Judge Set to Hear Abortion Pill Case Was Sworn in at Billionaire Harlan Crow’s Library
We regret to inform you that the nonsense abortion pill lawsuit is not only still active, but will be heard next on May 17 by a very unfortunate group of judges—including James Ho, who has connections to both Justice Clarence Thomas and his Republican megadonor benefactor, Harlan Crow.
Ho is the Federalist Society/MAGA darling of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals who’s written very aggressive opinions, including one from 2019 in which he said that “abortion is the immoral, tragic, and violent taking of innocent human life.” Former President Donald Trump nominated the Texas judge to the appeals court in 2017, and Ho was sworn in in January 2018 by Justice Thomas himself—in Crow’s private library.
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ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott resurfaced the photo of the ceremony the day the outlet uncovered Crow’s financing of luxury travel for Thomas, including many private jet trips. He tweeted: “A detail from our story today: Ted Cruz tweeted this photo of Clarence Thomas swearing in 5th Circuit Judge James Ho. Turns out this is in billionaire Harlan Crow’s private library, and flight records show Crow’s jet dispatched to DC and back to Dallas before + after this event.”
It appears that Thomas—and maybe Cruz—took Crow’s jet to this little swearing-in.
A detail from our story today: Ted Cruz tweeted this photo of Clarence Thomas swearing in 5th Circuit Judge James Ho. Turns out this is in billionaire Harlan Crow's private library, and flight records show Crow's jet dispatched to DC and back to Dallas before + after this event https://t.co/IwNjkwRsS6
— Justin Elliott (@JustinElliott) April 6, 2023
The other two judges on the panel are Trump appointee Cory Wilson, who voted for a six-week abortion ban as a Mississippi state lawmaker, and George W. Bush nominee Jennifer Elrod, who said Obamacare was a “fraud on the American people.” (They’re terrible on other issues, too: Elrod wrote the opinion striking down a federal ban on bump stocks, which make it easier to fire semiautomatic rifles, while Wilson wrote the ruling striking down the law banning people with domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns.)
So, yes, this case is very likely making its way back to the scandal-ridden Supreme Court, after the high court temporarily blocked restrictions on the medication from going into effect as the case proceeds. Given this horrific three-judge panel, it seems all but assured that the Fifth Circuit will write an awful ruling, and the FDA will have to appeal it to SCOTUS. At this point, we basically have to hope against all odds that the court will be scared enough about growing calls for court expansion to smack the nonsense case away.
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