Trump appointee in single-judge federal district in Texas could bar nationwide access to the abortifacient mifepristone. - AP
How did we get here where an ultra-right wing justice appointed by a Republican politician under criminal investigation can ban women from getting medication that's been proven safe for over 20 years?
Start by following the dark money funding conservative judicial appointments to stack the Supreme Court that overturned Roe. Understand judge shopping where cases are filed with a single-judge federal district in Amarillo, Texas. An extremist Fifth District Court of Appeals and a Republican packed Supreme Court.
Do you know how many Federal Court Justices there are? Which justices did Trump appoint? How many Court of Appeals are there? What are their jurisdictions? How are cases filed to go from an extremist District Court to a conservative Court of Appeals to a Republican packed Supreme Court?
Follow along with this StoryMap to see how Republicans have kidnapped justice to pass laws that the majority of American oppose.
CRIME ALERT: JUSTICE KIDNAPPED
"The number of conservative lawsuits filed in Kacsmaryk’s Amarillo, Texas, courthouse — where he is assigned all new cases as the sole district court judge — has spawned accusations that right-wing plaintiffs are seeking him out because they know he’s likely to side with them. “Why are all these cases being brought in Amarillo if the litigants who are bringing them are so confident in the strength of their claims? It’s not because Amarillo is convenient to get to,” said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck. “I think it ought to alarm the judges themselves, that litigants are so transparently and shamelessly funneling cases to their courtroom.”
Trump reshaped the fifth circuit to become the ‘ most extreme ’ US court. Ultra-conservative lawyers seek to have their cases heard in the fifth circuit in hope of a favourable ruling. Appeals in the ruby red states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas go before the fifth circuit. 12 of the 17 the Fifth District Court of Appeals justices were named by Republican presidents. James Ho, Stuart Kyle Duncan and Cory Wilson are among six judges appointed by former president Donald Trump to the US court of appeals for the fifth circuit, skewing the court in to the right.
Explaining the kidnap plot
How does the Republican scheme to pass laws when they are in the minority work? How does dark money help stack the courts so billionaire Republican donors get the laws they want passed? First understand the organization of the U.S. court system. Maps help you visualize the Republican playbook to kidnap justice.
- This StoryMap consists of different layers that show the Courts of Appeals and the District Court Justices in each
- Clicking on the map reveals details on the Justices in that jurisdiction and who appointed them
- Buttons let you filter to only see the District Courts, Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court
- The left hand panel provides context to the map being shown and links to more information
- A navigation bar lets you go directly the topic you're interested in
TakeAway: Understand the con by which Republicans with help from dark money donors have kidnapped justice and making the lives of regular Americans while they cling to power and billionaires get richer. Organize, register and vote to fix the courts.
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Credit: Cartoons licensed from Political Cartoons