Doug Emhoff Is The First “Second Gentleman”, Abortion-Pill Restriction Back in Place, & The WNBA Took Kelly Loeffler Out of Politics
Doug Emhoff Has Become The First “Second Gentleman” In History
By Zac Cornell
The United States has its first “Second Gentleman” in history! Doug Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, has become the first Second Gentleman in the United States, and is happily displaying for the country what it is like for a man to take a step back from their career and enthusiastically support his spouse. The entertainment lawyer gave up his partnership at his law firm, DLA Piper, as it would potentially create a conflict of interest for the Vice President. While many First Women have sacrificed their careers and adapted their lives to accommodate their husband’s political careers, it is nice to finally see a man offer the same level of support for his wife on the national stage. Emhoff, in his characteristic humble way, is eager to make sure that his history-making status is not going to overshadow the women who came before him. He tweeted, “I am honored to be the first male spouse of an American President or Vice President. But I’ll always remember generations of women have served in this role before me—often without much accolade or acknowledgment. It’s their legacy of progress I will build on as Second Gentleman.”
In an essay he wrote for GQ magazine, he further acknowledged the importance of his history-making role in showing children that both men and women should support their spouses. Emhoff wrote:
“I am honored to be the first male spouse of an American President or Vice President. But here’s the truth: generations of women before me have used this platform to advocate for causes they believe in and build trust in our institutions at home and abroad—often without much accolade or acknowledgment.
It’s on their shoulders I stand. And it’s their legacy of progress I will try to build on as Second Gentleman. And fortunately, in this work, I could not have a better friend and partner than Dr. Jill Biden, whose example and advice has been invaluable in navigating every step of this journey.
I also see this through the eyes of our kids, Cole and Ella, each of whom are coming into their own as young adults. I want them to grow up in a world where it isn’t news that a loving partner—of any gender—supports them in everything they do.
It reminds me of a story Kamala likes to tell about her mother Shyamala, who would always say to her daughters, “You may be the first, but you better not be the last.”
I want that to be true of me, too. I may be the first Second Gentleman, but I know I won’t be the last.”
Vice Presidential scholar Joel K. Goldstein explained how Emhoff’s role will affect society as a whole to Marie Claire magazine. “When people say that RBG and Hillary Clinton and Senator Harris are models for little girls, that’s true,” Goldstein says. “I think their success does send a message to girls that this is becoming a different world, and there are possibilities that maybe didn’t exist for their mothers or grandmothers. But it also sends a message to little boys that this is a different world than the one that their fathers and grandfathers grew up in. And Mr. Emhoff is part of that.”
Now Emhoff will be focusing on his role as Second Gentleman and will also teach a course at Georgetown University Law Center. He reached out on Twitter asking people for suggestions and stories on how teachers have gone above and beyond during this unprecedented time to help students, writing, “I’m getting ready to teach my first class. To help me prepare, I’d love to hear some stories about teachers going above and beyond to connect with their students during this challenging school year. Tell me about the teachers you know.”
Emhoff’s desire to do his best bodes well for the likely success of the country’s first Second Gentleman. His first accomplishment has been the introduction of a new word in the Merriam Webster dictionary!
Well, now it’s official. @MerriamWebster just added “Second Gentleman” to the dictionary.
I might be the first, but I won’t be the last. https://t.co/1PFsrYslgM
— Douglas Emhoff (@SecondGentleman) January 28, 2021
And he certainly has already secured high marks as a supportive spouse. Emhoff will be a valuable role model on how to create a strong partnership. As he said to Marie Claire of giving up his career and life as he knew it to support his wife as Vice President, “Our relationship and the way I roll, my whole life has just been to support the people I love unequivocally, and they support me. The whole thing has been based on parity and mutual respect.”
Abortion-Pill Restriction Back in Place After Supreme Court Decision
By Julia Carroll
This month, the Supreme Court reinstated the federal requirement for women to pick up a drug used for medication-induced abortions, in person, at a hospital or clinic. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, an order was put in place, allowing the abortion-pill to be mailed or delivered to the buyer. The order was lifted in Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s first abortion case.
Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the Federal District court in Maryland rejected the requirement, arguing that it is a health concern. Chuang’s believes the order to be an unconstiutional restriction on the right to abortion, as the needless trip may place a burden on women during the pandemic. Judge Chuang reasons that requiring pregnant women, many of whom are poor, to travel to clinics with limited hours, will pose health risks and delays.
The CoronaVirus pandemic is far from over, so lifting Federal orders during this health crisis seems quite unnecessary. The country has reported around 22.5 million infections and 376,188 deaths nationwide, and infections remain at record highs in many states this month.
After the requirement was suspended by the Supreme Court, in response to the first review, Judge Chuang issued a second option, stating that the pandemic has “only gotten worse.” In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other groups, sued to suspend the requirement that women make a trip to obtain the first drug in light of the pandemic.
The Trump Administration returned to the Supreme Court, pushing back against the medical group and Maryland’s Judge Chuang. The administration claimed that the number of abortions had increased compared to the previous year, which showed that the requirement did not amount to an unconstitutional burden on the right to abortion.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claimed that the Trump administrations argument “defies rudimentary principles of statistical analysis.” Including that many factors could account for the rise in the number of abortions in the two states during the pandemic; including disruptions in access to contraceptives, unemployment and other circumstances “that have made unwanted pregnancy more likely and parenting less tenable for some.”
In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that FDA, “during the pandemic not only treats abortion exceptionally, it imposes an unnecessary, irrational and unjustifiable undue burden on women seeking to exercise their right to choose.” Lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, Julia Kaye spoke in paralel to Jutice Sotomayor: “The court’s ruling rejects science, compassion and decades of legal precedent in service of the Trump administration’s anti-abortion agenda,” she said in a statement. “It is mind-boggling that the Trump administration’s top priority on its way out the door is to needlessly endanger even more people during this dark pandemic winter — and chilling that the Supreme Court allowed it.”
Kelly Loeffler Wanted Politics Out of Sports. The WNBA Took Her Out of Politics
By Chloe Robinson
During the height of the BLM protests last summer, Georgia Senator, Kelly Loeffler, expressed her opposition to the movement in a letter to the commissioner of the WNBA. She was quite explicit in this, writing, “I adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement,”.
Loeffler co-owns the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream, which is predominantly composed of black women. Her letter to the commissioner came after the decision to depict the words “Black Lives Matter” during WNBA games. She felt that sports and politics should be separated, even writing, “We need less- not more — politics in sports”.
Loeffler is now a former senator, after she lost her election to a democrat: the Reverend Raphael Warnock.
Her defeat was long-coordinated and strategically planned by the woman of the Atlanta Dream and other powerful women throughout the WNBA. As Loeffler attempted to silence these players and remove politics from sports, these players decided to remove her from politics.
Elizabeth Williams, a Dream Player, tells Glamour about the time that her fellow WNBA players dedicated to flipping the senate.
Before the promotion of the Dream team, Warnock polled at 9%, seemingly in fourth place behind Loeffler. He was an underground candidate, not widely recognized or publicized. After the promotion of the Dream team, though, Warnock gained significant attention and fundraising, ultimately propelling his victory.
Williams says, “As female athletes, there are always going to be doubters and haters and people that don’t really want to see you succeed—now top that with being Black. It kind of makes us inherently political.”
The WNBA women have long been involved in politics and serving justice. Previously, in 2018, Maya Moore, who played for Minnesota Lynx, took a hiatus to overturn the wrongful conviction of Jonathan Irons. Other players followed suit.
The Dream Team could not force Loeffler to give up her business rights to the team, but were so baffled that she could not stand or support the causes of its players.
The players did a ton of research and investigated Loeffler’s opponents, ultimately deciding that Warnock was the most ideal candidate.
“We realized, Alright, we want to support this guy,” Williams says. “He’s been out protesting, he’s done the work, he supports a lot of the things that we support—criminal justice reform, women’s rights, reproductive rights.”
August 4th marked the initial public Warnock support, as the Dream players walked onto the court sporting “Vote Warnock” T-shirts. Athletes across the WNBA followed their lead, leading Warnock’s campaign to raise $183,000 after the game.
The team was highly motivated to lead Warnock to victory. They brought him up in interviews and starred in his advertisements. Warnock was later declared the winner of the election, surpassing Loeffler with over 40,000 votes.
Williams explains her hopes for the future, “I think activism will look more like, How are we gonna find ways to keep our politicians accountable for all the changes we need to see?”.
Though Loeffler has not given up her rights to the team’s ownership yet, LeBron James has tweeted that he’s looking into forming an ownership group for the Dream.