.
TYLER: Plan b is not a birth control pill, but okay I hear your point.
MAXWELL: It affects birth control pills, because Republicans have actually put that in the category of an abort efficient. They categorize it as something that induces an abortion, which you know is scientifically untrue. But the bill actually outlaws access to that, Rick.
TYLER: But, Zerlina, scientifically, if you're looking at the pro choice pro life movement, the pro-life movement, life begins at conception.
MAXWELL; No, it does not, Rick. Everybody woman who has IVF treatments knows that not to be true. A fertilized egg is not a person. It's not a person.
TYLER: Then tell me when life begins? When does it begin? That is the fundamental question. People who are pro life believe it's a taking of a life.
MAXWELL: And they should be able to make their own personal decision. It's not up to you and the government to tell women what they should believe and how they should access healthcare. Abortion is healthcare.
TYLER: This is a very long discussion, at a minimum we should be able to discuss when life begins. I'll go first. I believe it's at conception.
MAXWELL: And I disagree with you, Rick. In your life, if you ever have the choice to terminate a pregnancy --
TYLER: When does it begin? Give me a window. Give me a month, give me a week.
MAXWELL: Viability. The court has established...
TYLER: What is viability? A child is preemie who comes out is less viable
MAXWELL: Do we call a fertilized egg in a petri dish a baby? No, we don't.
WITT: There's so many voices going right now, a heart felt and impassioned and important discussion.
TYLER: This is why so many people are upset about the court.
MAXWELL: This is about our bodies, though, this is about our bodies. It's deeper than ideological conversation. Also, I have to add, Alex, one more thing, this conversation about abortion, it's not separate and distinct from the conversation about sexual assault. I'm a survivor of sexual assault. I've actually had to go and get Plan B to ensure I did not have to have my rapist's child. In 30 states the rapist can sue for parental rights and child custody in the year to 2018, Alex. The idea that this is theoretical, and that we should have an ideological conversation on air when it actually has something to do with my physical body autonomy, it's disgusting to me.