'Saturday Night Live' goes medieval on Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion on abortion

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  22 comments

By:   Henry de Bracton (YahooNews)

'Saturday Night Live' goes medieval on Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion on abortion
"Saturday Night Live" took on the Supreme Court's leaked draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade this weekend.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



"Saturday Night Live" went medieval on Justice Samuel Alito's leaked Supreme Court draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade this weekend.

In the cold open, the show noted that Alito cited a 13th-century treatise by Henry de Bracton that mentions punishment for the killing of a fetus in his opinion.

"The eminent common-law authorities all describe abortion after quickening as criminal," Alito wrote in his opinion. "Henry de Bracton's 13th-century treatise explained that if a person has 'struck a pregnant woman, or has given her poison, whereby he has caused an abortion, if the fetus be already formed and animated - and particularly if it be animated - he commits homicide.'"

Instead of impersonating current political figures like in most cold opens, the sketch show traveled back to the 13th century to visualize Alito's historical reference, which it sarcastically called a "moment of clarity, almost a thousand years ago, which laid such a clear foundation for what our laws should be in 2022."

The sketch opened on guest-host Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) dressed in medieval attire in what appeared to be an English castle wondering to similarly-garbed cast members James Austin Johnson and Andrew Dismukes if there should be a law against abortion.

Pro-choice demonstrators rally for abortion rights in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 7, 2022. Photo by JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

"Like the law we have against pointy shoes?" Johnson asked.

"Or the law that if you hunt deer in the royal forest they cut off your genitals?" Dismukes added.

Cumberbatch said that he wanted to create a law that would "stand the test of time" and that people would look back in hundreds of years and say, "No need to update this one at all. They nailed it back in 1235."

As the three expounded on potential punishments for women who have abortions, Cumberbatch stated, "The worst thing that could happen is if someone leaks this conversation to the town crier."

Story continues

With a dramatic thunderclap, cast member Kate McKinnon theatrically entered the room, waving her hands like a sorceress.

"My God, an ogre!" Cumberbatch cried to which she assured him she was just "a woman in her 30s."

She claimed, though, that she could see the future and that anti-abortion laws would someday be overturned by "something called progress" and that about 50 years after that "they'll be like maybe we should undo the progress."

She added that "no matter how many choices they take away from women, we've always got the choice to keep fighting!"

Cumberbatch called McKinnon's speech "inspiring" but said it suddenly made him realize she was a witch and "we're going to set you on fire!"

Cumberbatch guest-hosted the episode and Arcade Fire was the musical guest.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

 
 
 
Veronica
Masters Expert
1.1  Veronica  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

HILARIOUS!!!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

www.proquest.com   /docview/2661280296

Alito's medieval court is just getting started

5-6 minutes


Many have speculated that Samuel Alito, in his draft opinion overturning   Roe v. Wade , is trying to take us back to the 1950s, when White Christian men still ruled.

The Supreme Court justice is actually revisiting the   1250s , when the judge Henry de Bracton completed his summation of English law and custom "De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae." Alito's opinion, after mocking the   Roe   decision for its "discussion of abortion in antiquity," then provides a discussion of abortion in medieval times: "Henry de Bracton's 13th-century treatise explained that if a person has 'struck a pregnant woman, or has given her poison, whereby he has caused an abortion, if the foetus be already formed and animated . . . he commits homicide.' "

Case closed?

Over the weekend, "Saturday Night Live's" cold open featured a 13th-century Benedict Cumberbatch proposing such a law against abortion (like the "law we have against pointy shoes") and then threatening to burn a witch.

In fairness, Bracton's treatise makes no mention of witches or pointy shoes, according to a searchable version of his work provided by Harvard Law School. But Bracton does have a lot to say about monsters, duels, bastardy, concubines, sturgeon "and other royal fish," the "pillory and the ducking-stool," and "a judgment with infamy."

"Where he ought to be executed by the sword he shall not be put to death in any other way, neither by the axe nor the spear, by cudgels nor by the rope," Bracton informs us. "Similarly, those condemned to be burned alive ought not to be injured by floggings, whippings, or tortures, since many perish while under torture."

So true! Let's take a closer look at the 13th-century work from which Alito draws in his cruel and unusual draft - and perhaps glimpse more of the world to which Alito and his fellow conservatives on the court would return us.

In Bracton's account, "Women differ from men in many respects, for their position is inferior to that of men." Alito didn't cite that passage.

Bracton also outlines procedures for "viewing a woman to discover whether or not she is pregnant" in which "discreet women" should in certain instances "carefully examine her by feeling her breasts and abdomen and in every way" to make sure she wasn't faking. If the exam was inconclusive, the woman could be locked in a "castle at her own cost" where the exam would be repeated daily. Once the woman was found to be pregnant, "the time of conception, how, when, and where, and at what time she believes she is to give birth" was to be made "known to our justices at Westminster."

Should there be suspicion of fraud, Bracton details a requirement to calculate "from the time at which she alleged that she conceived" to determine true fatherhood, as well as the view that "the woman cannot exceed the gestation period by a single day, even where the issue dies in utero or turns into a monster."

Welcome to the post- Roe   world!

In the treatise Alito leans on, women do have certain rights - if they are chaste. "When a virgin is defiled," Bracton writes, "let her defiler be punished in the parts in which he offended. Let him thus lose his eyes which gave him sight of the maiden's beauty for which he coveted her. And let him lose as well the testicles which excited his hot lust." The truth of the victim's accusation would "be ascertained by an examination of her body, made by four law-abiding women sworn to tell the truth as to whether she is a virgin or defiled."

Alito's model does not offer much hope for those trying to salvage American democracy. "The king has no equal within his realm" and "is the vicar of God," Bracton writes, and "there is no greater crime than disobedience." Some men "are above others and rule over them," including dukes, earls and barons, whom kings invest "with great honour, power and name when they gird them with swords, that is, with sword belts. . . . Belts gird the loins of such that they may guard themselves from the luxury of wantonness."

It might surprise today's Republicans that there are more than two genders in Alito's 13th-century inspiration. "Mankind may also be classified in another way: male, female, or hermaphrodite," Bracton writes.

But his view of personhood might raise questions in 21st-century America. Bracton categorizes slaves as property: "this slave, this estate, this horse, this garment." And he explains that "those born of unlawful intercourse, as out of adultery and the like, are not reckoned among children." Those children "born of prohibited intercourse . . . are fit for nothing."

You won't find those passages in Alito's draft opinion, either. But this medieval court is just getting started.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @2    2 weeks ago
The Supreme Court justice is actually revisiting the   1250s

Now thats conservatism on steroids !

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    2 weeks ago
Now thats conservatism on steroids !

Well, they have always considered themselves the opposite of liberal progressives, which makes them conservative regressives.  I think we're just surprised by how regressive they are looking to be.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @2    2 weeks ago
But this medieval court is just getting started.

Alito is reenacting favorite movie lines:  2"I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass."

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.2.1  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2    2 weeks ago

original

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @2.2.1    2 weeks ago

Now that is medieval, today mifepristone and misoprostol, or methotrexate is the modern solution.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.2.3  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

No parental notification required for hangers...

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @2.2.3    2 weeks ago
No parental notification required for hangers...

No parental notification required for the purchase of drugs...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2.5  Tessylo  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2.4    2 weeks ago

Would you rather your wife, daughters, the women in your life, had no rights over their own bodies, their choices?

I asked Vic that question, surprisingly, he never answered!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2.6  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.5    2 weeks ago
Would you rather your wife, daughters, the women in your life, had no rights over their own bodies, their choices?

First, I can understand why some people see it as murder either because of religious beliefs or the inability to scientifically agree on when life begins.  While I understand Alito's legal logic, I would probably be on the side of upholding Roe and Casey albeit with restrictions due to stare decisis.

Personally, with my wife and daughter, I don't see as an all or nothing proposition.  I think full access in the case of the mothers health or for rape or incest is correct for me. I don't have an issue with a waiting period, informed consent or denied access for frivolous reasons like the wrong gender. The harder question is for me is on viability ( a shifting date as medicine improves) and on a fetus with medical issues.  Should a otherwise healthy fetus with Down's be aborted, for example? 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2.7  Tessylo  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2.6    2 weeks ago

"First, I can understand why some people see it as murder either because of religious beliefs or the inability to scientifically agree on when life begins."

We obviously don't see eye to eye.  I and most people don't see it as murder.  Life IMHO begins at viability outside the mothers' womb.  

"I don't have an issue with a waiting period, informed consent or denied access for frivolous reasons like the wrong gender."

Who do you think aborts for such frivolous reasons?

"Should a otherwise healthy fetus with Down's be aborted, for example?"

I don't know that people abort for that reason either.  They probably do.  I myself see that as wrong.

I never had to come to that decision myself, I wouldn't deny it for anyone else.  

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2.8  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.7    2 weeks ago
Who do you think aborts for such frivolous reasons?

" Sex-selective abortions—that is, abortions performed because of the predicted sex of the fetus— occur most frequently where there is a strong gender bias that manifests in a preference for sons. In some countries, such as those in East and South Asia, the widespread practice of sex selection has resulted in skewed sex ratios with a higher number of boys than girls at birth"

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2.9  Tessylo  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2.8    2 weeks ago

I know of people who kept having kids because they wanted to have a son right here in the US.  It's nuts.  My Filipino sister in law is one of (I think) 6 girls because their dad wanted a son.

But to abort because it's not the desired gender, to me, I don't agree with.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.10  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.9    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.2.11  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.9    2 weeks ago
"Should a otherwise healthy fetus with Down's be aborted, for example?"

My dad's sister had 5 girls trying to make her husband happy with a boy. I think she finally told him to bugger off

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

I kind of agree with Chevy Chase on the downward spiral of SNL:

“I don’t want to put down Lorne [Michaels] or the cast, but I’ll just say, maybe off the record, I’m amazed that Lorne has gone so low. I had to watch a little of it, and I just couldn’t f—ing believe it,” Chase told  the Washington Post  during a lengthy interview. The reporter noted that he was very much  on  the record here. “That means a whole generation of s—heads laughs at the worst f—ing humor in the world,” he said. “You know what I mean? How could you dare give that generation worse s— than they already have in their lives? It just drives me nuts.”



The audience is what gives it away. In the early years they laughed. Now it's all jeers & cheers.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    2 weeks ago

From what I've read, a lot of people who know Chevy Chase think he is an asshole. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    2 weeks ago

That's what I've heard too.  What's he done lately?  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    2 weeks ago

You have the habit of ignoring valid points and instead simply smear those you dislike.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.2  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    2 weeks ago
Those of us who have a decent sense of humor laugh.  
I haven't seen much SNL since the days of Eddie Murphy and Phil Hartman but watching some episodes over the last couple of years I've come to love Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong.  Pete Davidson's pretty good, I haven't seen so much of him. 
 
 

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