1. Why the Supreme Court’s abortion pill ruling might not end legal fight, If justices rule that the anti-abortion doctors who filed the lawsuit don’t have standing to sue, three conservative states could step into their place, By Ann E. Marimow and Caroline Kitchener, The Washington Post, June 4, 2024, 6:00 AM
When the Supreme Court debated this spring whether to limit access to a widely used abortion medication, a majority of justices seemed inclined to rule against the lawsuit by finding that the antiabortion doctors behind it had no legal basis to bring the case.
That was the position of the Biden administration, whose lawyer pressed the justices to get rid of the challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of mifepristone, first approved by the agency more than 20 years ago. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said the antiabortion doctors are not directly harmed by regulations that have made it possible to ship the drug to patients’ homes and use them later in pregnancy. She urged the justices to “say so and put an end to this case.”
But a Supreme Court ruling along those lines, which could come as soon as Thursday and must land by the end of the court term in late June or early July, is unlikely to end the legal fight over access to the drug that is used in more than six in 10 of all U.S. abortions.
That’s because the justices could leave an opening for three states – Missouri, Kansas and Idaho, each of which has a Republican attorney general – to try to quickly revive the challenge to abortion pills, which have moved to the forefront of the battle over reproductive rights in the two years since the high court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade.
The anticipated push by the states to take over where the antiabortion doctors left off would open a new round of litigation, keeping the controversial issue before the courts for another year or more and creating fresh uncertainty about access to the drug in a presidential election year where abortion is a central topic. 

2. Could Zuppi become latest confidante to fall out of Francis’s favor?, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, June 4, 2024
Will Cardinal Matteo Zuppi of Bologna, president of the powerful Italian bishops’ conference, be the next erstwhile darling of the Pope Francis era to fall from favor? The question may seem impertinent, but it’s being asked anyway amid a rare perceived contrast between Zuppi and the pontiff vis-à-vis Italian politics.
Such a development could carry consequences not merely for Zuppi’s ecclesiastical standing in the here and now, but also for his prospects as a papal contender in a future conclave.
Should some distance begin to emerge between Francis and Zuppi, it would make the 68-year-old prelate the latest in a fairly long list of former papal confidantes who, for one reason or another, appear to have been exiled from the inner circle.

Yet the question of whether that will continue to be the case has come up of late, given a recent public spat between Zuppi and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni over a proposed reform of the Italian constitution to allow for the direct election of the prime minister.

Since everyone knows that the debate is, at present, highly partisan, Zuppi’s comments were therefore taken as a fairly clear rebuke to backers of the reform, above all to Meloni.
In response, Meloni used a May 30 appearance on Italian television to fire back, noting that the Vatican isn’t a parliamentary republic and thus suggesting to the bishops – i.e., Zuppi – that their concerns are misplaced.
The line was widely spun in the Italian media as proof of a burgeoning conflict between Italy’s most important secular leader in Meloni, and its top ecclesiastical official in Zuppi.
What makes all this relevant in terms of Zuppi’s standing is the widely held perception that despite Pope Francis’s general reputation as a political progressive, he actually enjoys a fairly warm relationship with Meloni.

None of this necessarily means that Francis is uniformly favorable to Meloni, nor does it automatically imply he would disagree with Zuppi’s take on the proposed constitutional reform – if, that is, he has an opinion on the issue at all.
Nonetheless, the episode marks the first occasion that observers have detected any real daylight between Zuppi and Francis, however indirect and subtle. Since we’ve seen such tiny cracks widen into rifts before, it’s at least worth watching to see if this one too starts to expand – especially since it might reframe perceptions of Zuppi as a logical “continuity” candidate when the time comes to pick a successor.
3. In Title IX lawsuit, Texas professors say they won’t accommodate students who get abortions, By Daniel Payne, Catholic News Agency, June 3, 2024, 1:55 PM
Two university professors in Texas are suing the federal government over its recently revised Title IX rules, stating that they would refuse to abide by the government’s order to offer excused absences and other accommodations to female students who obtain abortions. 
In their lawsuit filed last month, University of Texas-Austin professors Daniel Bonevac and John Hatfield said they “do not intend to accommodate student absences from class to obtain abortions,” including abortions that are illegal under state law as well as “purely elective abortions that are not medically required.”
Nor would the professors “hire a teaching assistant who has violated the abortion laws of Texas or the federal-law prohibitions on the shipment or receipt of abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia.”
The U.S. Department of Education issued new regulations in April that radically redefined long-standing federal sex discrimination policy under federal Title IX provisions. 


4. Flying the Transgender Flag in the Federal Courts, By Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, June 3, 2024, 2:05 PM
You might think it would be obvious that a federal court should not take sides on a divisive social issue that is likely to come before that court. But in the name of “inclusivity” during pride month, the federal courts are doing just that.
National Review has obtained a memorandum sent to federal judges and other employees of the federal-court system recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month and promoting a training session for federal employees that will “explore the common misnomers associated with gender, why gender inclusivity is essential, and how to professionally navigate gender identity in the workplace.”
At the center of this story is Tiffany D. Blakey, Fair Employment Practices Officer at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Two years ago, Blakey circulated a “Pride Month” reading list “for both young adult and adult audiences” containing graphic gay sexual material. The official memo from Blakey described these as books “to educate, enlighten and entertain” but also, more ominously, described them as appropriate to be “used as part of a larger fairness in employment program.”

We don’t expect judges to be monks, cloistered entirely from society. But even if they have strong opinions, judges have to follow rules, and the minimum we expect of them is to understand which of their own opinions are opinions. For a court as an institution to instruct its employees in a particular ideology on one side of a particular hot issue is a scandal. Even moreso when it’s not just one courthouse but the entire federal-court system. This is a much, much more serious issue of partiality than whether a Supreme Court justice’s wife likes to fly flags that may attract retroactive controversy.
The fundamental, contested question around transgenderism is whether gender is a self-perceived “identity” as opposed to an objective, immutable characteristic. That question implicates all manner of live debates over biology, psychology, medicine, philosophy, history, language, culture, and religious faith. It underlies a vast number of legal disputes that are currently being litigated in federal courts, many of them involving workplaces and schools. Those are questions on which American citizens should have faith that the courts are, at a minimum, willing to treat people on both sides of these questions as having legitimate perspectives, rather than being in need of official reeducation.
We do not know what will be in the training itself, but it is reasonable to infer from its description that it will take a side. The program discussion’s language (“common misnomers associated with gender,” “gender inclusivity,” “gender identity”), combined with situating this program within “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month,” sends a signal — one that is unlikely to be lost on recipients of the memo — that this training is likely to take one side of the disputed questions. It communicates that sense of partisanship in how it proposes “educating” the people who staff our federal courts, including the judges themselves. All of this is to be done on federal-taxpayer time and property.
Optional participation doesn’t change the official endorsement here, or the choice to host an employee-indoctrination program in what is very much not a public forum. In fact, asking “each court unit” to decide whether to host the training means that those who do choose it are communicating their approval within their own courthouses. Should the courts be flying that flag?
TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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