When Good wins, even tentatively, we should celebrate lest the cynicism that can so easily enter us in ugly times festers and grows to the point that we're left screaming, and worse, ineffective.
Three decisions this week please me even as I know much more on all three fronts must be done.
1) A federal appeals judge ruled that Texas could not ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state money because the state presented insufficient evidence to suggest that Planned Parenthood's support for the state's Women's Health Program was unconstitutional, recogizing that those Planned Parenthood facilities that do provide abortions are acting within the law. Texas, for its part, says if the ruling stands it will stop all services of the Women's Health Program. (Why did we want Texas back after the Civil War? Someone please remind me.) In any case, that would engender another court fight on behalf of the 130,000 poor women whom Texas Planned Parenthood serves.
2) A federal trial jury in Tennessee found guilty nine, mostly Somali men, who ran a sex-trafficking ring with girls as young as twelve and in three states (Tennessee, Ohio, and Minnesota). Sentencing is next. And while several of the accused were acquitted, federal attorneys say they'll press forward with more prosections in similar cases.
3) The U.S. Army has reinstated Command Sgt. Teresa King, suspended last November from her position as leader of the Army's Drill Sergeant School. The Army never said why she had been relieved of her duties there. In a formal complaint, Command Sgt. King alleged her being a woman and black was the sole reason for her being sacked. She will now resume her post, her lawyers say, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, our largest training installation.
Good news, however incomplete, should always be welcome, and we should note, too, the role of our courts in often righting the wrongs done to the less powerful, sometimes the least powerful among us by misogynistic legislatures and governors, and other institutions, and, of course, by common criminals.