Jackson will join more diverse and conservative high court:
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)
Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court. She became the first ever Black woman confirmed to the body after a vote in the Senate which voted 53-47 in her favor. She will not join the court for several months as Justice Breyer intends to finish his ongoing work on cases set to be settled this summer such as the verdict on whether the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion will be overturned. This leaves Jackson in the unprecedented situation of being confirmed to the Supreme Court months ahead of taking on case work as a Justice, where others were working within days of their confirmation. She is unlikely to sway many decisions during her time on the court due to its conservative leaning, but she will offer a unique perspective that could ultimately make a difference.
Idaho's top court temporarily blocks six-week abortion ban:
The Idaho State Capitol building is seen in Boise, Idaho, U.S., October 29, 2021. Picture taken October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
On Friday, Idaho’s Supreme Court blocked a recently enacted six week abortion ban, modelled after a similar Texas law, from taking effect. The top court of Idaho prevented the law from being implemented until it hears a challenge from Planned Parenthood. Idaho is the first state to model legislation after the abortion law passed in Texas in September which allows citizens to sue anyone who aids a woman in performing an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The Idaho law is narrower, allowing only relatives to sue after cardiac activity is detected. Planned Parenthood argues that the law is unconstitutional under the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the US Supreme Court. The court, with a 6-3 conservative majority, appeared open during arguments in December to allowing a 15-week abortion ban to stand in Mississippi which would require rolling back or overturning Roe v. Wade.
Alabama governor signs law criminalizing some trans youth care:
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaks during a presentation at the opening of a Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle Battery Factory in Woodstock, Alabama, U.S., March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
On Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed passed by the legislature the day prior which will criminalize providing gender affirming medical treatments to transgender youth. It makes it a felony in the state to provide hormone treatment, hormone blockers, gender affirming surgery, and other measures that help a child transition. Governor Ivey has said, regarding her decision that, "We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life." This is in opposition to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which urges Ivey to veto the measure in hopes of lowering the risk of depression and suicide. The Alabama law is one of several in Republican states to be advancing ahead of the November midterm elections. Ivey also signed a bill on Friday requiring students in public schools use bathrooms aligning with their gender at birth and, through a last minute addition by the legislature, prohibiting classroom discussion on sex and gender in certain grades.