Bye-bye, Roe v. Wade


The Taliban is winning everywhere. After taking over Afghanistan, they’ve now conquered American women’s bodies. Texas has banned all abortions after 6 weeks, and our conservative Supreme Court has punted and refused to deal with this assault on liberties.

A Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect Wednesday, as a midnight deadline for the Supreme Court to stop it came and went without action.

Just wait. More abortion bans are coming.

The Texas case comes at a pivotal time for abortion rights, with Republican-led state legislatures around the country having enacted a string of increasingly restrictive laws. The Supreme Court this fall will consider one of them — Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. Antiabortion activists have urged the court to use that to overturn Roe, the 1973 decision that said women have a constitutional right to abortion.

Federal judges across the country have cited Roe and other precedents to block six-week bans in other states before they took effect. But the lawsuits that stopped those statutes targeted government officials who would enforce the bans, which proponents dub “heartbeat bills” because they say that is when a doctor can first detect a fetal heartbeat. Doctors opposed to the bills dispute that description, saying the fluttering that is detected cannot exist outside the womb.

The Texas law, in contrast, was designed to make it more difficult for abortion rights advocates to win such pre-enforcement injunctions. The statute empowers individuals, instead of state government officials, to bring legal action in civil court against those who help women seeking a prohibited abortion.

That’s a terrifying twist. All those busybodies who screech and march in front of abortion clinics are now empowered to sue doctors and nurses. Finally, we can appropriately describe something as a “witch hunt”!

Comments

  1. JoeBuddha says

    First thing I thought of. Don’t like your doctor? Don’t want malpractice insurance paying a claim? Just sue him for abetting an abortion. Win or lose, he’ll be on the hook. Same for anyone else you don’t like. It’s gonna be a madhouse.

  2. Jackson says

    I have a question for any legal eagles here. The first thing I thought of when reading about this was who has standing to sue? No government official is allowed to enforce this law, so it has to be private citizens bringing law suits, but do they need standing to bring a suit against an abortion provider? And who would have standing in this situation?

  3. rpjohnston says

    This template looks like it could go beyond abortions, and essentially ban anything they want by moving enforcement from government to self-appointed inquisitors-slash-bounty hunters. Transition-related care, businesses who serve or hire queer or POC, teach “Critical Race Theory”, whatever. It is, essentially, abolishing any Democratic government entity, right down to the local level. Am I wrong about any of that?

  4. raven says

    Texas has banned all abortions after 6 weeks, and our conservative Supreme Court has punted and refused to deal with this assault on liberties.

    A Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect Wednesday, as a midnight deadline for the Supreme Court to stop it came and went without action.

    Whether it is state government officials enforcing the abortion ban or private individuals suing for in court under civil laws is irrelevant. What is important is the result. Roe versus Wade is dead.

    It’s telling and very creepy how the US Supreme court did it. They simply did nothing and let the state of Texas kill it for them.
    Acting by omission.
    Clever and incredibly cowardly.

  5. raven says

    Acceptance of legal abortion in the USA runs around 80%. Gallup poll: . Currently, 48% of Americans say abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances, 32% say it should be legal under any circumstances,.. Add them up, 48 + 32 = 80%. Even a lot of so called pro-lifers support some form of legal abortion.

    So, are we going to let 6 unelected Catholic Supreme court judges wreck a country of 321 million.
    Strangely enough, for right now, looks like we are.
    They are enabling female slavery and forced births.

    As bad as things are in the USA right now, they can always get worse.
    In fact, this morning they just got a whole lot worse.

  6. beholder says

    Oh look, another law that minimally inconveniences the well-off while viciously targeting the poor, in a country where the mainstream cultural attitude is still, “Fuck the poor, I’ve got mine.”

    The homicidal ratchet advances another click, and the ruling class is so thoroughly insulated from the poor and working class that they don’t seem to care.

  7. Doc Bill says

    Here in Texas we are living the Handmaid’s Tale. Psychopaths all the way down from the governor, indicted Attorney General, Bible-thumping delusional Lt. Governor to the vicious GOP women legislators who put forth the most despicable legislation imaginable.

    This “abortion” bill is even worse than described here. The plaintiff doesn’t even have to reside in Texas or, as pointed out, have any relationship to the defendant. They can reside out of state prompting some to argue that anti-abortion groups will be champing at the bit to file suit. We’ll see.

    But, here’s the deal. IIRC, the State will conduct the prosecution on behalf of the plaintiff. If the plaintiff prevails, the defendant will be fined $10,000 that is paid to the plaintiff. A bounty. The defendant is also saddled with court costs. If the defendant prevails then … nothing. Actually, worse than nothing. The defendant is not eligible to file for court costs or legal fees. Totally lose-lose for the defendant any way you cut it.

    How this is even remotely legal is beyond me, but I’m a mere scientist. What would I know?

  8. says

    @2 jackson

    That was my thought immediately as well. Does the law create standing where there was none before?

    @3 rpjohnston

    So if the template can be applied to anything, could a Democratic-controlled state use it for gun control? Just pass a law with the same wording, but target gun sellers, manufacturers, and ranges?

  9. Marissa van Eck says

    I was warning people this would happen 20 years ago when I was just a kid in 8th grade. I was warning people in 2016 when Trump won. Everyone I told just condescended to me and said “it’s established precedent, it’s not going to be overturned so easily.”

    Did I cheat on Apollo in a previous life or something? Oh my God, it’s actually safer to be gay than straight now, assuming I remain closeted to the general public. This is so fucked up…

  10. consciousness razor says

    our conservative Supreme Court has punted and refused to deal with this assault on liberties.

    For decades (longer than perhaps a majority of voters have even been alive), Congress has been punting and refusing to write some actual fucking legislation that puts an end to the bullshit. The can is always kicked down the road to the next fundraising cycle/election, because you pretend that the Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution is the only way. So, who will become the next president to appoint a crusty old conservative for a lifetime position there is treated as the all-important issue. Then, the presidents invariably make shit worse, lawmakers keep failing at their most basic function, nothing is ever changed about the courts, the mere thought of a constitutional amendment is also treated with derision, and we wash-rinse-repeat.

  11. consciousness razor says

    Maybe it doesn’t have to be mentioned, but just a reminder that Dems control both houses and the presidency. You want something done? Then fucking do it already.

  12. rpjohnston says

    @9 Technically, but Democrats wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be sporting, you know. “Our institutiuons must be respected. Just because they blow them up doesn’t mean we should”, or something like that. “if we become as radical and destructive as them nobody will vote for us”, or something. Aw, you know all the hits, I don’t need to go on

  13. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I have a question for any legal eagles here. The first thing I thought of when reading about this was who has standing to sue? No government official is allowed to enforce this law, so it has to be private citizens bringing law suits, but do they need standing to bring a suit against an abortion provider? And who would have standing in this situation?

    Not a lawyer. However, it’s my understanding that if the government creates a law that like this, it bypasses the normal issues of standing altogether.

    How this is even remotely legal is beyond me, but I’m a mere scientist. What would I know?

    My guess is that it’s probably not. I’d guess some of the vague and all-encompassing US federal bill of rights stuff and 14th amendment stuff would prevent this. Just gotta wait for SCOTUS to strike it down oh wait.

    This template looks like it could go beyond abortions, and essentially ban anything they want by moving enforcement from government to self-appointed inquisitors-slash-bounty hunters. Transition-related care, businesses who serve or hire queer or POC, teach “Critical Race Theory”, whatever. It is, essentially, abolishing any Democratic government entity, right down to the local level. Am I wrong about any of that?

    This isn’t new. I think Democrats started this war when Democrats tried to have unrelated individuals sue gun manufacturers, and got pissy when Republicans plus some Democrats passed a law to grant limited liability against such nonsense lawsuits to gun manufacturers.

    So if the template can be applied to anything, could a Democratic-controlled state use it for gun control? Just pass a law with the same wording, but target gun sellers, manufacturers, and ranges?

    Oh totally. That would be amusing to catch Republicans in their hypocrisy.

  14. raven says

    Technically, but Democrats wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be sporting, you know. “Our institutiuons must be respected.

    The Democrats don’t have the power to do much of anything about the Supreme Court takeover of the USA. They barely control the Senate at 50 to 50 with the VP as tiebreaker.
    They are not monolithic block by any means. It just takes one Senator that doesn’t go along, and that 1 vote majority evaporates.

    This whole death of Roe versus Wade is the result of generations of voters, voting for the GOP. And while we are playing the blame game (for all the good it does), white women voted for Donald Trump and the GOP twice. While the female slavery/forced birthing will fall most heavily on the young, poor and nonwhite, a whole lot of white women and girls are going to be caught in it too.

  15. says

    Let’s hope there is a backlash.
    But if there isn’t, the christaban will keep tightening the screws until there is. That lot will never be satisfied until they bring back the inquisition.

  16. raven says

    The main driver for the female slavers/forced birthers are white, GOP, mostly fundie xians.

    Strangely enough, they are now in the position of the dog that caught the car. Now what?
    Hispanic and Black women utilize abortion at the rate 3 times more than white women. This means the forced births will be mostly, young, poor, and nonwhite. Nonwhite.

    Their biggest fear, which is happening now, is living in a nonwhite majority country.
    They’ve just made that happen a whole lot faster!

    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

  17. raven says

    Let’s hope there is a backlash.

    There might be but it may take years.

    Remember, the Romanians under Ceausescu did this. They outlawed birth control and abortion because Ceausescu thought he needed more Romanians. (It didn’t work, people just found ways around it.)

    The result was a humanitarian disaster and a crime against humanity. The Romanians had babies they couldn’t take care of and gave to the state. The Romanian state couldn’t take care of them either. What resulted was around 100,000 orphans brought up in poverty and deprivation. I once tried to find out what happened to them. AFAICT, most of them just ended up dead one way or another. There was very little followup by anyone.

    So here we are in the USA, following in the footsteps of Romania and Ceausescu. And expecting a different result. Which is the definition of insanity.

    (Ceausescu ended up being hung by his own people.)

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    Between this and their voter suppression law, I fail to see why the Texas statehouse and governor’s mansion are smoldering piles of ruin.

    Donald Trump loses an election and the Republicans throw an armed coup.

    Meanwhile, Republicans strip away voting and reproductive right and Democrats do… nothing.

    Is it any wonder why the fascists are winning?

  19. lucifersbike says

    @18. Ceaușescu and his wife were executed by firing squad on Christmas Day 1989. If you have a strong stomach, search for images of Romanian orphanages 1989.

  20. Akira MacKenzie says

    Let’s hope there is a backlash.

    Oh! Haven’t you read post no. 354 inThe Infinite Thread? Biden had some very harsh words for Texas. VERY harsh.

    That’ll show ‘em.

  21. consciousness razor says

    The Democrats don’t have the power to do much of anything about the Supreme Court takeover of the USA.

    They have the power to pass federal laws, instead of relying on the SC. That’s it. The composition of the court would be irrelevant. But we’re still talking about the SC, because you’re acting like that’s where all of the action is.

    So, okay, let’s play that game then. They can also avoid such a takeover with a recipe that goes something like this:
    1) Don’t elect somebody like Gavin Newsom, who is now the subject of a very precarious recall election.
    2) When you fuck up that part, don’t fail to get behind a serious alternative candidate who can replace him as governor of the largest state in the country.
    3) When you fuck that up, make sure that you didn’t reelect Dianne Feinstein, long past retirement age, who could easily cost you the Senate majority that allows you to do anything whatsoever.
    4) When you fuck that up, don’t have Justice Breyer also keeping his seat warm until he’s dead, like you did with RGB, because you could once again lose the chance to do anything about that, after the next presidential election.
    5) When you fuck that up, don’t pick some bland centrist asshat who may easily lose their election and will at best appoint another conservative to the SC who will not fix any of this for you anyway.

    Basically, just don’t manage to fuck up every single step in the process and then find a way to point your finger at somebody else every single fucking time.

    Oh, what’s that, you say? We’re going ahead with that? Okay, I see. Somebody else must have done that — a Republican, no doubt.

    They barely control the Senate at 50 to 50 with the VP as tiebreaker.

    More excuse-making. When you barely have control, you have control. Use it.

    They are not monolithic block by any means. It just takes one Senator that doesn’t go along, and that 1 vote majority evaporates.

    Also their fault. We didn’t actually need any additional evidence that “blue no matter who” gets you garbage Dems who never do anything, but there it is.

  22. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 23

    When you barely have control, you have control. Use it.

    People like Sinema and Manchineel don’t get into power without doing something you can blackmail them into line with.

  23. davidc1 says

    It’s the married repub politicians and preachers I feel sorry for .
    Now they will have to arrange for their girl friends to go out of state for their abortions .

    Sarcasm by the way .

  24. opposablethumbs says

    6 weeks. Bastards.

    I’m dreaming, I know, but … offer all women mifepristone and misoprostol once a month, every month, for, um, regulating their irregular periods (?or meeting some other health need??). A month is only 4 weeks, so obviously there’s no way you could accidentaly go over the line.
    I know I’m dreaming, because a) the whole point is that there are large numbers of (mostly poorer) women who have poor, limited or no practical access to medical care at all let alone reproductive healthcare (or they might be on the pill or have an IUD in the first place)
    and b) money. I’m guessing the resources aren’t there to provide mifepristone and misoprostol for free :-\

  25. opposablethumbs says

    (… not to mention that nobody wants to take mifepristone and misoprostol on a regular basis, obviously)

  26. consciousness razor says

    I’m guessing the resources aren’t there to provide mifepristone and misoprostol for free :-\

    They’re not where? Certainly not state or local, but the federal government could easily handle something like that.

    We could do better and establish tons of free (federally-funded) clinics all over the place too, which can provide lots of other services. Besides, people need access to them or the rest won’t help all that much.

    Or even better, also pass M4A, which would solve a lot of other healthcare and economic problems as well. Why not?

  27. rpjohnston says

    @17 they’ll just kill ’em all with police, prisons and malnutrition

    A18 not a problem, remember we live in a Just World: Those who are moral enough to live will, and those who die obviously weren’t moral. That just means a few hundred thousand babies will get what they deserved, because something something I’M SO MUCH BETTER THAN THEM JEEESUUUUUS FUCK YEAH! /REPUBLICAN BRAIN

    @24. I’m interested. How can we make those two kneel and lick our boots?

  28. birgerjohansson says

    I want to bring up Bertold Brecht’s play Mother Courage and Her Children written at the beginning of WWII when things looked very grim.
    .
    “The night has twelwe hours, then comes the day” – relevant, both for USA and for the people in Afghanistan.
    2004 it looked like the Republicans would be in power forever. Then their arrogance and stupidity brought them low. Today’s Republicans are far more dysfunctional and are up-front with their contempt for democracy.
    The Taliban have neither the competence nor the inclination to govern a nation state in a rational way, nor are they a homogenous monolith, nor do they have widespread support. Now when people have had a taste of a more free society a genuine grassroots resistance can form.
    All of this takes time. But the baddies are not immortals living in Barad-dur.

  29. Marissa van Eck says

    It occurs to me this works a lot like a DMCA takedown in that 1) there need be no personal connection between plaintiff and defendant and 2) the onus is entirely on the defendant, i.e., guilty until proven (hah, “proven”) innocent.

    This lends itself to a fatal flaw, a type of Bayesian poisoning: shitflood the system with false reports, preferably against politicians. It should not be difficult to overwhelm the reporting system, and very possibly this can be done in an automated (scripted) manner.

  30. kathleenzielinski says

    Under the Senate rules, it takes a super majority of 60 to pass anything, which means that even though the Democrats nominally control the Senate 51/50, they need 10 Republicans to go along with them. So while I agree the Democrats have been gutless wonders on this and many other issues, there really is nothing they can do on this one. The real problem is the asinine two-senator-per-state rule, under which 400,000 Wyoming voters can cancel out 30 million Californians.

    As for standing (trial lawyer here), standing exists because the legislature created it. If the legislature says you have standing, you have standing.

    And no, a blue state can’t do the same thing to gun manufacturers. Back when the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, they passed a federal statute that you can’t sue gun manufacturers, which would take priority over any state law to the contrary.

    We really needed Trump not to win in 2016.

  31. Pierce R. Butler says

    kathleenzielinski @ # 34: Under the Senate rules, it takes a super majority of 60 to pass anything … the Democrats have been gutless wonders on this and many other issues, there really is nothing they can do …

    Except they could repeal the rule that allows for filibusters to block everything they try. And before you point out that two Dems won’t allow that to happen, let me point out that if, say, Senate and House committees alike started intensive reviews and revisions of every project dear to the hearts and wallets of the donors who support Manchin & Sinema, the latter pair would snap into line with dizzying speed. LBJ would’ve whipped their ilk into cooperation before suppertime, any day of the week – had he actually wanted to.

    But, the Democratic “leadership” seems to prefer hiding behind scapegoats to enacting their own professed agenda.

  32. dbinmn says

    The way I understand this law is that it’s not the actual government that is blocking abortions, but that individuals/groups can sue those involved in abortions. This is their clever, yet cowardly, work-around. Is my assessment correct?

  33. kathleenzielinski says

    Pierce, Lyndon Johnson didn’t have a Senate that was split 50/50. The practical problem with what you suggest is that if the Democrats attempt to punish Manchin or Sinema, they then retaliate by switching their party affiliation and handing control of the chamber back to Mitch McConnell. Given that reality, Manchin and Sinema are in a position to hurt the Democrats far more than the Democrats are to hurt Manchin and Sinema. Further, polling in their home states shows that their voters mostly don’t want to abolish the filibuster either, so they probably can’t even be primaried.

  34. raven says

    Is my assessment correct?

    No. Or at least not quite.
    Doc Bill explains it in #8.

    I’ll quote him. “But, here’s the deal. IIRC, the State will conduct the prosecution on behalf of the plaintiff. ”

    The State of Texas seems to want to hide behind private individuals for some reason. Or drag them in for some reason.
    It’s complicated to make it as vicious and discriminatory as possible against women, abortion providers, and pro-choicers.

  35. John Morales says

    kathleenzielinski #37:

    … if the Democrats attempt to punish Manchin or Sinema, they then retaliate by switching their party affiliation …

    Says it all, really.

  36. says

    Since this act of bastardy has been done to appease a minority of religious extremists perhaps religion can be used against this law. Simply establish a religion that includes the right of women to terminate pregnancy if it is their deeply held belief that their particular God has given the permission. The Constitution which I am sure these extremist worship more than the bible mandates separation of church and state so the state can’t interfere. Even the god mitt uns extremists on the supreme court might support it if they were told that refusing this law could be used as a precedent for action against their own money grubbing hate mills disguised as churches.

  37. says

    So… uh… anybody want to place bets on how long it will take for an organized flood of spurious accusations against Republicans of having had abortions to start happening? Since the law says outright that the defendant has to shoulder the bills and is guilty until proven innocent, there’s really no reason not to just accuse as many of them as possible, as often as possible, from as many people as possible.

  38. says

    @#23, consciousness razor:

    You’re expecting advanced planning from a group who ran the most-hated person in the party, somebody who barely had 50% approval within the party, for President in 2016, and then were surprised when they lost. Then they chose a guy who spent his entire career enabling Republicans, whose own supporters barely liked him (32% said he was a good choice), in 2020 and can’t understand why he keeps failing to accomplish anything. These are not smart people. They are not going to grasp even the meaning of what you are saying, let alone sarcasm.

  39. says

    garydargan@40: What you’ve described is pretty much the Satanic Temple’s stock in trade. In particular, TST has established a religious abortion ritual which invokes the Religious Freedom Registration Act as a shield against legislative barriers to abortion.

    vicar@41: The Texas law effectively establishes a legal mechanism for crowdsourcing harrassment. Wouldn’t it be just too bad if that legal harrassment got directed at the legislators who enacted the law that authorizes it?

  40. klatu says

    Not sure it’s been said yet, here…

    Many, many women won’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks.

    Which is, of course, entirely the point of making that the cutoff value.

    You guys really badly need a third party and a better judicial system.

  41. klatu says

    The messed up thing is this:

    In the US, abortion is a fundamental right. (as per Roe v. Wade)

    In Germany, it is fundamentally outlawed.

    Yet, it’s easier to get an abortion in Germany than it is in the US.

    Partly, this can be ascribed to the US being effectively 51 different countries. But the larger part is that you’re a nation filled to be brim with hateful morons.

    Sorry (not sorry) if that’s harsh.

  42. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    klatu @45 – I will not tolerate you disparaging these simple farmers, these people of the land, the common clay of the New West!

  43. klatu says

    The point being:

    You need a functioning civil society in order to have a functioning democracy that actually improves itself over time.

    This means an ever-increasing standard of education and social security for the least socially secure. Raise the standard in order to arrive at a minimally enlightended populace.

    This is the goal the US has historically never even strifed to achieve. And it is why you fail at everything you touch.

    A dumb democracy is just mob rule by another name.

    This is not to say Germany is good. We suck a lot. We fucking keep enabling your bullshit. But at least we have better representation. Here, the nazis only have 10-12% of the voting power, not 40-50%.

  44. John Morales says

    [cd, that’s why refreshing before posting is useful!
    … and yes, I too fail sometimes]

  45. klatu says

    Lol.

    Hey, seeing people fail is funny in its own right.

    (I’m not trying to be mean. I’ve never even seen Blazing Saddles. I just googled what I suspected was a quote. It’s very good, btw!)

  46. Owlmirror says

    So… uh… anybody want to place bets on how long it will take for an organized flood of spurious accusations against Republicans of having had abortions

    Indeed, using the database of registered Texas Republicans as an input to a lawsuit generation template.

    Since the law says outright that the defendant has to shoulder the bills and is guilty until proven innocent,

    and there seems to be no penalty for the plaintiff initiating the lawsuit, regardless of the merit …

  47. birgerjohansson says

    Politics and culture.
    I just learned the Greek folk singer Mikis Theodorakis has died at 96.
    He made more than 1000 songs.
    His protests against the military junta in the 1960s led to him being arrested and tortured. He and the other Greeks had the real stakes of democracy in living memory.
    .
    In USA those who have seen ‘The face of the gorgon’ are limited to those beaten to pulp during Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and similar activism.
    Most Americans do not see a connection between their lack of economic, medical and even physical security, and the dysfunctional political system they have been immersed in since birth. They think ‘that’s just the way it is’ .

  48. snarkrates says

    Klatu: “Partly, this can be ascribed to the US being effectively 51 different countries. But the larger part is that you’re a nation filled to be brim with hateful morons.”

    Oh, would that we could reduce it to 50. In reality, the balkanization extends down to the county or municipal level, as the fights over mask mandates and vaccine requirements have made clear. Or of you do not care about whether political entities are geographically contiguous, you can break it into two–urban vs. rural–or perhaps 3–urban vs. suburban vs. rural.

  49. birgerjohansson says

    Let us not forget that balkanisation may make gerrymandering easier. Larger demographics may even out the differences.

  50. says

    Why do people think other people’s reproductive systems are any of their business?

    It’s long past time you had a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing every pregnant person the right to an abortion, free of charge and without any other party’s permission, at any moment up to the onset of labour, and not be discriminated against for it after the event.

  51. Pierce R. Butler says

    Justice Sotomayor writes a furious dissent as the Supreme Court lets Texas violate Roe v. Wade

    “The Court’s order is stunning,” Sotomayor wrote. “Because the Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and inflicts significant harm on the applicants and on women seeking abortions in Texas, I dissent.”

    She left out the traditional word “respectfully” before “dissent” — a telltale sign that a justice is livid.


    “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand. Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents. Today, the Court belatedly explains that it declined to grant relief because of procedural complexities of the State’s own invention,” she wrote.


    Justice Elena Kagan also wrote a dissent, though “respectfully,” criticizing the majority for abusing the “shadow docket” — the orders it issues outside of the usual lengthy procedures of briefings, oral arguments, and detailed opinions.

    “[The] majority’s decision is emblematic of too much of this Court’s shadow-docket decisionmaking—which every day becomes more unreasoned, inconsistent, and impossible to defend,” she wrote.

  52. Pierce R. Butler says

    kathleenzielinski @ # 37: … Manchin and Sinema are in a position to hurt the Democrats far more than the Democrats are to hurt Manchin and Sinema.

    There you have a solid point.

    … polling in their home states shows that their voters mostly don’t want to abolish the filibuster either…

    Not so sure about this one: apparently voters in both AZ & WV strongly support the measures for voting rights, infrastructure, etc, which their senators so visibly obstruct.

  53. Doc Bill says

    @38 Raven

    If the state of Texas was the “prosecutor” then the State could be taken to court immediately to block the law. My making this a civil matter where the “prosecutor” is any old Joe Schmo, then who do you take to court? Yeah, you’re stuck. That’s what these rat-fucking bastards passed with this bill. The US is chock full of nosey, busy-body scolds who can’t wait to persecute some hapless woman or their favorite target, a woman doctor of color. Yee haw, ride em’!

    It’s far from over in Texas. The American Taliban are really feeling their oats. They’re going after contraception, next, and don’t even imagine what they are going to do to the LGBTQ community. It’s grim.

  54. stroppy says

    Arizona is a swing state with a powerful right wing– note for instance the election recount shenanigans. Sinema’s calculus has no doubt been shaped by her experience in the state senate and by her race against rightwing nut McSally. Not saying she has it right, AOC’s takedown of her was spot on, but the reality is more subtle and complicated than people sometimes like to imagine. The intractable problem is Republicans.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/may/18/arizona-democrats-mark-kelly-kyrsten-sinema

  55. says

    Follow-up to comment 57, and cross-posted from The Infinite Thread:

    NBC News:

    A divided Supreme Court late Wednesday declined to block a restrictive Texas law banning abortions. … The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts dissenting alongside the three liberal Justices Elaina Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Each wrote a separate opinion opposing the majority decision.

    Commentary, with emphasis on Sotomayor’s dissent:

    […] “The court’s order is stunning,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”

    She added, “The Act is clearly unconstitutional under existing precedents. The respondents do not even try to argue otherwise. Nor could they: No federal appellate court has upheld such a comprehensive prohibition on abortions before viability under current law. The Texas Legislature was well aware of this binding precedent. To circumvent it, the Legislature took the extraordinary step of enlisting private citizens to do what the State could not.”

    Sotomayor went on to write, “Today, the Court finally tells the Nation that it declined to act because, in short, the State’s gambit worked. The structure of the State’s scheme, the Court reasons, raises ‘complex and novel antecedent procedural questions’ that counsel against granting the application, just as the State intended. This is untenable. It cannot be the case that a State can evade federal judicial scrutiny by outsourcing the enforcement of unconstitutional laws to its citizenry.”

    The justice concluded, “The court has rewarded the state’s effort to delay federal review of a plainly unconstitutional statute, enacted in disregard of the court’s precedents, through procedural entanglements of the state’s own creation. The court should not be so content to ignore its constitutional obligations to protect not only the rights of women, but also the sanctity of its precedents and of the rule of law.”

    These were not simply the words of a disappointed jurist. Sotomayor’s point was to make plain the nature of a brazen scheme: Texas Republicans created a complex system to circumvent the law and Supreme Court precedent, which led five Supreme Court justices to conclude that Texas Republicans’ law must take effect because of the time it will take to explore the statute’s complexities.

    There is no credible defense. Five members of the nation’s highest court didn’t care.

    Link

    Sotomayor’s fiery dissent makes sense. It is coherent and effective. You can read all of the dissents here [PDF].

    Excerpt from Justice Robert’s dissent:

    […] The State defendants argue that they cannot be re- strained from enforcing their rules because they do not en- force them in the first place. I would grant preliminary re- lief to preserve the status quo ante—before the law went into effect—so that the courts may consider whether a state can avoid responsibility for its laws in such a manner. […]

    Excerpt from Justice Breyer’s dissent:

    […] Texas’s law delegates to private indi- viduals the power to prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion during the first stage of pregnancy. But a woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion dur- ing that first stage. […]

    Indeed, we have made clear that “since the State cannot regulate or pro- scribe abortion during the first stage . . . the State cannot delegate authority to any particular person . . . to prevent abortion during that same period.”

    […] I recognize that Texas’s law delegates the State’s power to prevent abortions not to one person (such as a district attorney) or to a few persons (such as a group of government officials or private citizens) but to any person. But I do not see why that fact should make a critical legal difference. That delegation still threatens to invade a constitutional right, and the coming into effect of that delegation still threatens imminent harm.

    […] this Court should not per- mit the law to take effect without assuring the applicants (and the respondents) an opportunity first and fully to make (or to refute) these and other arguments supporting the request for an injunction. […]

    Excerpt from Justice Sotomayor’s dissent, (in addition to excerpts already presented above):

    […] Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents. Today, the Court belatedly explains that it declined to grant relief because of procedural complexities of the State’s own invention. Ante, at 1. Because the Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and in- flicts significant harm on the applicants and on women seeking abortions in Texas, I dissent.

    […] the Act immediately prohibits care for at least 85% of Texas abortion patients and will force many abortion clinics to close.

    […] In effect, the Texas Legislature has deputized the State’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures. […]

  56. says

    There are very good arguments that calling American Christians and conservatives “Taliban” is not a good thing. This is a very American Christian and conservative problem that pre-dates the Taliban, and further demonizes Muslims.

  57. James Fehlinger says

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/02/opinion/texas-abortion-supreme-court-roe-v-wade.html
    +++++
    The Abortion Ruling Was Stunning but Not Surprising
    Sept. 2, 2021
    By The Editorial Board

    . . .

    As has been true throughout history, however, making abortion illegal
    won’t stop abortions. It just stops legal abortions. If a woman is pregnant
    and does not wish to be, she will find a way to end her pregnancy.
    Before Roe v. Wade, desperate women relied on back-alley providers
    and dangerous home remedies. Today there are safer options, including
    abortion pills that can be purchased off the internet — though buying
    or distributing pills in such a way carries legal risks. Still, many
    more Texas women will rely on such services going forward. . .
    +++++

  58. logicalcat says

    We warned you guys with this popular meme during 2016 and Clinton herself warned of it too. Its cute seeing purity leftists all of a sudden care about abortion. You didnt back then. You didnt even care enough to vote and stop it. You didnt vote for Clinton to stop it and you didnt vote for Bernie either.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=2016+batman+slaps+robin+two+supreme+court+judges&client=ms-android-mpcs-us-revc&prmd=nisxv&sxsrf=AOaemvLwzYzQEoaDnOuJ98YsNVQT-FrzMw:1631031705239&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTqaHLou3yAhVRU98KHVHVDWkQ_AUoAnoECAIQAg&biw=412&bih=743&dpr=2.63#imgrc=KJWsB1tqOv7kBM

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/04/hillary-clinton-warned-us-this-day-would-come/

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