# Supreme Court



An open letter to coaches in Iowa public schools

To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities:

As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his post-game prayers on the field.

Writing for a 6-3 majority in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Justice Neil Gorsuch mischaracterized Kennedy’s actions as a “short, private, personal prayer.” In fact, the coach sought public acclaim and extensive media coverage for giving thanks to God at the 50-yard line, sometimes surrounded by players.

No doubt the coaches who copy Kennedy will be celebrated in many Iowa communities.

I’ve been thinking about how coaches like him will change the school sports experience for students like me.

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Supreme Court overthrow of Roe would change motherhood

Sue Dinsdale leads Health Care For America NOW in Iowa.

Mother’s Day was a reminder that motherhood can be both challenging and rewarding, but the right support systems can help make things easier and give mothers and their families healthier, happier lives. Our country’s mothers deserve to have resources, rights, and opportunities to stay healthy, take care of their families, and ensure they can determine their own destinies—whether that’s what zip code to live in or when to expand their families. 

leaked draft Supreme Court decision indicates that the court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion. For nearly 50 years, the precedent enabled people to decide for themselves if and when to become mothers.

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Regulating health care

Sondra Feldstein is a farmer and business owner in Polk County.

It’s conventional wisdom that Roe v Wade was a poorly written judicial decision. Not the first, nor the last.

I’m not a constitutional law scholar and I can’t say whether the weight of precedent should counteract the weakness of a poorly reasoned opinion. But each and every one of the conservative justices who can be expected to concur with the draft opinion overturning Roe assured senators during their confirmation hearing that the 1973 precedent was settled law, and that the principle of stare decisis carries such grave weight that the prospect of overturning “settled law” was unlikely.

But then, for anyone who believed what those potential justices said, I have the proverbial bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. It just isn’t relevant to ask whether future justices lied under oath, because everyone knew they were lying. It’s a game we play.

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Why Iowa's senators voted against historic SCOTUS confirmation

The U.S. Senate made history on April 7 by confirming the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the country’s first Black vice president presiding. Three Republicans joined all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus to confirm Appeals Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, prompting loud applause in the chamber.

There was never any doubt that Iowa’s two Republicans would vote against this confirmation. However, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst laid out their reasons for opposing Judge Brown Jackson only this week.

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Health care reform anniversary news roundup (updated)

Friday marked the second anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as health care reform or "Obamacare." After the jump I enclose lots of news related to the milestone, including comments from Iowa elected officials and statistics on how certain provisions affect Iowans.

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to start hearing oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of the health care reform law. Governor Terry Branstad signed Iowa on to one of the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act last year. Near the end of this post I've included some speculation about how the justices may rule (or punt).

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