As some of you know, Independence Day is among my favorite holidays. This year we celebrate the 246th birthday of the United States. I look forward each year to decorating the award-winning “Freedom Truck,” riding in a small island parade, and grilling lunch for our large, brash family that itself is a cross-section of the American republic. Last year was a bittersweet holiday from my brother-in-law’s seaside committal to a cousin’s return from the 10th Special Forces after countless deployments to places cold and snowy and to places hot and sandy. This year, while our family celebrates escape, immigration, and freedom, we do so under the cloud of freedoms lost at home.

To remind you of the darkening blur I have listed just a few of the stunning yet sadly not unexpected decisions from the United States Supreme Court in the second half of June 2022:

  • Reversing nearly a hundred years of prudent concealed carry firearms control by the states. (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen)
  • Hobbling of Miranda’s enforceability by removing penalties against Miranda violators. (Vega v. Tekoh)
  • Requiring public schools to fund religious education. A case from Maine. (Carson v. Makin)
  • Another blast at the firewall between church and state overturns a 1971 Lemon decision concerning religious activities on public property. (Kennedy v. Bremerton School District).
  • Over-turned Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health).

You might think that this column is about any one of the calamitous, tone-deaf decisions by the high court. This column, however, is about something else. This column is about fathers and daughters. All our daughters and the country in which they must now grow up.

Our youngest, age 10, is on her way to sixth grade with skyscrapers of books, swords and shields, buckets of drawing supplies, scraped knees, and dirty elbows. She and her forever friend, our neighbor and best friend’s youngest, spend countless hours in the Bath childhood which makes Maine such a great, if not a challenging, place to raise a family.

From last week, however, our little girl is a second-class citizen in this country. She is made ineligible by her sex over decisions about, and control of, essential portions of her health and her destiny. 1 in 5, or 20%, of women in college experience rape and sexual assault. The rates are higher for all women in their first year and higher still among LGBTQ college students. Should this unspeakable horror happen to our daughter and result in a pregnancy in one of the majority anti-women states, her rapist, her sexual abuser will not only have attacked my daughter but will have substantially more rights over her health than does she.

You need not be the father of a little girl to appreciate my boundless rage and visceral disgust with this court and their decision in Dobbs on June 24.


If that travesty were not enough, Justice Thomas opines that the court might consider revisiting access to contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut), same-sex marriage (Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges), and other decisions he deems “incorrect.” One wonders why if Mr. Thomas starts there that he would not continue on to review Brown v. Board of Education or even Loving v. Virginia. Surely in his perverted view of the Supreme Court, if one group of Americans should have fewer rights than another, then any case creating equality and justice across populations might be by them questioned.

Dobbs, and the other decisions, were possible not because there is a high court hell-bent on the legislating from the bench, though they are. And it was not made possible by addle-minded Republican enablers including Maine’s senior senator, though they were. Nor by the current activist justices who lied under oath as conferees, though they did.

Presidents nominate Federal and Supreme Court judges. The Senate confirms them. Once seated they serve for life. There is a possibility that some portion of ‘Larry, Curly, and Stepford Mom’ will be on the court for the remainder of my life.

The reversal of Roe v. Wade is incontrovertible proof that elections have consequences beyond the ballot box. These decisions were handed down because the balance of the Supreme Court became skewed towards justices with radical, far-right, conservative views. They were enabled by about half of the 57% of voters aged 18-29 and about half of the 43% of voters aged 30-44 who did not vote in the 2016 general election. These age groups did not write in “Mickey” or “Minnie” they just did not get out of their chairs. These groups more than others, ignoring their duty to exercise universal suffrage, ensured that the electoral math was handed to serial abuser Donald Trump.

There is validity to the argument that the Electoral College which four times, two of which were in my lifetime, rendered a presidential election result different from the popular vote was at fault. I have come around, thanks in part to our son’s AP US History class at Bath’s Morse High School, to understand the superfluous and dangerous nature of this 18th century relic. Because amending or eliminating the Electoral College requires a Constitutional amendment, it was already an irrelevant argument in November 2016.

The direct link between the failure of these voters and the seating of Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Cony-Barret is what so angers and brings fear to this father. If this group of voters had not been, at best, unmotivated Mr. Trump is not elected. If Trump does not become the 45th president of the United States he does not nominate judges dedicated to overturning Roe. It could not be more simple.


At the end of the day, our like or dislike of one progressive or liberal candidate (centrist to the rest of the planet) or another does not matter if they do not get elected. The failure of these groups to vote in 2016 makes a direct connection to the Supreme Court decisions this month and for decades to come.

Amends, however, can be made to the roughly 50% of the US population, including my daughter, affected by the decision in Dobbs. Get out of your chair, set aside your indignation, and get to work. You stand up, put on ‘the uniform’, and go to the polls. You work to elect the most viable candidates for governor, Congress, and the presidency. Get in the booth and vote for the candidate most likely to win.

Nothing else really matters and it is the least that you can do for our daughters.

Roo Dunn and his family live in Bath where their children attend the schools of RSU 1.

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