Monday, June 27, 2016

Last Call For Messing With Texas

The Supreme Court finished off the 2015-2016 term today with a 5-3 decision finding Texas's TRAP laws unconstitutional.

Passed in 2013, the law said clinics providing abortion services must meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. And it required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. 
Since the law was passed, the number of clinics providing abortion services in Texas dropped to 19 from 42. Opponents said that number would fall to ten if the Supreme Court upheld the law. 
The Center for Reproductive Rights called the law "an absolute sham," arguing that abortion patients rarely require hospitalization and that many patients simply take two pills. 
Justice Stephen G. Breyer in writing the majority opinion said "neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution."

The question now turns to states with similar laws restricting abortion clinics through regulation of hospital admission privileges and surgery center layouts, most notably Ohio, where these same laws are threatening to shutter Cincinnati and Dayton's last two remaining abortion providers. Think Progress breaks down the beatdown:

As Breyer notes, the admitting privileges requirement is a solution in search of a problem. As the trial court determined in this case, “[t]he great weight of evidence demonstrates that, before the act’s passage, abortion in Texas was extremely safe with particularly low rates of serious complications and virtually no deaths occurring on account of the procedure.” Accordingly, “there was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure.” 
Indeed, when Texas’ solicitor general was “directly asked at oral argument whether Texas knew of a single instance in which the new requirement would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case.” 
A significant reason why the admitting privileges requirement imposes such a heavy burden on abortion providers is that many hospitals require doctors to actually admit a certain number of patients in order to maintain those privileges. But abortion doctors rarely have a reason to do so. One clinic, for example, performed over 17,000 abortions over a decade, and “not a single one of those patients had to be transferred to a hospital for emergency treatment, much less admitted to the hospital.” Thus, Breyer writes, “doctors would be unable to maintain admitting privileges or obtain those privileges for the future, because the fact that abortions are so safe meant that providers were unlikely to have any patients to admit.” 

I don't see how John Kasich's TRAP laws survive in Ohio in the wake of Breyer's ruling, and we'll see how it plays out, but the damage has largely already been done as a result.  Texas still will have lost half its abortion providers, as will Ohio.

I'm pretty sure it's a gamble Republicans were willing to take, and we'll just move on to the next set of regulations that red states will come up with to close clinics.

The Turning Of The Screw Job

Republicans know Hillary Clinton isn't going to pick Bernie Sanders as her VP, and the GOP plans to use that in order to convince Sanders supporters to abandon her in November.

In a detailed memo outlining its strategy to combat Clinton’s VP choice, the committee says it will frame the selection as both a cynical play to certain constituencies and as an emotional letdown for voters who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary. 
The goals, the memo says, are to “drive wedges between these top contenders and either Clinton and/or traditional Democrat constituencies, such as labor, environmentalists, and gun control advocates, and other traditional left-wing constituencies;” and “[w]here applicable, frame the choice as an insult to the large, deep base of Bernie Sanders supporters who are struggling with the notion of supporting Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democrat nominee.” 
Titled “Project Pander,” the RNC’s strategy memo also reveals which candidates the committee views as most likely to be selected. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) occupy the top tier; Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) are in the second. 
Authored by Raj Shah, the research director and deputy communications director at the RNC, the memo telegraphs a campaign of subterfuge that is traditionally executed in private. Parties normally don’t like their fingerprints on the attacks against the opposition. But this has been an untraditional election, with both sides relatively unapologetic about the mud they are slinging.

Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director and chief strategist, said that the committee already has conducted extensive field research in San Antonio, Boston and Richmond, Virginia (homes to Castro, Warren and Kaine, respectively) in addition to investigative work on all six potential choices. 
“We’ve audited previous research efforts from allied folks, ID-ed relevant video and historical paper archives,” Spicer said. He added that the committee had filed more than 20 freedom of information requests at the local, state and federal level on these potential VP choices and was ready to deploy operatives for further dirt-digging within 12 hours of an announcement.

Of course the Republicans are counting on the Bernie or Bust idiots to help Trump win, and they are more than happy to rile them up in order to get the job done. I don't know how I can make it too much more clear to Sanders than until he endorses Hillary and drops out of the race, he is a liability and he is helping Donald Trump, and so are his supporters.

There comes a time guys in which you have to choose a side.

Your choices are Hillary or Trump.


History Doomed To Repeat Itself

The white nationalists and skinheads, clad in black, began to arrive a little before noon Sunday for their planned march on the state Capitol grounds. They were met by hundreds of protesters toting signs that denounced “Nazi scum.”

Violence began almost immediately, authorities and witnesses said, and by the time the clashes ended 20 minutes later, at least seven people had been stabbed, nine were hospitalized and many more suffered bruises, scrapes and cuts.

"They attacked each other without hesitation," said counter-protester Chandra Zafra, 50, a member of the Mexica Movement nonprofit. "It was a war zone."

For much of the afternoon, the historic domed Capitol was locked down, with staffers and tourists inside. Police swarmed the park-like grounds, but by Sunday evening there had still been no arrests.

The Sacramento stabbings came several months after another violent confrontation between members of a Ku Klux Klan group and counter-protesters at an Anaheim park.

As Shakezula over at LGM puts it, these are our Brexit thugs, they are the guys that are going to be very, very angry after November 8 and they're not going anywhere.  This was the mistake the left made in 2008-2010, figuring that an America that could elect a black President was an enlightened, awesome place.  Instead we got the almost immediate Tea Party backlash, the beginning of the end of the Democratic Party in the South and Midwest, and a GOP Congress after two disastrous midterms.  We're one election away at this point from going back generations on civil rights.

These guys aren't going anywhere when Hillary wins, and 2018 is going to be brutal.


Related Posts with Thumbnails