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Breaking: Supreme Court Rules Texas Anti-Abortion Law Is Unconstitutional

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Supreme Court Reverses Fifth Circuit Ruling on Republican-Backed Law 

Whole Woman’s Health v. HellerstedtThe U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that a 2013 Texas law designed to restrict and reduce women’s access to abortion services is unconstitutional, in a 5-3 ruling. This is the court’s first look at abortion in nearly a decade and some call it the most consequential abortion case in nearly 25 years. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion.

At issue was whether or not the Texas law, known as HB-2, placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. The landmark 1973 law Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, but also stated states could regulate the practice as long as doing so did not place  an “undue burden” on women. Williams added there was no clear need for the rule. 

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote he would have upheld the law as written.

The law mandated extreme requirements of facilities that conduct abortions, from requiring all physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges to hospitals to the width of hallways. Before it was halted, the law forced more than half of all Texas abortion clinics to close, reducing the number to 20 cross the nation’s second-largest state in both geography and population. If the law were allowed to continue half of those 20 clinics would close.

During oral arguments, Justice Elena Kagan noted, “Liposuction is 30 times more dangerous, yet doesn’t have the same kinds of requirements.”

Proponents of the law claimed it made women safer, which was false. 

Pete Williams on MSNBC noted at least 12 states have similar laws, which now should be in jeopardy. He called the decision in the case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a “decisive victory” for women and pro-choice advocates.

TWC News in Austin, Texas notes today’s “outcome will affect the fate of similar abortion restrictions in other states,” including Louisiana and Mississippi. During oral arguments Justice Kennedy “floated the idea of sending the case to a lower court to get more evidence. He also seemed concerned that the Texas restrictions might be forcing women to get abortions later in their pregnancies, which are riskier.”

A tied vote would have left the law in place, meaning “women would enjoy their fundamental rights differently based on the state in which they live and this is not how our Constitution works,” Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, told Fox News.

UPDATE I: 10:20 AM EDT –
Hillary Clinton weighs in:

Donald Trump had said women should be “punished” for having abortions if it were to become illegal. 

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have not yet responded to the ruling.

UPDATE II: 10:26 AM EDT –
It should be noted Democrat Wendy Davis, a Texas state senator in 2013 when this law was debated, gained national attention when she held an 11-hour filibuster to prevent the bill from passing. The bill passed regardless, and Davis, who earned the support of millions around the country, ran for governor, but lost to Republican Greg Abbott.

UPDATE III 10:43 AM EDT –
The ruling is here.

UPDATE IV: 10:50 AM EDT –

Outside the Supreme Court right now:

UPDATE: 12:23 PM EDT –

 

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates. 

Image: Outside the Supreme Court before this morning’s decision, photo by  via Twitter

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CRIME

‘Are You Sitting Down?’: Biden DOJ May Defend Trump in 1/6 Lawsuits – Columnist Suing Him Who Says He Raped Her Furious

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The Biden Dept. of Justice may defend Donald Trump, the former president, for remarks he made inciting the January 6 insurrection. Columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump sexually assaulted her and is suing him for defamation, is furious.

ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?” asked Carroll, who famously posed for the cover of New York Magazine in the dress she was wearing in Bergdorf-Goodman the day she says Trump, in the 1990’s, raped her in a dressing room.  She is also seeking his DNA, which she says remains on the dress, to prove he raped her

“The DOJ–using the same rational they used to defend Trump in my case–may defend Trump in the Capitol Insurrection suit brought by the illustrious Representative @RepSwalwell,” she tweeted.

Many were furious when then-Attorney General Bill Barr stepped in to have the DOJ take over the case, especially since the federal government cannot be sued for defamation. The case theoretically could have then been dismissed.

But it lives on, and the Biden DOJ, under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, has now taken to defend the former president in Carroll’s defamation case.

On Tuesday Reuters reported the Biden DOJ may defend Trump in lawsuits alleging he incited a violent coup and deadly insurrection.

“The Biden administration paved the way for that possibility, say constitutional scholars and lawyers in the cases, by arguing in an unrelated defamation case against Trump that presidents enjoy sweeping immunity for their comments while in office – and the right to a defense by government lawyers,” Reuters reports.

The decision to defend the former president “has profound implications for several ongoing lawsuits, including one filed by two U.S. Capitol Police officers seeking to hold Trump liable for injuries they suffered defending the building in the Jan. 6 attack.”

But noted constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe calls the DOJ’s decision to defend the former president a legal blunder of “Titanic” proportions.

“It would be very difficult for the Justice Department to change course now,” Tribe, a Harvard University constitutional law professor and a frequent critic of Trump. “The Titanic is aimed at the iceberg.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘For Sure’: Mike Lindell Promises Right-Wing Activists ‘Donald Trump Will Be in Office by This Fall’

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Thousands of right-wing activists gathered in Tampa, Florida, last weekend for a “Restore America” rally that featured a cavalcade of election, COVID-19, and QAnon conspiracy theorists as speakers.

Held at The River Church, which is pastored by right-wing conspiracy theorist Rodney Howard-Browne, the speakers included the likes of Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Jackson Lahmeyer, Ann Vandersteel, KrisAnne Hall, Greg Locke, and dozens more.

Among the most prominent speakers was MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has worked relentlessly (and fruitlessly) to prove that the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud and foreign interference in an effort to overturn the election results so former President Donald Trump can return to the White House.

Despite releasing multipledocumentaries” purporting to prove fraud and filing multiple lawsuits, Lindell’s efforts have all be for naught, but he has not given up, telling the massive crowd gathered for the rally that he will soon be hosting a “cyber symposium” where he claims that “cyber guys” will prove that the election was stolen via something he calls “packet capture.” That, he declared, will ultimately force the Supreme Court to overturn the election results and put Trump back in office by the fall.

Lindell said that none of his efforts have been successful so far “because we’ve been living in the twilight zone,” complaining that “every time you have something real, they’re going, ‘We don’t we’re not gonna look at it,’ or the judges go, ‘We’re not gonna look at it.’”

“But you see, that’s all changing,” Lindell promised. “What I’m going to do to get this to the world, it’s called a cyber symposium. And what it is, is I’m going to have a venue at the end of July—it’s your job, everybody, to get the word out to the world—we’re going to get every cyber guy that has credentials—they’re called CISSP credentials—they’re going to be there.”

“We’re bringing in all the cyber guys,” he continued. “They’re gonna be there. Then we’re bringing all the media. Maybe even Fox will show up! What a concept. And then we’re going to bring in all senators, governors—even the corrupt ones, Brian Kemp—and legislatures, secretary of states, and every single government official that wants to be there, because when we show them these packet captures, we’re gonna just give them out to all them cyber guys so they can have their own guy go, ‘How many votes were flipped here in Tampa?’ Here you go. Boom. It’s going to be a worldwide event. Millions are going to see it, and those Supreme Court justices are going to look at it then, and they’re going to go 9-0 that this country was attacked. The election is gonna come down. Donald Trump will be in office by this fall, for sure.”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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News

‘Monster’: Internet Makes #AbbottHatesDogs Trend After Texas Governor Vetos Bipartisan Anti-Cruelty Bill

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#BetoLovesDogs Rises

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire for vetoing the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, bipartisan legislation to protect dogs by making it illegal to tie them up with heavy chains outdoors, or leave them without water or shade. He criticized the bill as “micro-managing and over-criminalization.”

The legislation “would have expanded and clarified the state’s animal cruelty laws,” and “had the support of animal control officers, law enforcement agencies and organizations, county prosecutors, and advocates for animals, and it passed 28-3 in the Senate and 83-32 in the House,” as The Week reports.

Abbott increasingly has been in the national news, amid speculation he might run for the White House in 2024. He is also facing a possible primary from the right. As #AbbottHatesDogs trended on social media the Texas Republican governor posted a clip of his two dogs. It did not seem to help.

Vetoing legislation to protect dogs does not seem to have helped his future prospects, as many social media users appear to think, but it did help former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s fortunes as people started to post #BetoLovesDogs tweets.

 

 

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