Monday, May 9, 2022
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Monday, May 9, 2022

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Why We’ve Decided to Tell You the Criminal Records of the Men Shot in Kenosha

Update: A Wisconsin jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges on Nov. 19, 2021. Read our story on the verdict here. Read all of our Rittenhouse exclusives here.

We’ve decided to tell you the criminal histories of the three men, including Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who were involved in the Kenosha shooting in Wisconsin. Here’s why.

We think the public is entitled to know all of the context to properly understand what unfolded that night. The Kenosha County District Attorney charged Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Anthony M. Huber; with first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting death of Joseph D. Rosenbaum; and with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for wounding Gaige Grosskreutz. Read the criminal complaint here. Rittenhouse’s attorney says he acted in self-defense when attacked by what the lawyer called a vicious mob. You can read the lawyer’s statement here.

Rittenhouse was acquitted by a jury.

(Note: See some of our other exclusives here, including video of arson suspects starting a Kenosha business on fire, and an eyewitness who says he saw a man with a walkie-talkie directing carloads of people right before the arson fires broke out. We also found shell casings Kenosha police missed at the first Rittenhouse shooting scene. Wisconsin’s largest newspaper, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, argued that readers shouldn’t get to know the shot men’s criminal records. Read our column explaining why they’re wrong here.)

The jurors have not learned details of these histories. These are the criminal histories of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz:


Joseph Rosenbaum

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Joseph rosenbaums facebook profile picture.

Joseph Don Rosenbaum lived in Kenosha. He had an open case for misdemeanor bail jumping that was filed on July 30, 2020.

The conditions of bond read: “Not to Possess or Consume Alcohol. *Not To Possess or Consume Controlled Substances w/o a Prescription. No contact including the residence, electronic or 3rd party with: Kariann S, Park Ridge Inn.”

Rosenbaum also had open misdemeanor cases for battery (domestic abuse) and disorderly conduct (domestic abuse).

Court documents obtained by Wisconsin Right Now from the Pima County (Arizona) Clerk of Courts confirm Rosenbaum was charged by a grand jury with 11 counts of child molestation and inappropriate sexual activity with children, including anal rape, masturbation, oral sex, and showing minors pornography. The victims were five boys ranging in age from nine to 11 years old. He was convicted of two amended counts as part of a plea deal. See those documents here.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Joseph d. Rosenbaum inmate photo from arizona

News articles say Joseph “Jojo” Rosenbaum was the father of a 2-year-old girl. He was 36-years-old. No Joseph Rosenbaum is found on the Wisconsin sex offender registry right now, but he may have been removed because he’s deceased. Screenshots and city databases show that he was on that registry for sexual contact with a minor case out of Arizona.

We asked the Wisconsin Department of Corrections if they had a Joseph Rosenbaum on the registry before and they said yes and they were notified he’s now deceased. See their response to us here:

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

The conviction date was 2002. It gives his nickname as JoJo.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

We contacted the Arizona Department of Corrections, and they confirmed that the middle name and date of birth for the Arizona offender is the same as those of the Joseph Rosenbaum with the Kenosha address in Wisconsin court records. And the Facebook page of the Joseph Rosenbaum who was shot by Rittenhouse indicates he’s engaged to Kariann, confirming the CCAP entries. The Wisconsin and Arizona initial offense dates are also the same.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Wisconsin court record

The Arizona inmate page for Rosenbaum through the Department of Corrections there shows multiple violations for things like assaulting staff, throwing substances, assault by weapon, disobeying orders, and so on.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Arisona prison history for joseph d. Rosenbaum.

His Facebook page confirms ties to Arizona and says he’s from Waco, Texas.

Rosenbaum was released from a hospital, where he went for a suicide attempt, the day of the shootings. He had bipolar disorder.

Testimony during the trial described him as belligerent, issuing threats to Rittenhouse, and agitated throughout the night, as well as being involved in an arson fire.

The complaint says that Rosenbaum did “initially try to engage the defendant. (Richie) McGinnis (an eyewitness) stated that as the defendant was walking Rosenbaum was trying to get closer to the defendant. When Rosenbaum advanced, the defendant did a ‘juke’ move and started running,” according to the complaint. “McGinnis said that the unarmed guy (Rosenbaum) was trying to get the defendant’s gun. McGinnis demonstrated by extending both of his hands in a quick grabbing motion and did that as a visual on how Rosenbaum tried to reach for the defendant’s gun…McGinnis said that he definitely made a motion that he was trying to grab the barrel of the gun. McGinnis stated that the defendant pulled it away and then raised it.”


Gaige Paul Grosskreutz

Grosskreutz’s arrest history from the state Department of Justice is lengthy. There are multiple dismissed cases, including a felony conviction that was expunged.

In January 2021, he was accused of second-offense drunk driving. Prosecutors moved for the case to be dismissed after a hearing, and it was.

Gaige Paul Grosskreutz has a forfeiture case for not showing obedience to officers, as well as one for loud noises.

He was convicted of a criminal misdemeanor in 2016 for going armed with a firearm while intoxicated. He gave a West Allis address.

People on social media are alleging that Grosskreutz is a Wisconsin felon. However, he has no felony convictions in the Wisconsin court system. This old archived web page alleges he was arrested on burglary charges, but nothing comes up in the court website for that case. However, the DOJ history we linked to above shows a more extensive arrest history as well as the expunged felony conviction. He confirmed in court that he has one criminal conviction. It’s for this:

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

Online records show he’s affiliated with The People’s Revolution, the Milwaukee-area protest group that has been protesting at Mayfair Mall and elsewhere. The man accused of attacking and shooting at Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah was also affiliated with that group.

He was also accused of prowling by West Allis police. The police report accuses him of “lurking” in an area where police keep their private vehicles, videotaping them. We have a call into municipal court to obtain the disposition. They said he was found guilty of loitering.

 

 


Anthony M. Huber

Anthony huber
Anthony huber facebook picture

Huber had a disorderly conduct conviction from 2018 as a domestic abuse repeater, which is a misdemeanor. He gave a Kenosha address. Here are the charges in that case.

940.19(1) Battery Misd. A Dismissed on Prosecutor’s Motion
Modifier: 939.62(1)(a) Repeater
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

2 947.01(1) Disorderly Conduct Misd. B Guilty Due to Guilty Plea
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.62(1)(a) Repeater

He also had a forfeiture case for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber criminal records explored
Huber mugshot in past case

He also had a case from 2012 with these charges:

1 941.30(2) 2nd-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety Felony G Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 939.63(1)(c) Use of a Dangerous Weapon
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

2 940.235(1) Strangulation and Suffocation Felony H Guilty Due to Guilty Plea
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

3 940.30 False Imprisonment Felony H Guilty Due to Guilty Plea
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.63(1)(b) Use of a Dangerous Weapon

4 940.19(1) Battery Misd. A Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.63(1)(a) Use of a Dangerous Weapon

5 947.01(1) Disorderly Conduct Misd. B Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse
Modifier: 939.63(1)(a) Use of a Dangerous Weapon

6 947.01(1) Disorderly Conduct Misd. B Charge Dismissed but Read In
Modifier: 968.075(1)(a) Domestic Abuse

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

This is Huber’s incarceration history from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber
Joseph rosenbaum & anthony huber

There are no contact orders in those cases and he was ordered not to possess weapons.

Huber’s criminal history came up in court; the prosecutors presented a relative as a character witness, but the defense said if the prosecution continued down that path they would reveal the other side to Huber.

“[Anthony] Huber told his brother that if he didn’t start cleaning a room in his house he was going to gut him like a pig,” Rittenhouse’s lawyer Corey Chirafisi said in court adding, according to The New York Post that Huber “did this while holding a 6-inch butcher’s knife to the brother’s stomach.”

“Huber grabbed his brother by the neck, dug his nails in and choked him for approximately ten seconds,” Chirafisi said. “He put a knife to his brother’s left ear and his brother felt it cut.”

He said: “I’m going to burn the house down with all you f—kers in it,” that defense attorney said.

Gaige Grosskreutz, Joseph Rosenbaum & Anthony Huber Criminal Records Explored

The media have largely sanitized the criminal histories of these three men.

The bottom line: Rosenbaum was a registered sex offender who was out on bond for a domestic abuse battery accusation and was caught on video acting aggressively earlier that night. Huber was a felon convicted in a strangulation case who was recently accused of domestic abuse. Grosskreutz was convicted of a crime for use of a firearm while intoxicated and was armed with a handgun when shot (he testified in court that he carried it concealed despite having an expired permit; Wisconsin law requires a valid permit to carry a weapon concealed).

Here’s a video that shows Rosenbaum acting aggressively shortly before the shooting. He’s in the red shirt.

To be clear, we don’t think the criminal history of everyone shot and killed is relevant in crime stories. We also don’t believe that anyone deserves to be shot because they have a criminal history, and that’s true of these three men. We also acknowledge that human beings are complex, and the men surely had good aspects to their personalities.

What makes their criminal histories relevant for the public to at least consider: The three men who were shot had placed themselves in the midst of a scene of violent rioting that, for days, included lawless anarchy (there were arson fires in the area that night too), and the defendant is on video saying earlier that he was there to prevent damage to people and property. All three men were confronting Rittenhouse when shot and two were trying to grab his gun; in the first case, Rittenhouse was running away, and in the second situation, he tried to but fell. That’s from the criminal complaint.

Rosenbaum was also caught on video using a racial slur earlier that night. “Shoot me (n word),” he says in the video. Multiple eyewitnesses told Wisconsin Right Now at the scene that they believe Rittenhouse was arguing with men who were starting an arson fire before the shootings because he was upset about the fire. Video does show a dumpster fire.

The witnesses believed this ignited the argument between Rittenhouse and the first victim. The complaint does not explain what authorities believe instigated that first argument. It’s certainly consistent with Rittenhouse’s behavior earlier in the night, though, as he was seen cleaning up graffiti, protecting a used car lot (used car lots had already been targets of serious vandalism and arson), and walking around with a medic bag.

“A person with the red shirt was arguing,” Delreno Jackson, one of those witnesses, said in an interview at the scene. Rosenbaum was wearing a red shirt that night. Jackson said that a garbage can was thrown after Rittenhouse was upset that Black Lives Matter protesters were lighting a fire. We observed the garbage can lying toppled over in the street inside the crime scene tape. Video does mention a man in a red shirt being in a confrontation with Rittenhouse in the earlier shooting (this was later determined to be Rosenbaum).

The criminal complaint alleges that Rosenbaum was trailing Rittenhouse, threw a plastic bag at him, initially tried to engage him, advanced toward him, and was trying to grab Rittenhouse’s gun when he was shot. It says that Rittenhouse, 17, was trying to evade Rosenbaum. The New York Times says a gunshot fired by an unknown person was heard right before Rittenhouse fired (he was later identified as Joshua Ziminski). Others were also chasing Rittenhouse at the time, video shows.

Some believed from the start that Rittenhouse had a self-defense argument, which would make the perceived or real dangerousness of men confronting or trailing him more arguably relevant. He was, in fact, acquitted based on self-defense.

The complaint says Huber was also trying to grab Rittenhouse’s gun and his skateboard made physical contact with Rittenhouse right before Rittenhouse shot him. Rittenhouse fell after being chased down the street, and photos and videos show him being struck with the skateboard as multiple people come toward him.

Huber’s loved ones have called him a hero, a narrative widely circulating online. Was he? Could the truth be complicated? Is it at least possible that Huber thought he was confronting an active shooter (which would certainly be a heroic act) because he didn’t see what happened in the earlier shooting with Rosenbaum, but Rittenhouse thought he was being attacked, first by Rosenbaum and then by Huber and others? Huber’s shooting occurred seconds after another unidentified man jumped at and over Rittenhouse, who fired at him, but missed, the complaint says. “Get his ass,” someone shouted around this time.

Grosskreutz was moving toward Rittenhouse when shot and holding a handgun, the complaint says.

There are certainly questions about why a 17-year-old had also injected himself, without parental supervision, into a scene of criminal unrest, although it turned out he was legally allowed to carry the gun. We would print Rittenhouse’s criminal history too, but he doesn’t have one; the only thing that comes up for him in Wisconsin courts is two traffic tickets (and the extradition case in Illinois.) People are spreading the criminal record of another Kyle Rittenhouse around the Internet, but that man is much older and isn’t him.

For all of these reasons, we decided not to censor the men’s criminal histories. You can decide how relevant you think they are.

Colluded With Social Media

AGs Sue Biden Administration Over Claims It Colluded With Social Media Giants to Censor Speech

(The Center Square) – As states push back against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ plan to combat “disinformation,” two attorneys general sued him, President Joe Biden, and other top officials over claims they colluded with social media companies to censor speech.

The attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana Monroe Division. They sued Biden, former press secretary Jen Psaki, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Mayorkas, the new director of DHS’ “Disinformation Governance Board” Nina Jankowicz, and others.

The attorneys general say Biden and his officials colluded with big tech companies, including Meta, Twitter, and Youtube, to censor truthful information about a range of issues – including the coronavirus, election integrity and Hunter Biden’s laptop – under the guise of combating “misinformation.”

Biden and his officials “coerced, threatened, and pressured social-media platforms to censor disfavored speakers and viewpoints by using threats of adverse government action,” and are “now directly colluding with social-media platforms to censor disfavored speakers and viewpoints,” the AGs argue. Doing so violates the First Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, and exceeds statutory authority, the AGs argue. DHS creating a disinformation board also violates federal statutes, the complaint, filed Thursday, alleges.

“In direct contravention to the First Amendment and freedom of speech, the Biden Administration has been engaged in a pernicious campaign to both pressure social media giants to censor and suppress speech and work directly with those platforms to achieve that censorship in a misguided and Orwellian campaign against ‘misinformation,’” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said.

“Big Tech has become an extension of Biden’s Big Government, and neither are protecting the freedoms of Americans; rather, they are suppressing truth and demonizing those who think differently,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said. “Ripped from the playbook of Stalin and his ilk, Biden has been colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech and propagandize the masses. We are fighting back to ensure the rule of law and prevent the government from unconstitutional banning, chilling, and stifling of speech.”

They point to examples of then presidential candidate Biden seeking to have social media companies censor speech. In a Jan. 17, 2020, interview with the New York Times editorial board, Biden said Section 230 should be revoked because social-media companies weren’t doing enough to censor information. He also “suggested that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should be subject to civil liability and even criminal prosecution for not censoring enough political speech,” the brief alleges.

It also points to examples of Psaki and Murthy stating in press briefings that Facebook and social media platforms should be doing more to combat health “misinformation.” Schmitt has been posting clips of their remarks on Twitter.

“We’re saying we expect more from our technology companies," Murthy said. …. We’re asking them to monitor misinformation more closely. We’re asking them to consistently take action against misinformation super-spreaders on their platforms,” the complaint points out.

Psaki also told reporters, “‘[W]e are in regular touch with these social media platforms, and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff, but also members of our COVID-19 team, given, as Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.’ She added, ‘We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.’”

Last February, in the wake of Spotify’s move to add advisory warnings to Joe Rogan’s podcast, Psaki said, “… we want every platform to continue doing more to call out … mis- and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information.”

The lawsuit also points to Facebook censoring posts after Fauci, “coordinating with others, orchestrated a campaign to discredit the lab-leak hypothesis in early 2020,” the complaint states. “At the same time as he was orchestrating a campaign to falsely discredit the lab-leak theory, Dr. Fauci was exchanging emails with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, regarding the control and dissemination of COVID-19 information.”

Facebook has been partnering “with government experts, health authorities and researchers to take ‘aggressive action against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines to protect public health,’” according to statements made by Facebook cited in the complaint.

The AGs point to Twitter’s policy of labeling and removing posts by anyone claiming face masks don’t prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and to Youtube censoring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after they questioned mask efficacy.

The lawsuit was filed after they joined 18 other AGs in demanding that Mayorkas immediately disband DHS’s disinformation board. Schmitt also expressed alarm about comments made by its new director.

She’s “called for more aggressive censorship of election-related speech by social-media platforms, and has implied that social-media censorship of election-related speech should never relent or be reduced,” he said.

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DHS Continues to Defend ‘Disinformation Bureau,’ DeSantis, Kennedy Fight Back

(The Center Square) – Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas continues to be on the defensive after announcing the creation of a new “misinformation and disinformation governance board” he first described at a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said Florida flat out rejected the bureau, and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, grilled Mayorkas about it in a Senate Appropriations hearing.

But before their pushback, Mayorkas received widespread criticism from left- and right-leaning individuals and groups. On Sunday, he went on talk shows, and issued a fact sheet about the board on Monday justifying its purpose.

DeSantis and Kennedy weren’t persuaded.

Speaking at a news conference in Clearwater about environmental projects, DeSantis said, “As if they don’t have enough issues to deal with, they now have an idea, and I honestly thought this was a belated April Fool’s joke, but they are actually going to create in the Department of Homeland Security a Bureau of Disinformation. It’s basically a Ministry of Truth,” he said, referring to the bureau created by Big Brother to spy on and control a fictional citizenry in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984.”

Referring to the Biden administration, he said, “they want to be able to put out false narratives without people being able to speak out and fight back. They want to be able to say things like ‘Russia collusion’ and perpetuate hoaxes and have people like us be silenced. They want people to be able to advocate for COVID lockdowns … for school closures, things that are not supported by the evidence. But then when you speak out they want to stifle dissent.”

“We reject this bureau in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said to applause and cheers.

Initially, Mayorkas said the bureau was established to combat threats to election security and homeland security.

“We are disseminated information to the secretaries of state,” he testified. “We are counseling them and providing resources to ensure better physical security. We are addressing all aspects of election security. Given of course, the midterm elections that are upon us and the fundamental integrity of our democratic process that is at stake.”

He told Fox News Sunday’s Bret Baier in response to criticism, “I really need to clarify. This is a working group that takes best practices to make sure that in addressing disinformation that presents a threat to the homeland that our work does not infringe on free speech.

“It’s not about speech, it’s about the connectivity to violence,” Mayorkas pivoted, suggesting the board would be focusing on anti-Semitic violence.

However, in a fact sheet published on Monday, DHS stated the board’s purpose was “on disinformation that threatens the security of the American people, including disinformation spread by foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran, or other adversaries such as transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling organizations. Such malicious actors often spread disinformation to exploit vulnerable individuals and the American public, including during national emergencies.”

The fact sheet nowhere mentions election integrity despite the fact that Mayorkas testified it was the board’s primary focus last week.

Kennedy asked Mayorkas if the board would investigate former President Bill Clinton when he testified under oath, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky,” referring to White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Later, Clinton admitted he’d had an affair with Lewinsky. In 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Clinton for lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.

Mayorkas replied to Kennedy, "Senator, again, let me be clear that the department's responsibility is to address this information that threatens the security of the homeland."

Kennedy also asked Mayorkas if the board would investigate the claim former President Barack Obama made about the Affordable Healthcare Act, which turned out not to be true. Obama claimed, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” However, after the ACA was implemented, millions of people lost their health insurance coverage, their doctors, health insurance companies were forced to close, and healthcare coverage became less affordable and less accessible.

Mayorkas said the board wouldn’t have operational authority or capability. "Our mission is to protect the security of the homeland, and we address disinformation when it threatens the security of the homeland,” he said.

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Josh Kaul Says Wisconsin Will Not Enforce Abortion Laws If Roe v. Wade Overturned

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s attorney general says he wouldn’t enforce Wisconsin’s abortion laws if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday said he would not use his office to prosecute doctors if abortion is made illegal in the state.

“As long as I am AG, the [state’s Department of Justice] will not be using its resources to investigate or prosecute alleged violations of the 170-plus-year-old abortion ban on the books," Kaul said in an interview.

Wisconsin is one of several states that would automatically outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe.

Kaul said it would be up to local prosecutors to make any decisions about cases.

"I believe that our investigative and prosecutorial resources in Wisconsin should investigate and prosecute things like violent crime and drug trafficking and not be diverted from those investigative and prosecutorial needs to be used to go after people for abortions,” Kaul added.

The Republicans who are running against Kaul this year are, unsurprisingly, taking the opposite view.

Fond du Lac County D.A. and candidate Eric Toney said on Twitter that the top law enforcer in Wisconsin must enforce the state’s laws.

“This is and always should have been a state issue,” Toney said on Twitter. “I am pro-life and I will enforce and defend the laws as passed by the legislature and signed into law."

Republican Candidate Adam Jarchow blasted Kaul for openly stating that he will ignore a state law simply because he doesn’t like the law.

"Josh Kaul’s unwillingness to enforce the laws of Wisconsin should disqualify him from the job of Attorney General," said in a statement. "As a pro-life father of two, I will always support the right to life."

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said abortion prosecutions are unlikely, because they would stop providing abortions in the state if Roe is overturned.

Wisconsin’s governor, on Monday, said Congress needs to step in to make sure there won’t be any state cases over abortion.

Gov. Tony Evers and 16 other governors signed a letter asking Congress pass new laws to protect abortions post-Roe.

“Reproductive healthcare decisions are deeply personal and should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers, not by politicians,” the governors wrote. “Overturning Roe will turn back the clock on reproductive health, and Congress must immediately take action to ensure that our nation does not go backward and that the rights of all Americans to access reproductive healthcare and abortion continue to be protected.”

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President Biden Says Women Have a Fundamental Right to an Abortion

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday called a woman's right to abortion "fundamental" after a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaked to Politico indicates a majority of justices will rule to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"I believe that a woman's right to choose is fundamental," Biden said in a statement. "Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned."

The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established abortion as a constitutional right.

But Politico reported that at least five Supreme Court justices will rule to overturn that decision based on the leaked draft document.

Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett signed on to the opinion, according to Politico. All were nominated by Republican presidents.

"We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," the justices wrote in a draft deciding Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a lawsuit initiated in Mississippi, according to Politico. "The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

The decision was “egregiously wrong from the start” and must be overturned in its entirety, the justices wrote in the leaked draft.

If the draft becomes the formal opinion of the court, abortion would be decided by states and not embedded as constitutional federal law, as was the case before the Roe v. Wade decision.

Many conservative states in recent years have placed tighter restrictions on abortion through so-called heartbeat bills, banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected in the womb, often around six weeks of pregnancy.

After the report, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a progressive from Vermont, called for Congress to pass a law preserving women's rights to an abortion, including ending the Senate filibuster if necessary.

"Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW," Sanders wrote on Twitter. "And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Biden also has said he would like Congress to codify Roe v. Wade.

While "we do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court," Biden said his administration fully supports a woman's right to make the decision whether to have an abortion.

"My administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade. We said that Roe is based on 'a long line of precedent recognizing 'the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty ... against government interference with intensely personal decisions,'" Biden said.

Abortion Would Be Severely Limited in 23 States Roe v. Wade Overturned

Analysis: If Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade Abortion Would Be Severely Limited in 23 States

(The Center Square) – Abortion would be banned or severely limited in 23 states if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute indicates.

“Changes to the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 raise the possibility that Roe v. Wade could be severely undermined – or even overturned – essentially leaving the legality of abortion to individual states,” the Guttmacher Institute states in an analysis of state abortion laws. “A reversal of Roe could establish a legal path for states’ pre-1973 abortion bans, as well as currently unenforced post-1973 bans, to take effect.”

If a reported Supreme Court draft ruling on a Mississippi case leaked by Politico is true, the court would reportedly overturn two landmark abortion cases, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, leaving the legality of abortion up to the states.

The draft ruling, if true, relates to Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. In it, Justice Samuel Alito reportedly argues, “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

In 1973, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’s ban on abortion, ruling abortion was a “fundamental right.” In 1991, it granted review of a challenge to several Pennsylvania abortion restrictions in Casey, which included a question on the court overturning or reaffirming Roe. The majority reaffirmed Roe.

Since Casey, legislatures in mostly red states began passing incrementally restrictive abortion laws; legislatures in blue states began passing incrementally extensive abortion on demand laws.

As a result, if Roe were overturned, abortion would be banned or severely limited in 23 states and legally protected in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

Prior to Roe, 10 states banned abortion: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Some of these laws were enjoined by a court order and aren’t in effect. Texas’ ban, prompting Roe, was permanently enjoined. But courts would likely order the enjoined laws back into effect if Roe were overturned.

After Roe, Texas and 12 other states enacted “trigger laws” intended to take effect once Roe is overturned. They include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.

The trigger laws ban all or nearly all abortions once Roe is overturned; some include exceptions. Those laws “enacted after Roe are designed to be ‘triggered’ and take effect automatically or by swift state action if Roe is overturned,” Guttmacher explains.

Citizens and legislatures in four states also passed constitutional amendments explicitly stating that abortion is not a right and public funds can’t be used for abortions: Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Texas also passed the Heartbeat Act prohibiting abortions from being performed once a heartbeat of the preborn baby is detected. The case was challenged and ultimately defeated after the Supreme Court rejected requests to halt it and the Fifth Circuit effectively ended all challenges last month.

By contrast, 16 states legalized abortion on demand: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Most of their laws “prohibit the state from interfering with the right to obtain an abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person,” Guttmacher states.

Four states and the District of Columbia legalized abortion throughout an entire pregnancy: Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon and Vermont.

In a 2019 report, the Center for Reproductive Rights estimated that if Roe were overturned, 34 states and five territories wouldn’t have abortion protections. The report was conducted before newer laws were enacted, like New Jersey’s for example, which recently codified abortion rights as state law.

If Roe were overturned, it argues, states would be “divided into abortion deserts where it would be illegal to access care, and abortion havens, where care would continue to be available. Millions of people living in abortion deserts, mainly in the South and Midwest, would be forced to travel to receive legal care, which would result in many more people being unable to access abortion for a variety of financial and logistical reasons.”

An official opinion on Dobbs is expected to be released in June or July. If Roe were to be overturned, state trigger laws and other court actions would likely go into effect this summer.

Leak of Abortion Opinion

Chief Justice John Roberts: Supreme Court to Investigate Leak of Abortion Opinion

(The Center Square) – Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday that a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on an abortion rights case was an "egregious breach" of trust and would be investigated.

"We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law," Roberts said in a statement. "Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here."

Roberts directed the Marshal of the Court to investigate the source of the leak of the draft opinion, which Politico published Monday night. In the draft opinion, five of the court's more conservative justices wrote that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that said a woman's right to an abortion was protected by the U.S. constitution, was in error and must be overturned.

Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett signed on to the opinion, according to Politico. All were nominated by Republican presidents.

"We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," the justices wrote in a draft deciding Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a lawsuit initiated in Mississippi, according to Politico. "The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

The decision was “egregiously wrong from the start” and must be overturned in its entirety, the justices wrote in the leaked draft.

Roberts said if the leak was intended to undermine the court's process, it would not succeed.

"To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed," the chief justice said. "The work of the Court will not be affected in any way."

The Supreme Court in a separate statement confirmed the draft opinion is authentic but not final.

"Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case," the court said in its own statement.

Green Light Wisconsin

New Mining Request Could Boost Wisconsin Economy

(The Center Square) – A huge swath of land across parts of central Wisconsin could be rich in metals or minerals. And one company is ready to find out.

Greenlight Wisconsin, based in Medford, on Thursday filed an exploratory drilling application in Marathon County for a piece of land called the Reef Deposit.

“I think people have known about gold potential in the Easton Township area of Marathon County for 30,40,50 years,” Greenlight CEO Dan Colton told The Center Square. “But no one has ever done enough exploration to see if there’s a resource that’s economic enough to want to mine.

Marathon County has never had a gold mine, and Colton said it would be years before anyone could open a mine in the area. But he said it is important that his company may be able to.

Former Governor Scott Walker ended Wisconsin’s mining moratorium back in 2017 by ending the law that required mining companies to prove other mines in the United States or Canada could be closed without any pollution.

Colton said technology and the mood of the country all but guarantees that new mines in Wisconsin will be as environmentally friendly as possible.

“The United States’ and each of the states’ regulatory programs with respect to mine permitting and environmental protections, and the regulations as it relates to get a permit are the most rigorous in the world,” Colton explained. “So you’re not going to get a mine that pollutes the air, or pollutes the water, or pollutes the soil.”

What Colton says Wisconsin may get is hundreds of good-paying jobs, and a critical link in the supply chain for precious and green energy metals.

“Those minerals or metals are necessary for purposes of national security, national defense, and critical infrastructure. Or are necessary to support this hectic pace of the transition to the clean energy low-carbon economy,” Colton said. “Our mission is very simply to expand new resources and make new discoveries on one of North America’s most prolific yet woefully under-explored greenstone belts. And that’s the Penokean Volcanic Belt in Wisconsin.”

That belt stretches from just north of Green Bay to La Crosse, and covers part of the middle third of the state.

There are some people who aren’t so sure about the project.

Former Marathon County Democratic Chairwoman Nancy Stencil told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the exploratory drilling would tap into land that could come too close to Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail.

"It's such a pristine beautiful area," she told the paper. "Leave it alone, you know. We don't need people touching that."

Colton said the United States, and the world will need the minerals and metals that could be in the ground in Wisconsin. And he added that if responsible companies in the U.S. don’t mine them, other companies will get those minerals and metals under far worse conditions in China, or Africa, or elsewhere.

“The crucial metals that are necessary to manufacture the technologies that create our clean energy, whether its solar panels, wind mills, electric batteries, electric cars, they consume huge volumes of copper, and zinc, and nickel, and rare-Earth elements like lithium,” Colton said. “And many of those elements, specifically copper and zinc, are found in the Penokean Volcanic Belt. And that’s what’s so exciting.”

Greenlight must next get permission from Marathon County to begin their exploratory drilling. The county board will debate that permission at a meeting on May 3.

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Sen. Kapenga Questions State Superintendent for Answers Over Teacher CRT Webinar

(The Center Square) – There are new questions for Wisconsin’s state superintendent of schools about critical race theory, politics, and a webinar for teachers in the state.

Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, on Monday released an open letter to State Superintendent Jill Underly that asks her a series of questions about a February webinar featuring activist and author Charlene Carruthers.

“Ms. Carruthers defines herself on her website first and foremost as a political strategist, which makes it concerning and questionable about how the political writings of someone who would be considered a radical activist by a large portion of my constituents is relevant for training our teachers, or in executing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mission to help children with disabilities to excel in school and thrive in society,” Kapenga wrote.

Carruthers’ webinar was based on her book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements.

Kapenga said the most concerning thing about the webinar was Carruthers’ quote.

“Of equal concern was her comment about Critical Race Theory. Ms. Carruthers is quoted as saying ‘I can tell you for sure [CRT] is not the most radical thing to come out. Wait until you hear what we really think, what we really believe in,'” Kapenga added in his letter.

He’s now demanding answers from the state superintendent’s office about:

What are these views that parents and the public would be surprised to learn DPI holds to and believes in?Does DPI believe it is the duty of teachers to teach the caveats of activism, white privilege, systemic racism, and sexual identity in the classroom?Will DPI be asking speakers with alternative views to be a part of the series to offer an exchange of views?Will DPI make these webinars accessible on The Network website so that parents and the public can view the content?

“At a time when our schools are failing our children, as reflected in the already low and declining proficiency rates we see across our state – even after having received unprecedented amounts of money – I would think DPI and staff would be more focused on their mission to help raise student scores rather than creating activist, CRT, ‘leadership’ training for publicly-paid teachers,” Kapenga wrote in his letter.

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