Secretary of State Katie Hobbs Responds to SCOTUS’ Abortion Draft Opinion: ‘F**k the Patriarchy’

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs Responds to SCOTUS’ Abortion Draft Opinion: ‘F**k the Patriarchy’

By Corinne Murdock |

Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs cursed out the country after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion circulated on Monday night. She capitalized on the incident with a plug to fundraise for her campaign. 

“F**k the patriarchy,” said Hobbs. “If you agree, help us defend the right to choose in Arizona.”

State Representative and congressional candidate Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake) criticized Hobbs as not being a serious individual in response. 

Politico published the leaked opinion on Monday night. Justice Samuel Alito authored the 98-page draft majority opinion, which dated back to February. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett signed onto the opinion.

Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft. He ordered an investigation into the leak. Although much speculation abounded following the Politico report, no official suspects have been named.

Roberts assured the country that the leak wouldn’t influence the final ruling.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” said Roberts. 

While Arizona’s Republican elected officials acknowledged the draft opinion’s content, their greater focus was on the individual responsible for the leak. Arizona’s Democratic elected officials, however, focused on their disagreement with the opinion. They didn’t address the alleged impropriety of the leak — some appeared to even justify it. 

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) said that while he agreed with the ruling, he disapproved of the leak and speculated that someone with pro-abortion views was responsible. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) concurred.

Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07) argued that the bigger issue at hand wasn’t the fact that someone compromised the process of the highest court in the land by leaking sensitive documents unintended for public consumption. Rather, he argued that the bigger issue was how SCOTUSblog, the independent media blog offering Supreme Court reporting, engaged in “inside ball bulls**t.”

Like his Democratic peers, Congressman Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09) called for the Senate to codify abortion on demand.

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-02) argued that the draft opinion didn’t reflect the American people’s will. One of the first arguments in the majority draft opinion asserted that both Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood weren’t based on legal rationale. Rather, Alito wrote that both rulings contained arbitrary, legislation-like rules.

Both of Arizona’s Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly didn’t address the leak, just their disagreement with the draft majority opinion.

Vice President Kamala Harris accused the Supreme Court justices of “want[ing] to punish women” by “tak[ing] away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies.” Harris claimed that the ruling threatened the “right to privacy” — a concept not enumerated within the Constitution but contrived in the 1890s by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

President Joe Biden pledged to push for legalized abortion on demand legislation, should the draft opinion become the final ruling.

The leak inspired pro-abortion and pro-life activists to turn up at the courthouse.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Senator Mark Kelly Will Approve Biden’s Supreme Court Pick

Senator Mark Kelly Will Approve Biden’s Supreme Court Pick

By Corinne Murdock |

On Monday, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) announced that he would vote to approve Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the vacant Supreme Court (SCOTUS) seat. Kelly said that he supported all of Jackson’s record on case rulings, which likely included the slew of controversial criminal judgments that gave lenient sentencing to violent criminals.

“After speaking with Judge Jackson and reviewing her record and approach to deciding cases, I believe her to be very well qualified and having demonstrated a commitment to fairly interpret and uphold the Constitution on our nation’s highest court,” said Kelly.

On Sunday, a day before Kelly’s announcement, the New York Post reported that one of the convicted child rapists who’d received lowered sentencing twice from Jackson had been arrested for assault. Sex offender Leo Weekes received one year in prison with credit for time served for failing to register as a sex offender, a classification he earned for raping his 13-year-old niece four years earlier. Jackson’s sentence allowed Weekes to be released five months later. The federal guideline minimum for Weekes’ crime would have been two years in prison. A year later, Weekes was arrested for the attempted sexual assault of his sister-in-law, though she dropped the charges; prosecutors claimed that Weekes paid her off. Several years later, Weekes was back in court for failing to register as a sex offender and violating multiple stipulations of his probation, again coming before Jackson. Again, Jackson gave Weekes a punishment lower than what the guidelines suggested: a 24-month sentence overlapping with his punishment for the previous assault conviction. 

As the New York Post report noted, the Weekes case was not included among the seven cases given to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. The requested cases were to clarify Jackson’s habit of sentencing below federal guidelines and the requests of prosecutors.

A day prior, the New York Post also broke the story that Jackson gave lenient sentencing to those convicted of multiple counts of child torture during hearings on eight child porn cases. For those cases, Jackson argued against applying recommended sentencing because she disagreed with the relevance, severity, and logic of child pornography law. Like with Weekes, Jackson reduced one defendant’s original sentence of 60 months, the mandatory minimum that fell under the average sentence of 81 months for similar cases, by giving him credit for time served, thereby reducing his sentence to 38 months. 

To another defendant last year charged with child porn distribution, Jackson expressed sympathy and called family members’ letters portraying the defendant in a positive light, “mitigating factors.” Jackson said she wasn’t persuaded by the prosecution’s display of the more “egregious or extreme” child porn distributed by the defendant.

Jackson also advocated for the release of all those imprisoned in Washington, D.C., at the start of the pandemic. She managed to grant several releases to those charged with or convicted of major crimes, such as the member of a fentanyl trafficking ring and a serial bank robber. 

Despite this track record, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats portrayed Jackson as tough on crime.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Goldwater Institute Addresses Supreme Court Review of Indian Child Welfare Law

Goldwater Institute Addresses Supreme Court Review of Indian Child Welfare Law

By Corinne Murdock |

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) announced earlier this month that it would consider the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), federal law that determines when states can rescue abused or neglected Indian children, as well as foster rules. This law applies to tribal children and those eligible to live on a tribe but living off of a reservation. Essentially, ICWA does all it can to keep Native American children within their own families or with other Native Americans, and requires state officials to apply a higher degree of scrutiny over abuse to determine whether abuse exists. While other children’s cases need only present “clear and convincing evidence” of abuse, Native American children’s cases would need to present “without a reasonable doubt.” ICWA was enacted to prevent the government from taking Native American children from their families.

Phoenix’s nationally-acclaimed public policy research and litigation organization, the Goldwater Institute, requested SCOTUS to review ICWA; they’ve challenged the federal law for years. In light of the SCOTUS announcement, Goldwater Institute Vice President of Litigation Timothy Sandefur discussed ICWA on the “Andy Caldwell Show.”

Sandefur described the law as unconstitutional and depriving children of fair treatment. He noted that Native American children are at greater risk for molestation, abuse, gang membership, and suicide, arguing that already-vulnerable children were only hurt more by ICWA.

“The rules that [ICWA] sets for child protection are actually less protective for a child than the laws that apply for every other racial group,” said Sandefur.

The case SCOTUS will consider, Brackeen v. Haaland, comes from a culmination of different cases brought by several parents desiring to adopt Native American children but were denied due to not being Native American themselves. 

Sandefur described one case that the Goldwater Institute worked on, in which a mother wanted to terminate the rights of her abusive husband so that her new husband could legally adopt her son. If the child had been any other race, the rights could’ve been terminated. However, ICWA applied. Under ICWA, it was “prohibitively difficult” to terminate an abusive parent’s right, even in the case of a mother requesting that action. 

In a press release, Sandefur also noted that ICWA also violates the separation of the federal and state governments by requiring states to enforce federal law and interpret their own laws differently. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.