Back in 1973 a landmark court ruling legalised abortion in the US. Named Roe v. Wade, the law gave women the right to choose, and removed government restrictions. However, following months of increasing restrictions in various states, a leaked draft discovered by Politico revealed that the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn the ruling. Increased politicisation in the conservative majority court is facing a backlash from human rights lawyers and women's activists who are questioning the reputation of the court. If it passes, individual states may choose whether access is available of not.
The U.S. tax system suffers from unfairness and a lack of enforcement. With lower and middle income earners paying a greater share of taxes, this causes a large tax gap and an unfair burden. Meanwhile, many corporations are known to take advantage and pay very little or no tax. Tax breaks also favor the wealthy and those who have large investments. Tax loop holes for the rich exist in Delaware and South Dakota. Discover more about the world of tax cuts, scams, havens, and tax dodgers in the U.S.
May 24 2022 saw the third deadliest American school shooting. 19 students and 2 teachers were fatally shot at Robb Elementary School, Texas. It was the 27th U.S. school shooting of the year. The U.S. has now surpassed 200 mass shootings for the year. The total lack of gun regulations allowed Salvador Ramos to purchase two rifles days before. Gun culture, violence, and political inaction keep allowing these devastating events to happen.
In response to the growing assault by GOP legislators across the United States, who have introduced hundreds of anti-voting rights bills, Senate Democrats introduced the Voting Freedom Act last September. This new bill, which replaces the For the People Act, includes broader and more inclusive actions to strengthen voting rights. To pass, Democrats will need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster.
Organised labour is having a moment in the US with a wave of new unions being created at giants like Amazon and Starbucks. The pandemic made workers tired of being praised one day and treated as expendable the next. Many professions became indispensable, but the pay for their work did not. Many experts see a promising time to fight for better working conditions, but companies are fighting fiercely against unionisation.
The US budget legislation currently hangs in the balance as representatives fail to reach an agreement. In August, the Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, after which the House and Senate should have consolidated a final bill for President Biden to sign. The bipartisan budget is to fund public investment in infrastructure. The other - a reconciliation bill - is an initiative of Senator Sanders that envisions a massive progressive expansion of social spending. House progressives will not support the bipartisan plan unless it includes the second bill. In early October, the Senate reached an agreement to keep the government open until 3 December through a temporary budget.
Escalating competition and tensions between the USA and China is being labelled the new Cold War. The relationship has deteriorated between the two military and technology giants over recent years. China’s global influence has ballooned, seen as a huge threat by the US. Not to mention suppression of workers' rights at home, and repression in Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan and of the Uighur people. With advances in nuclear technology and AI from both sides, the threat of conflict is very real, and of huge global significance.
Ramsey Clark, Progressive Lawyer and Activist (1927-2021)
Dedicating his life to defending civil and human rights, Clark was an outspoken activist against racism and the death penalty. The former attorney general turned pro-bono law practitioner was deeply critical of US policy – he will be missed by the progressive legal community who have lost their statesman.
Many were relieved when the major media organizations announced the Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 46th presidential election. US Senator Kamala Harris will be his vice-president, becoming the first woman and African-American in this position. The two face the difficult task of bringing a deeply divided America back together and fighting the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outgoing President Donald Trump, meanwhile, denies his defeat and hides in his office.