On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which held that the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right to abortion and overruled both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, thus returning the power to define abortion rights and restrictions to the states. In this edition, host Jonathan Amarilio and co-host Trisha Rich are joined by Michelle Wetzel, General Counsel of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, for a discussion about the Dobbs decision and its impact on women’s ability to access abortion care throughout the United States.
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Jonathan Amarilio: It won’t come as a surprise to our regular listeners that this show often includes discussion of political opinions and beliefs. Please know that any such statements made by our hosts and guests are solely theirs and do not reflect one way or the other the positions of the Chicago Bar Association which is a strictly nonpartisan organization. With that, let’s get to the show.
Jonathan Amarilio: Hello, everyone and welcome to CBA’s @theBar, a podcast where we have unscripted conversations with our guest about legal news, topics, stories and whatever else strikes our fancy. I’m your host, John Amarilio of Taft Law and joining me as co-host is the ever incomparable Trish Rich of Holland & Knight. Hi, Trish.
Trisha Rich: Hey, John! How are you doing today?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’ve been better.
Trisha Rich: Yeah. Well, before you go any further, I do want to let our audience know and congratulate you on being installed as the president of the Appellate Lawyers Association of Illinois. Congratulations, friend.
Jonathan Amarilio: Thank you very much. I’m king nerd(ph) for a year. It’s an honor.
Trisha Rich: I mean, to be fair, you’ve been gunning to be king nerd for a long time, so this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Jonathan Amarilio: It’s important to have ambitions.
Trisha Rich: No, are you the youngest president ever, is that right or no?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m the second youngest, thanks for rubbing it in to meet and beat me by a year. Let’s move on.
Trisha Rich: Oh, man. Congratulations.
Jonathan Amarilio: Thank you. Trish, you know, I suspect you’ll agree with me when I say that the last few weeks of seeing the US Supreme Court hand down some of the most heated and controversial decisions in its modern history. Decades and some cases centuries of case law have been overturned, and a range of issues from firearms regulation to separation between church and state, climate change regulations, administrative law generally and to the topic we’re here to discuss today, abortion and what was a woman’s federally protected constitutional right to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term.
Joining us to discuss that topic is Michelle Wetzel, general counsel of Planned Parenthood Illinois. Before joining Planned Parenthood in 2019 Michelle had a long and impressive career in legal aid, serving as an attorney at Prairie State Legal Services and Legal Assistance Foundation then becoming CEO of Bonaventure House, a living facility for people with HIV/AIDS and struggling with addiction and mental health issues. She then became general counsel to Howard Brown Health where she worked for seven years before becoming GC of Planned Parenthood Illinois. Michelle, thank you for joining us today.
Michelle Wetzel: Thank you so much for having me.
Jonathan Amarilio: So, let’s start with Dobbs, and you know, I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds on the analysis underlying the decision because I know a lot of other great podcasts have done that. But I do want to get your impressions and a few points because well, one, I think it will help inform our audience, and two, is it will provide some framework for our larger discussion about the decision’s consequences and what comes next. So, if you don’t mind, then this is the only reading I’ll do entire podcast, I promise, but I want to read to you what I see is the key provision from the provision, just to kick off the conversation, and Justice Alito for the majority wrote this.
We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such rights implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly relied. The due process clause of the 14th Amendment, that provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the constitution, but any such right must be “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” citing Glucksberg which is interesting. The right to abortion does not fall within this category, and then it goes on to say, Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak and the decision has damaging consequences. And far from bringing about the national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have inflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives. Impressions?
Michelle Wetzel: Well, obviously we think that Alito got it wrong, and that (00:04:16) was guided on this. He talks in the opinion about deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions but he really cherry-picked history. He cherry-picked the history of abortion, and didn’t discuss at all that during the 18th and 19th centuries, abortion of early pregnancy was legal, and that it wasn’t regulated until they were worried about poison control, not about punishing women for having abortion. But none of that is in Alito’s decision, whatsoever. So, I find it interesting that he wants to rely on deeply rooted history and the skips a whole bunch of history.
Jonathan Amarilio: I think that’s exactly right.
And you know, a few other problems, and I know Trish, do you want to weigh in on this? But his approach of the 14th Amendment strikes me as questionable when it comes to abortion for a few more reasons in addition to the ones that you said. First is, when the 14th Amendment was passed shortly after the Civil War, I think it was 1868, women didn’t have the right vote. So, when we were discussing what the law of states was, and what it did and didn’t allow regarding women’s rights, women’s autonomy, we’re discussing laws passed exclusively by men, that women had absolutely no input on, right?
Michelle Wetzel: Exactly right, and he talks about later on in the decision about women having the power to vote now, but that wasn’t true when the amendment was passed as you just said. So, of course it wasn’t in there because it was all written by men and not taking into account women’s needs. I mean, there were lots of things that aren’t itemized in the constitution, but we have found them to be protected under the right to privacy and due process. I’m sure we’ll get into more of those rights as we go along here.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah. It’s also historical to your point to look at I think tradition proceeding the 14th Amendment in particular, because the 14th Amendment along with 13th and 15th Amendment was all about breaking away from that pre-existing tradition, right? It was about protecting those whose rights were not originally enshrined in the constitution. Now, in fairness, I know congress was focused on ending slavery and its vestiges when passing those amendments, but it was subsequently expanded to include women and I don’t think that the court is going back on that proposition at least. So, I guess my point is a long way of saying that if you’re going to be an originalist on the 14th Amendment, you’re not doing a very good job if you’re looking at the law before the 14th Amendment as opposed to the purpose of the 14th Amendment itself.
Michelle Wetzel: Exactly right.
Trisha Rich: I just have to — you know, this is a day — you know, interviewing you Michelle, is something I’ve really been looking forward to, but one of the things I’ve had to do is get to the point in the last 10 days where I can talk about this without literally just like yelling at the sky, and so, we’ll see how I do today. But one of the challenges that I have when I am thinking about this is the block of the court who have this fealty to originalism, which I think is just a complete bullshit first of all. The idea that that legal theory can now govern so many people in the United States when if you have gone up to the vast majority of the founding fathers said to them, you know, just pick one, right? Do you think women should have the right to — you know, he’s going to say, “Wait, wait, wait. Let me stop you right there. I don’t need to hear the rest of the question,” right? It’s infuriating to me. Infuriating is the only word I can think of for it that we have to have all of these people that did not have a seat at that table who were not considered people, who were property or vestiges of their husbands or — you know, that did not have a meaningful say in democracy.
I mean, for women, we’ve barely had the right to vote for a hundred years, and now we have to have people like Samuel Alito tell us that because we haven’t had these rights long enough, they don’t count and they don’t belong in the constitution. It just seems so backwards to me and I’ve had like a really, really hard time reconciling the conversation about that is anything but pure hypocrisy. I mean, how convenient for him, right, that all of his rights are in the constitution and so many of mine aren’t.
Michelle Wetzel: Right, and you can’t hear me nodding my head but I’m nodding my head emphatically and I agree with you the last 10 days have been horrible and sort of screaming. I’ve been crying. So, it’s hard to get through this conversation without being outraged and without feeling a huge range of emotions when — especially over the 4th of July, right? It’s the 4th of July and we’re supposed to be celebrating our freedoms while ours are being systematically stripped away. It’s just so hard to take as a woman in this country right now.
Jonathan Amarilio: So, on that, and kind of touching back on the historical aspect of it, it seems to me that when you look at that pre-history that you and Trish were — pre-Roe history that that you and Trish were just talking about, and you look at like those 19th century statutes that banned abortion, many of which are coming into effect now automatically under trigger laws, do you see that they relied on this openly unashamed paternalistic discriminatory sexist thinking about women’s place in society. You know, they existed to cook, to clean, to bear children.
We note today, under basic constitutional legal protection, juris prudence that laws can’t be based on those kind of outmoded stereotypes and notions. So, do you think that with those laws coming back into effect, they’re subject to attack because of their legislative history?
Michelle Wetzel: That’s a great question. I think there are going to be attacks on all sides, right? There’s going to be attacks on those outmoded laws and there’s going to be attacks on these newfangled laws that are going to be devised to try and enforce these trigger laws. So, it’s going to be interesting on both sides to see how we framed these legal questions. I think it’s going to be litigation, you know? I think these questions are so novel because we all thought it was settled law. These questions are so novel and it’s going to be activist prosecutors who are going to raise these attempts to enforcement and there’s some legislation that’s being attempted to be put in place in protected states but I think it’s going to come down to litigation. I think that’s how these things are going to shake out.
Jonathan Amarilio: I wonder if — and maybe I’m just trying too desperately to look for silver linings here, Trish will give me a nasty look if you think I am. But you know, RBG was famous for thinking that Roe was decided too early, and not on the most solid of grounds on (00:11:47) due process grounds and that would have been on much better footing had it been decided or it had been attacked and decided on equal protection grounds, right? Just for our audience, the argument there would essentially be that for women to be equal to men, they like men, need to have autonomy over their bodies and that would have been much harder to attack if it was decided on that grounds because the debate would have been about weighing the relative rights of pregnant women and the unborn, or wouldn’t be about weighing the relative rights of pregnant women versus the unborn, but rather about controlling one’s own body as a necessary predicate to equality, and that’s a concept I think would be very hard for anyone to deny. On a state-by-state basis, can that debate be had now under state’s equal protection clauses?
Michelle Wetzel: Well, good question. I mean, of course, it could be and as you were talking, I was thinking, would that happen nationally, right? Would we try that argument nationally when of course, we thought we could be successful so that we could have decided under equal protection as RBG suggested. I think so many states are going to take so many different approaches to this. I think it’s going to be all over the map, but you raise a very good possibility, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t or couldn’t be true.
Trisha Rich: I do think it’s naïve though, John, to say that that would be a harder thing for the forced birth crowd or as they like to call themselves, the pro-life crowd, I think that that would be — I don’t agree that it would be harder thing for them to argue about. I think their argument there would be sorry, not sorry, pregnant people, you’re just not equal, right? You’re not equal because men don’t carry babies and so, we can’t treat you equally on this one issues, and we don’t accept that argument. So, I agree with a lot of the legal scholars who think the equal protection clause might have been a better place to ground Roe, but I don’t think that moves the needle for the forced birth people.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, okay, let me look for another silver lining there.
Michelle Wetzel: Good luck.
Trisha Rich: Please. Yeah, please do.
Jonathan Amarilio: All right, I’ll go back to RBG on this, all right? Another one of the criticisms she had for Roe which I think I mentioned about it being decided too early was that it took a lot of wind out of the sails of the Women’s Rights Movement because people just sort of took their foot off the pedal in pursuing those rights because they were now considered to be enshrined in the constitution and she thought that the political momentum would have gotten us there eventually anyway, and that that would have been a more solid grounding, less subject to culture war, essentially than the decision in Roe. Will this decision in Dobbs now reinvigorate the Women’s Rights Movement and start doing at the ballot box what perhaps we can’t do in the federal court house?
Michelle Wetzel: Well, it’s the hope, right? I mean, I think she was right in her observation, and you know, this was a systematic decades-long pursuit for the republican rights. This didn’t happen overnight and I think we were — I think we didn’t fall asleep a little bit and took Roe for granted and the republican right was crafting this and crafting the composition of the Supreme Court over decades to make this happen. I hope it doesn’t take us decades to undo this.
Trisha Rich: I do think that’s such a good point, Michelle, because you know, I do a lot of work in democratic activist communities. As you know, I sit on the Board of Personal Pact which is a nonpartisan pact based in Illinois that works to get abortion rights activists into office. I remember getting a fundraising call maybe about four, five or six years ago. My main point is like, I’m pretty not super knowledgeable in this area, but probably more knowledgeable than the average bear in this particular area. I got a fundraising call like five or six years ago, of somebody telling me like, “Oh, the court’s going to overturn Roe,” and I was like, “Stop, stop, stop, the court is going to overturn Roe.” Like, I’ll give you money ACLU or however it was but like, this scare tactic is not — you know, not helpful for thoughtful people because we know that the court is not going to do this.
I had always based it on this belief that the republicans needed Roe. They needed Roe to fundraise, they needed Roe to get their people at the polls, and I thought it was paper tiger to them that they would never actually overturn Roe because they needed it to drive their base so much. I feel sheepish that I was wrong about that and I realize now that they have all these other things that they care about, like contraception and gay marriage and gay adoption and crossing state lines for commerce and healthcare, and all these other things. The guns, right? I mean, as it turns out I guess there’s a lot of things that will get people to the polls to vote for the Mitch McConnells of the world.
Michelle Wetzel: Yeah, absolutely right and to John’s point, now it’s our turn. Now, it’s our turn to get the feminist movement riled up again and get people to the polls. That’s the only thing that’s going to save us here and my view is to get the people who are sitting on the sidelines. I mean, we just had our primaries, right? The turnout was abysmal because nobody cares and especially in the younger demographics, the turnout was the worst, and it’s folks who are so checked out or even have anti-government sentiment, I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean that they don’t participate in the governmental process of voting because they think that it doesn’t affect them or doesn’t concern them. I think connecting with those voters and getting them to the polls is our strategy, has to be our strategy.
Trisha Rich: So, to that end, we have two Supreme Court seats up in Illinois this year, right?
Michelle Wetzel: Right.
Trisha Rich: Can you talk about that a little bit?
Michelle Wetzel: Not knowledgeable but I can try. I mean, one’s in your district, right, that hasn’t had a Supreme Court seat (00:18:42) so I think it’s critical that those two seats be progressive judges. I hate even talking like this, right, because it’s not supposed to be a political — this must be judicial. Well, here is our reality, and so, it’s incredibly important for people to come out and vote on those two Supreme Court seats in Illinois because the Reproductive Health Act cold be at risk, could very, very, very well be at risk. It could be overturned as easily as Roe was overturned if we have the wrong folks sitting in the Illinois Supreme Court.
Trisha Rich: And I guess for our listeners, I should say that right now, Illinois has a democratic governor, a democratic house, a democratic senate and a democratic nonpartisan Supreme Court, it has four democrats and three republicans on it, and two of those seats are up this year, which could conceivably flip the court.
Jonathan Amarilio: Although I do think it’s also in fairness, important to add that the Illinois Supreme Court is much less ideological and partisan than the US Supreme Court.
Trisha Rich: That could not be more true. I mean, get that tattooed on your body somewhere down, it could not be more true.
Jonathan Amarilio: I do. That’s where I practice. That’s why I like it. So, let’s take a quick break there and we’ll come back and talk about consequences. We’ll be right back.
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Jonathan Amarilio: And we’re back. So, Michelle, let’s talk about the immediate and long term consequences for women here and Illinois and throughout the nation I supposed as well. It just strikes me that if you look at a map, there is only a small handful of states between Appalachia and the Rocky Mountains where abortion is likely to remain legal post stops, Illinois being among them. And Illinois, I think it’s entirely surrounded by states where either because of trigger laws, which we mentioned before, snapping law back the pre-Roe status quo or because of pending legislation. It is the only state where abortion is likely to remain legal.
Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan — Trish, there you go, I’m mentioning Michigan an episode — all likely to be illegal there. So, what does that mean for women in Illinois? Obviously, those still have the right, but I imagine the fact that we are surrounded by states where women won’t have that right is going to impact their access to that, right?
Michelle Wetzel: So, I can’t say this strongly enough that our doors at Planned Parenthood of Illinois are open. People are confused because of everything they’ve heard about Roe, and I just want to make sure everyone knows that the doors of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in Illinois are open and that abortion is available. Now to your point, Jon, we’re going to be inundated. We are going to be inundated with women coming to us from all the states you mentioned. We are anticipating 20,000 to 30,000 more women coming from out of state to Illinois to seek an abortion.
Jonathan Amarilio: Can you handle that kind of quantity? So, what we’re doing is ramping up in every way that we can. In the last few years, we have opened more health centers. We opened the health center in Waukegan closer to the Wisconsin border. We opened a health center in Flossmoor closer to the Indiana border. There are other providers in Southern Illinois that are closer to those states, and we are looking for more providers, more support staff. There are staffs from other states who are looking to come to Illinois to help us, but we are looking for help from the governor as well.
One of the things we’ve been asking for is APNs or advance practice nurses. In their scope of practice, it’s currently unclear in Illinois law about whether they’re allowed to provide procedural abortions. And we’ve asked this administration to clarify that, so that that would expand the pool of folks who can provide abortion in Illinois. We are also asking for expedited licensing for out-of-state providers when they come to Illinois, so that they do not have to wait a really long time for their Illinois license to be approved. And we’re asking for funding, because we are going to need funding to help us build our infrastructure, pay for more providers and strengthen our everything to meet the demand.
Trish Rich: You’re building a new facility in Carbondale too, right? I thought I read that somewhere recently.
Michelle Wetzel: There is another provider from Tennessee where I am currently speaking to you from, called CHOICES that is opening in Carbondale.
Trish Rich: And you also in the last few years opened one on the Missouri border, on the Illinois side of the Missouri border. Where is that one?
Michelle Wetzel: It’s not the Planned Parenthood of Illinois affiliate interestingly. It’s the Planned Parenthood that I think they’ve just changed their name to Great Rivers based in Missouri, and they built just across the border in Illinois to help serve Missouri patients.
And they are taking enormous heat from Missouri and Missouri legislation. And Missouri is absolutely going to try and prevent providers in Illinois from serving Missouri people who seek abortions.
Trish Rich: I see that coming down the pipeline, which I also think is crazy, because people leave their home state to be treated medically for all kinds of things, right?
Michelle Wetzel: Absolutely, yeah.
Trish Rich: I want to talk a little bit over the weekend about a story that broke in the news about a 10-year-old girl in Ohio. Now I know you’re on vacation, but did you read this story?
Michelle Wetzel: I did see the story, yes.
Trish Rich: Yeah. So, for the people that didn’t see it, there is a 10-year-old rape survivor in Ohio who became pregnant as a result of her rape, and her Ohio doctor determined that she was six weeks and three days pregnant and thus could not treat her in Ohio for an abortion and they sent her to Indiana. I actually spent the holiday weekend in Indiana, so this was a big story there, because at first I think ran on the Indianapolis Star. And they were able to get her into Indiana to have the abortion, but Indiana’s only a few weeks away from what looks like banning such procedures as well. So, it seems like if you’re as far east as Ohio, as far south as Louisiana and Mississippi, it may be just far west as Kansas, Wyoming, Illinois is going to become the only choice for you soon, right?
Michelle Wetzel: That’s right. That’s absolutely right. And I read that story as well and I was thinking about poor little girl, and she would’ve had to come to Illinois and we would’ve had taken care of her here. And it must be heartbreaking for those physicians in Ohio to had to have turned away that 10-year-old girl and that they couldn’t do what they were trained as medical professionals to do. The whole thing is just crazy.
Jonathan Amarilio: And she would’ve had to have the resources to travel across multiple states, which many women will not have that ability to leave their jobs, to afford the hotel, possible flights, that kind of thing.
Michelle Wetzel: And that as we know will affect the poor and women of color the most. This is just one more way that people of color will be disenfranchised again more.
Jonathan Amarilio: I know Planned Parenthood does a lot of really important work like just standard reproductive work for women, pap smears, everything particularly for underprivileged women. Will Planned Parenthood still be operating in these other states? What’s the strategic plan to keep offering those services in the other states or to consolidate in the states where abortion is still legal to build out those services that you were talking about before to ensure that women coming to states like Illinois can have access to all that? What’s the strategic outlook?
Michelle Wetzel: It’ll probably be a state by state affiliate-affiliate analysis based on how they can keep their doors opened, but of course the goal would be to be able to still provide all the reproductive health care and (00:28:50) healthcare services, contraceptive services in those states that can’t provide abortion that those other services would still be available to the women in those states. In fact, we will probably look to those nearby states to help us do those services for our patients, so that we’re freed up to do the abortions then only we’ll be able to do.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay. So, I’m glad that you brought up contraceptive services, because just as Thomas and his concurring opinion and Dobbs put Griswold v. Connecticut that 1965 decision declaring married couples had a right to contraceptions squarely in the crosshairs saying that we’re attacking substantive due process is a right here, so that means Griswold comes into question that means Lawrence v. Texas, the decision validating sodomy laws and making same sex activity legal into question. Obergefell obviously, the 2015 case establishing same sex right to marriage. He said those are all up for debate now, because we’re undermining substantive due process.
Now, I know Alito and Kavanaugh said, “No, no, no. Abortion’s different. We’re not going there but the court and to be fair, the right and left side of the court have had a long history of making those kinds of promises and then breaking them as soon as possible.” So, where do you see that happening? Griswold v. Connecticut is so foundational.
Trish Rich: Your party of small government, right? I want to be in your bedroom and tell you what to do.
Jonathan Amarilio: Griswold and Obergefell, do you see that happening?
Michelle Wetzel: I think Griswold is more problematic than the others. I think everybody uses contraception. I think that was going to be harder for them to take away. But I think that Lawrence and Obergefell are definitely, definitely at risk. And being a member of the LGBT community, I’m terrified of that. And I think that we’ve been so happy about gaining those rights and they’re fairly recent that we haven’t thought about, “Oh my God, what if that was taken away?” So, we don’t want to make the same mistake that we made with Roe and think that they’re safe. I think we’ll have to mobilize to try and protect those as well, but I don’t know. Unless it’s codified, it’s a risk. It’s a risk in the exact same way. And wasn’t it interesting that Clarence Thomas didn’t mention Loving, which affects him personally?
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah. I think that was an equal protection case.
Trish Rich: Yeah, that would be his argument. But again, isn’t it so convenient that Mr. Alito and Mr. Thomas’s interests are just protected in a way than ours aren’t?
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah, but you both see the argument coming. Alito based this decision on the idea that the right to abortion isn’t deeply rooted in our history and tradition, and he could certainly say the same thing about a Obergefell at the very least. And now, I think that would be a bit of a harder lift, because a big part of the Dobbs’s decision and his argument that it was okay to undermine the concept or that he wasn’t undermining the concept of stare decisis, because there wasn’t much reliance on the right to abortion, because it’s purely future activity. Obviously, same sex couples that have gotten married since Obergefell was handed down that that argument could not be made the reliance interest is huge and fundamental, so that might be a harder lift, but the court said that before.
Trish Rich: Yeah. One thing I want to say about Casey, Jon, is just for the people that are listening that don’t know. We’ve talked a lot about the fall of Roe, but Casey is also really interesting, because Casey, one of the laws that was invalidated there was the fact that if you were a pregnant person seeking an abortion, you had to tell your husband. And that is how the law is written in Casey that was struck down. It was if you’re a pregnant woman, you have to tell your husband. But that’s back on the table.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah, I don’t see why not. Certainly throughout Alito’s decision, he talks about Roe and Casey as essentially one body of jurisprudence. All right, let’s take a break and come back to Stranger than Legal Fiction, because this is getting depressing quick.
Trish Rich: I know.
Jonathan Amarilio: We’ll be right back.
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Jonathan Amarilio: And we’re back with Stranger than Legal Fiction, which will hopefully be slightly uplifting way to end this conversation today. Our audience knows the rules. They’re pretty simple. Trish and I have done a little research. We found one law that is real. We’ve made another one up. We’re going to quiz each other and Michelle to see who can distinguish strange fact from fiction. Michelle, are you ready?
Michelle Wetzel: Ready as I’m going to be.
Jonathan Amarilio: Trish, are you ready?
Trish Rich: Yeah and I think I should go first today, because if we have any chance of ending on an uplifting note, it’s with you.
Jonathan Amarilio: Great. Okay, all right, after you then.
Trish Rich: Okay. So, here are the two laws I selected for today. In Jordan, a woman must obtain her husband’s permission to get a job outside of the home or in Malta, a testimony from a man in a legal proceeding is by law witted more heavily than testimony from women.
Jonathan Amarilio: That’s a good one.
Trish Rich: Fun, right?
Jonathan Amarilio: Michelle, what do you think? Which one’s real?
Michelle Wetzel: I think the Jordan one is real.
Jonathan Amarilio: Why?
Michelle Wetzel: Because I don’t know anything about Malta?
Trish Rich: Jon, what do you think?
Jonathan Amarilio: I’m trying to remember if Malta is in the European Union, which I think matters, because we know that European Union has certain basic human rights standards. And I know Malta was founded by stray wondering crusaders who probably had somewhat let’s say not modern views of the relations between men and women.
Trish Rich: This is why Jon’s a nerd, Michelle. Go ahead, Jon.
Michelle Wetzel: It’s because that he knows clearly way more about Malta than I do.
Trish Rich: Right.
Jonathan Amarilio: I do not think Malt’s in the EU, so I’m going to say the Jordan option is real.
Trish Rich: You are both correct. And that was a surprise to me, because I have a client in Jordan and I’ve been there and I think of it as being in more western area for that part of the world, and that is correct. In Jordan, a woman must obtain her husband’s permission to get a job outside of the home that is true in 18 countries: Bahrain, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Niger, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, UAE, West Bank and Gaza and Yemen. The Malta law is not true in Malta, but it is true in 16 other countries, which I won’t name. But I thought as I said not exactly uplifting, it’s not a funny one today. But in spirit of women’s rights being attacked in other places, I thought I would keep with the theme. So, Jon, I hope you have something uplifting.
Jonathan Amarilio: Wow. That’s a heck of a spirit to be.
Trish Rich: I know. I’m sorry.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay. I’m going to go in the opposite direction here.
Trish Rich: Okay. It’s not as bad as your Chinese people running people over a law from a few weeks ago.
Jonathan Amarilio: I was addressing a major social issue. Okay.
Trish Rich: Go ahead.
Jonathan Amarilio: All right, option number one. In Quitman, Georgia, you never need to ask why a chicken cross the road, because allowing it to do so in the first place is per se illegal. That’s option number one. Option number two, in appropriately named Salmon, Idaho, it is illegal to poach Salmon when preparing it for commercial purposes for groups of 20 or more persons. But pan-frying, roasting, pan-searing, broiling and or baking is permissible for the same purpose and the same group size. So, chickens crossing the road or poaching salmon? Michelle, which one’s real?
Michelle Wetzel: I am going with chickens crossing the road.
Jonathan Amarilio: Why?
Michelle Wetzel: Because chickens don’t have the same protection as other fowl in Georgia. I don’t know.
Jonathan Amarilio: Trish, what do you think?
Trish Rich: Under our time tested rule of the crazier it is the more likely it is to be real, I think it’s probably the Salmon law. But I also think of salmon as being something that’s just regulated a little bit more heavily, so I’m going to choose the Idaho law.
Jonathan Amarilio: And Michelle, you win.
Trish Rich: Oh good. I love it when the guest wins.
Jonathan Amarilio: Chapter 8, Article I, Section 8-1 of the Municipal Code of Quitman, Georgia makes it “Unlawful for any purpose owning or controlling chickens, ducks, geese or any other domestic fowl to allow the same to run at large upon the streets or alley of the city.” So, Michelle, chickens do have the same rights as other fowl in Georgia, which is none.
Michelle Wetzel: I got the fun legal reasoning but at the right results, so I don’t know if that’s bad.
Trish Rich: Okay, a win’s a win. Michelle, before we sign off, I just want to thank you for all that you are doing for the people of the State of Illinois. It’s been a real pleasure for us to have you on here. And you’re a hero of ours, and mine at least. I’m not going to speak for Jon. But thank you for everything that you guys are doing in Planned Parenthood. I know you have some tough days ahead, but I hope there is at some point a light at the end of that tunnel.
Michelle Wetzel: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
We’re doing the best we can, and we’re going to need everybody’s support to help us get through this and to help the women who are coming to us for care.
Trish Rich: I’ll just reiterate that as you said earlier like please for the love of God, go vote, right? Everybody, just go vote. Jon, take us home.
Jonathan Amarilio: I was just going to say I want to echo those thanks, Michelle. I also want to thank my co-host Trish Rich, our executive producer Jen Byrne, Adam Lockwood on sound, and everyone at the Legal Talk Network Family. Remember, you can follow us, send us comments, questions, episode ideas or just troll us on Facebook, Instagram and Tweeter @CBAatthebar. You can also email us at [email protected]. Please also rate and leave us your feedback on Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, Audible, or wherever you download your podcasts. It helps us get the word out. Until next time for everyone here at the CBA, thank you for joining us and we’ll see you soon At The Bar.