Kalandra Wheeler
Texas Employment Lawyer Kalandra Wheeler
Julie St. John
Texas Employment Lawyer Julie St. John

June 24, 2022 is a day to remember.  Sadly, it is not to be remembered for justice.  Instead, it is to be remembered for its striking blow to women’s rights. On this day, the United States Supreme Court pressed the rewind button on progress. The “rewind button” brings up memories of cassette recorders and VCRs from decades past. That thought seems utterly fitting for the occasion. 

You see, on June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court decided that it wanted to take us back decades – nearly half a century – to January 21, 1973, the day before Roe v. Wade was decided.  The Supreme Court decided that it wanted to take us back to a time where young women died from back alley procedures because there was no safe haven for their choices. The Supreme Court decided that it wanted to take us back to a time where women knowing their pregnancy wasn’t viable, were forced to endure the pain and heartache of being required to carry to term. The Supreme Court decided they wanted to take us back to a place and time where women felt their bodies and life choices were not their own.  

According to former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, the Supreme Court “is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under the law.” On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court failed to live up to its charge. The Supreme Court has failed the American people. 

For the first time in U.S. history, the Supreme Court has taken away a previously guaranteed constitutional right—the right for a woman to make her own healthcare decisions without government interference . . . the right to abortion. A right that has been guaranteed for almost 50 years has been stripped away. The Supreme Court’s actions in Dobbs v. Jackson showed their complete disregard for the rights of millions of women who would immediately become victims of their states. In fact, in the eye of this storm that is Dobbs v. Jackson, “trigger” laws in nearly a dozen states went into effect. This meant that a woman’s right to choose was taken away the very day Dobbs v. Jackson was decided, with other anti-abortion laws becoming effective within the next 30 days.  

With its decision, the Supreme Court has opened the flood gates for states to ban abortion unless the life of the mother is at risk. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, this will likely lead to almost half of the states in the U.S. passing the most restrictive laws possible. Clinics in Texas have already stopped providing abortions after Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an advisory that criminal prosecutions for those providing such services would begin immediately. Although many women will still be able to obtain the services they need by traveling to other states, many will not. Those women will be forced to either carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or obtain an illegal abortion which will put their own health at risk. Neither of these options are acceptable. 

 When the draft decision was leaked, it was a sign of times to come. However, actually seeing the final opinion solidifies the fears people had as they watched this Court form under the prior administration. In its decision overruling Roe v. Wade, the Court rejected the value of precedent, it rejected the right to privacy, and it paved the way for future bans. This Supreme Court opinion signaled what rights may remain on the chopping block. Will there be another strike at women’s rights or choices related to reproduction with future bans on the purchase of contraception?  Will there be attacks on same sex relations and marriage? This opinion terrifyingly makes these things seem possible.  

We must do everything in our power to protect and fight for our rights.  We must do everything in our power to fight to win back this right that should not have been taken away. Yet, we must not stop there, as this will not be the end of threats to the rights of the American people. We must speak out against this decision and any other that takes away or threatens our Constitutional rights. We must vote for officials that want to protect all of our fundamental rights on both the state and national levels. We must not accept defeat in this fight or the next that’s sure to come. 

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Photo of Kalandra N. Wheeler Kalandra N. Wheeler

We asked Kalandra N. Wheeler, a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Wiley Wheeler, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions.  After reading, you will be more more abreast with the understanding and competency that Ms. Wheeler

We asked Kalandra N. Wheeler, a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Wiley Wheeler, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions.  After reading, you will be more more abreast with the understanding and competency that Ms. Wheeler brings.

1.Why did you start practicing labor and employment law?

I wanted to be able to help people that otherwise might not find help. Labor and employment laws affect most of society.  And – whether our results help one or many – our work and efforts as employment lawyers touch people in a real way in their every day lives.

2. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?

Thurgood Marshall.

3. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?

The client. Good facts and evidence are definitely important. But good clients are a lawyers’ most valuable asset.  A good client: (1) is invested in their case; (2) works or worked hard for their employer; (3) can tell their story clearly and concisely; and (4) is someone that a jury will find sympathetic and relatable.

4. If you could write a new law, what would it do?

The Texas Workplace Anti-Bullying law.  I hear the stories, the ones told by employees looking for help. And in far too many of those stories the law offers no solution.  Every employee that goes to work and works hard to do the job they are hired to perform should be able to do so without abuse, harassment, and bullying. There is no justification for bullying, not in our schools, and not in our workplaces.

5. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?

For a year before law school, I worked as a lube tech for Jiffy Lube.  I spent hot summer days, working on hot cars, changing oil or flushing transmissions or radiators.  I never had a customer come back with a complaint.

6. How do you market yourself differently than others?

I tell clients what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear. Before a client begins down any path toward resolving an employment dispute, they need thoughtful, honest advice. I am a believer in justice and everyday people deserve competent representation in an arena that is difficult for non-lawyers to navigate.

7. What do you do when you’re not practicing law?

I spend time with family and friends.  I read true crime books.  I sew and draw.

8. How would you describe the color yellow to someone who could not see?

It’s not the intense heat of the sun during the month of August, but instead the softness of the sun on your skin just as the seasons change from Summer to Fall.  It’s warm. And soft to the touch.  It’s fresh squeezed lemonade with a hint of sugar.  Slightly cool, inviting, and happy.

9. What’s your favorite legal TV show?

Law & Order: SVU

10. If you could argue any case in history, what would it be?

The Karen Silkwood case. But really, I think that would be more about arguing and trying a case alongside Gerry Spence for the learning experience.

Kalandra N. Wheeler is a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Wiley Wheeler, P.C.  She graduated from The University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in political science.  Ms. Wheeler went on and received her law degree from The University of Arkansas.