Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Road To Gilead, Con't

Texas's state Supreme Court is allowing the state's law banning abortion from a century ago to go into effect immediately, ending legal abortions in the state.

Texas can enforce its abortion ban from 1925, the state Supreme Court ruled late Friday evening, a decision that exposes abortion providers to lawsuits and financial penalties if they continue to perform the procedure.

The court overruled a district judge in Houston, who on Tuesday had temporarily blocked the state’s old abortion law from going into effect. That law made performing an abortion, by any method, punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

Friday’s decision does not permit prosecutors to bring criminal cases against abortion providers, but it exposes anyone who assists in the procurement of an abortion to fines and lawsuits.

The federal Supreme Court on June 24 overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that asserted that access to abortion is protected under the constitution. The Texas Legislature last year passed a “trigger law” that would automatically ban abortion from the moment of fertilization 30 days after a judgment from the Supreme Court, which typically comes about a month after the initial opinion.

Abortion rights groups filed a lawsuit Monday in hopes of extending the period the procedure remains legal in Texas. They argued the 1925 ban was effectively repealed when the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Roe v. Wade, and thus cannot be enforced now.

“These laws are confusing, unnecessary, and cruel,” Marc Hearron, Senior Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is not part of the lawsuit, said in a statement. “Texas’s trigger ban is not scheduled to take effect for another two months, if not longer. This law from nearly one hundred years ago is banning essential health care prematurely, despite clearly being long repealed.”

Since the Legislature never repealed its pre-Roe statute banning abortion, however, some conservative lawmakers and legal scholars argued abortion again became illegal in Texas the moment the Supreme Court announced its ruling.


And again, the next step is to criminalize crossing state lines for an abortion, and then finally criminalizing failure to give live birth.

Hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, a man with a wiry, squared-off beard and a metal cross around his neck celebrated with his team at a Brazilian steakhouse. He pulled out his phone to livestream to his followers.

“We have delivered a huge blow to the enemy and to this industry,” the man, Jeff Durbin, said. But, he explained, “our work has just really begun.”

“Even the states that have trigger laws,” which ban abortion at conception without exceptions for rape or incest, did not go far enough, Mr. Durbin, a pastor in the greater Phoenix area, said. “They do not believe that the woman should ever be punished.”

Resistance to “the question of whether or not people who murder their children in the wombs are guilty,” he said, “is going to have to be something we have to overcome, because women are still going to be killing their children in the womb.”

Even as those in the anti-abortion movement celebrate their nation-changing Supreme Court victory, there are divisions over where to go next. The most extreme, like Mr. Durbin, want to pursue what they call “abortion abolition,” a move to criminalize abortion from conception as homicide, and hold women who have the procedure responsible — a position that in some states could make those women eligible for the death penalty. That position is at odds with the anti-abortion mainstream, which opposes criminalizing women and focuses on prosecuting providers.

Many people who oppose abortion believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder. Abolitionists follow that thinking to what they believe is the logical, and uncompromising, conclusion: From the moment of conception, abolitionists want to give the fetus equal protection as a person under the 14th Amendment.

States like Texas are going to start sending women who miscarry to death row very soon.

Trump Cards, Con't

Donald Trump has apparently decided that moving up the timetable for a possible 2024 presidential bid is the only way to stop the twin threats of the January 6th investigation and his primary problems with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former VP Mike Pence.

Republicans are bracing for Donald J. Trump to announce an unusually early bid for the White House, a move designed in part to shield the former president from a stream of damaging revelations emerging from investigations into his attempts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election.

While many Republicans would welcome Mr. Trump’s entry into the race, his move would also exacerbate persistent divisions over whether the former president is the party’s best hope to win back the White House. The party is also divided over whether his candidacy would be an unnecessary distraction from midterm elections or even a direct threat to democracy.

Mr. Trump has long hinted at a third consecutive White House bid and has campaigned for much of the past year. He has accelerated his planning in recent weeks just as a pair of investigations have intensified and congressional testimony has revealed new details about Mr. Trump’s indifference to the threat of violence on Jan. 6 and his refusal to act to stop an insurrection.

Mr. Trump has also watched as some of his preferred candidates have lost recent primary elections, raising hopes among his potential Republican competitors that voters may be drifting from a politician long thought to have an iron grip on the party.

Rather than humble Mr. Trump, the developments have emboldened him to try to reassert himself as the head of the party, eclipse damaging headlines and steal attention from potential rivals, including Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a rising favorite of donors and voters. Republicans close to Mr. Trump have said he believes a formal announcement would bolster his claims that the investigations are politically motivated.

Mr. Trump would enter the race as the clear front-runner, with an approval rating among Republicans around 80 percent, but there are signs that a growing number of the party’s voters are exploring other options.

“I don’t think anyone is inevitable,” said Haley Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman who also served eight years as Mississippi’s governor.

The timing of a formal announcement from Mr. Trump remains uncertain. But he recently surprised some advisers by saying he might declare his candidacy on social media without warning even his own team, and aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month.

That timing would be extraordinary — presidential candidates typically announce their candidacies in the year before the election — and could have immediate implications for Republicans seeking to take control of Congress in November. Mr. Trump’s presence as an active candidate would make it easier for Democrats to turn midterm races into a referendum on the former president, who since losing in 2020 has relentlessly spread lies about the legitimacy of the election. Some Republicans fear that would distract from pocketbook issues that have given their party a strong advantage in congressional races.

Republicans want to win badly in 2022, and it is dawning on many of them that relitigating the 2020 election with Trump’s daily conspiracy diatribes are sure losers,” said Dick Wadhams, a Republican strategist and former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.
It's not going to save him.
He has to be indicted, and on a wide variety of crimes.
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