Self-described “extremist centrist” and former acting Solicitor General under Obama Neal Katyal thinks that SB8 — the Texas law that, as of midnight on Wednesday, effectively outlawed all abortions after six weeks and enabled random militant Christians to sue anyone who helps women fend off forced-childbearing — is approaching something “very medieval.” Katyal, a partner at Hogan Lovells who has argued before the Supreme Court 43 times, appeared on MSNBC this week to pound his chest over constitutional rights:
The law in Texas on abortion, the law that went into effect today, is a really severe restriction on abortion — to the point that it has no rape or incest exception and it enables these vigilante private citizens to go and sue. That’s a real step away from the laws that [were in effect] throughout our lifetime. For a half century, this Texas law would have been declared unconstitutional every day of the week by the Supreme Court — starting with Roe vs. Wade in 1973, which was a 7-2 decision, at a time when seven of the nine Justices were appointed by Republican presidents. Now, things have really changed because of the Trump appointees to the Supreme Court.
I am hard-pressed to think of one thing President Trump has done right in the last 11 days since his inauguration. Until Tuesday, when he nominated an extraordinary judge and man, Neil Gorsuch, to be a justice on the Supreme Court.
To his mind, Gorsuch, the “extraordinary judge and man,” would bring “a sense of fairness and decency to the job:”
Right about now, the public could use some reassurance that no matter how chaotic our politics become, the members of the Supreme Court will uphold the oath they must take: to “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.” I am confident Neil Gorsuch will live up to that promise.
Ah yes, equal rights for the poor and rich — both of whom will surely be equally harmed by this abortion ban. The op-ed was almost as eloquent as this tweet from the following year, when Katyal praised beer-chugger Brett Kavanaugh’s — this is literally how it is spelled — “credentials,hardworking nature&much more:”
Despite Kavanaugh’s indelible track record on women’s rights, he also supported the ban.
Let’s not forget Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the dead-eyed cenobite in a meat dress of human skin, who snatched her seat in a speed-confirmation round after Ruth Bader Ginsburg notoriously died last year. Katyal had kind words for her too — specifically “brilliant” and “lovely person.” Neal lionized the trad nominee on NBC News less than a year ago:
I mean, very much, I think everyone should agree with President Trump that she deserves a respectful and dignified hearing, and I think you’ll hear many Democrats acknowledge she’s a brilliant person, she’s a lovely person,” he added. “And the question is if she were nominated in 2021, I think that there would be a lot of support for a vote and confirmation hearings and orderly process.
Guess how she voted!
For anyone new to Katyal’s pathetic slobbering over judicial bipartisanship, here is a primer. He is probably best known for that Obama gig he held for a single year and can’t shut up about. But the lawyer, Georgetown professor, and paid shill for “SPAC king” Chamath Palihapitiya’s VC firm has many other credentials to his name. These include: working for shriveled rapist Bill Clinton and tragically boring documentarian Al Gore; giving A TED talk called “How to Win an Argument (At the Supreme Court or Anywhere);” and receiving, per his personal website, “most every award a lawyer can win.”
Katyal recently appeared before this collection of brilliant, lovely, hardworking Justices when he defended Nestle and Cargill against accusations of “abetting child slavery.” The case came from six Mali children who had been trafficked at ages 12 to 14 to work on cocoa plantations for “no pay and little food,” where they were “regularly whipped and tortured by overseers who routinely inflicted sadistic punishments.” One child, who got caught trying to escape, claimed his boss “cut the soles of his feet, rubbed chile pepper into the wounds, then tied him to a tree and beat him until he sustained severe, permanent injuries.”
The kids’ lawyers argued that Nestle and Cargill knew the plantations’ staff including unpaid preteens, yet “continued to provide [them] ‘financial and technical assistance.’” But this was no big deal to Katyal; punishing innocent global corporations, he argued, would “place U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage.” Now that really does sound medieval.
Katyal has made his career off of being corporate America’s brightest boy. So it’s not surprising he framed his abortion defense around Silicon Valley, a sector so obsessed women’s rights they basically don’t hire any.
If you're, say, a Silicon Valley tech company, thinking of moving to Texas, I think you’d better think twice.
Here he is again, offering one possible solution:
I think one, companies and individuals have to really think twice about moving to Texas given what’s happening.
Surely, Elon Musk, a guy who once told his then-wife “If you were my employee, I’d fire you,” will take this to heart.