What makes you mad says a lot

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett is mad – about the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Burchett calls the leak “political intimidation” that could “endanger the justices’ lives.”

It’s OK to be mad about the leak, primarily because leaking a first draft could limit the court’s ability to fine-tune the decision.

Michael Grider, Burchett’s chief of staff, and U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett

But first, Tim, get mad about the justices who lied under oath during Senate confirmation hearings. Roe v. Wade is settled law, they said. If nominees can lie with impunity, why have hearings?

Next, Tim, get mad that Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall in 1991 and, until Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson comes on the court, Thomas and Marshall have been the only Black Americans to serve on the Supreme Court, ever.

Then, Tim, get mad about the fundamental injustice of an abortion ban. The well-to-do got abortions before Roe v. Wade and they will continue to do so if Roe is overturned. This ruling would fall most heavily on poor and working-class women for whom a flight to New York or Massachusetts is out of reach.

And, Tim, do you really want to criminalize a medical procedure? Do you want to see doctors and patients frog-marched off to jail? That, my friend, is true government overreach.

Finally, Tim, if the leaked opinion is so intimidating and dangerous to justices’ lives, what about the final decision?

Republicans should be talking about inflation, gasoline prices and domestic policy written by The Squad. Instead, five Republican justices who lied under oath are fixing to change the subject to a dark place where you really don’t want to go. Get mad about that.

Well versed in what not to do

Former state Rep. Andy Holt (no relation) was elevated this week to assistant commissioner for business development for the TN Department of Agriculture. After 10 years in the legislature, Holt went to work for Gov. Lee at $92,700. His new salary will be $112,500, according to the public information officer.

Andy Holt

Holt wrote this bio on Twitter: “Christian, husband, father of seven incredible children, unapologetic conservative, farmer, former state rep for Tennessee’s District 76.” (The same district that was represented by former House Speaker Ned McWherter).

Holt, 40, came to UT-Knoxville to obtain a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and business. He then obtained the MBA from UT-Martin. He was elected to the state House at age 28 and served five 2-year terms. He didn’t seek re-election in 2020, instead beginning his job with the Department of Agriculture. In his new role, he will be based in West Tennessee. As assistant commissioner, Holt will lead division staff in maximizing efforts to increase profitability and viability of farm and forest businesses, according to a press release.

As a legislator, he is perhaps best known as the prime sponsor of the 2016 “Ag gag” bill (HB 1191). Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed the bill, calling it constitutionally suspect.

In 2014, Holt faced a $177,000 fine by the Environmental Protection Agency for dumping waste from his hog farm into a creek that flowed into the Mississippi River. He later negotiated a settlement – no fine but he had to close the storage lagoons, according to press reports here and here. Holt closed his hog farm, concentrating instead on growing pumpkins and making soap.

Nice guy proves Leo Durocher’s maxim

Former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Alabama) will headline the 2022 Truman Day fundraiser on Friday, June 10, at 6 p.m. at Downtown Hilton. Tickets are $75 and sponsorships are available. Info: Matt Shears here.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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