And then there were nine.

Robed in black, silent and mysterious, they held court in the highest castle on the tallest cliff, riding forth at their master’s bidding to spread evil throughout the lands of Middle Earth …

Sorry. I was talking about the ringwraiths from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I’ve been watching the movies again. I always like to watch them when I’m feeling apprehensive about the state of the world and where it is heading – the greatest of evil is stopped by the smallest of creatures. Plus, Elijah Wood was my first big crush. Nine-year-old Victoria was smitten with Frodo Baggins.

But the Supreme Court is on everyone’s mind. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed. We have a full set of nine. There will be no ties in the rulings that are issued from now on, and those rulings are all but guaranteed to have a conservative bent (unless Ruth Bader Ginsburg arm-wrestles the other justices into signing on with her).

I’m nervous, of course. How can I not be? I’m a bisexual woman, and my quality of life depends largely on Supreme Court decisions. Roe v. Wade is the big one, of course, allowing me to get an abortion if my birth control fails, and Griswold v. Connecticut laid down my right to birth control in the first place. Lawrence v. Texas validated my God-given right to commit sodomy in the privacy of my own bedroom (and maybe the living room if the curtains are closed). And if I fall in love with a woman and want to commit my life to her, Obergefell v. Hodges forces the federal government to give me the same tax breaks that it would give me if I made the same decision about a man.

So yeah, I’m nervous. But at the same time, I’m not worried. See, I’m from Maine, which means I have a grumpy conservative streak a mile wide. Our general statewide attitude can be summed up as “leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.” I’m not about to let the government – federal, state or local – tell me what to do with my body. If I get pregnant and I don’t want to be, no politician, lawman, cop or judge is going to stop me from terminating that pregnancy – no matter how fancy his judicial robe is. If I fall in love with a woman, I will commit myself to her, no matter what the government thinks about it.


The voters in this country who feel the most passionately about the Supreme Court, and who have worked hard to get that 5-4 conservative majority – they’re scared of how fast things are changing. And I understand that. I really do. The other day I had to learn how to use a new phone and I almost cried. Twice. They see a country with women demanding dominion over their own flesh, and a country with LGBT people demanding to be not only tolerated but also accepted into society in their entirety, and they see a country with changing demographics and a shrinking percentage of white people of European descent, and it scares them. I understand their fear. But their fear does not get to dictate our lives.

I will end this column with a battlefield speech from the third “Lord of the Rings” movie. The ragtag army of the kingdoms of Gondor and Rohan are making what they believe to be a desperate last stand against the might of Sauron. Aragorn, the future king of Gondor, knows that all their hope rests on two small hobbits out in the wilderness, and that the odds are stacked against him. I’m quoting it here with a small change in gender pronoun, because it’s my column, and it’s my story.

“Hold your ground! Hold your ground! Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand – women of the West!”

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @mainemillennial

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