Friday, April 21, 2023

Last Call For A Supreme Dodge

To my surprise, the Supreme Court ruled to block Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk's ruling on mifepristone 7-2, meaning that millions of women will be allowed to continue using the drug.

For now, at least.
The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the most commonly used abortion pill in the U.S. to remain widely available.

The court blocked in full a decision by Texas U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk on April 7 that had invalidated the Food and Drug Administration’s longtime approval of mifepristone and handed a sweeping victory to abortion opponents.

Two of the nine justices — conservatives Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — said they would have let part of Kacsmaryk's ruling take effect.

The Justice Department and Danco Laboratories, which makes the name brand version of mifepristone, Mifeprex, had asked the justices to step in after a federal appeals court kept in place a number of provisions in Kacsmaryk's order that would have imperiled widespread access to the drug, including restrictions on distributing the pill to patients by mail.

The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, issued a temporary stay of Kacsmaryk's ruling April 14, which was extended for two days Wednesday while the justices considered what steps to take.

Alito said in a brief dissenting opinion Friday that a decision to suspend regulatory changes made since 2016 would not have prevented mifepristone from being available.

"At present, the applicants are not entitled to a stay because they have not shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the interim," Alito wrote.

"Contrary to the impression that may be held by many, that disposition would not express any view on the merits of the question whether the FDA acted lawfully in any of its actions regarding mifepristone," he added.

The court's decision means women can still obtain mifepristone by mail, take it at home and use it up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy, as litigation continues in the lower court. The generic version of the drug, made by GenBioPro, will also continue to be available.

The case will now go back to the 5th Circuit for oral arguments before a three-judge panel on May 17. Nothing will change mifepristone’s availability in the interim.
So the legal fight will continue in the months ahead. I was right about Alito siding with the 5th Circuit, but he only got Clarence Thomas to agree with him, and none of the other four conservatives.
That's a good sign for now, but the road is going to be long on this one.

Give Me That Old Time Religion (Whether You Want It Or Not)

You can draw a straight line from the ridiculous Hobby Lobby decision by the Roberts Court seven years ago to this idiocy today in Texas.
Public schools in Texas would have to prominently display the Ten Commandments in every classroom starting next school year under a bill the Texas Senate approved Thursday.

Senate Bill 1515 by Sen. Phil King, R-Weatherford, now heads to the House for consideration.

This is the latest attempt from Texas Republicans to inject religion into public schools. In 2021, state Sen. Bryan Hughes, a Mineola Republican, authored a bill that became law requiring schools to display donated “In God We Trust” signs.

King said during a committee hearing earlier this month that the Ten Commandments are part of American heritage and it’s time to bring them back into the classroom. He said the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for his bill after it sided with Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach in Washington state who was fired for praying at football games. The court ruled that was praying as a private citizen, not as an employee of the district.

“[The bill] will remind students all across Texas of the importance of the fundamental foundation of America,” King said during that hearing.

The Senate also gave final passage to Senate Bill 1396, authored by Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston, which would allow public and charter schools to adopt a policy requiring every campus to set aside a time for students and employees to read the Bible or other religious texts and to pray.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement that both bills are wins for religious freedom in Texas.

“I believe that you cannot change the culture of the country until you change the culture of mankind,” he said. “Bringing the Ten Commandments and prayer back to our public schools will enable our students to become better Texans.”

Matt Krause, a former Texas state representative and attorney with the First Liberty Institute, the organization that represented the Washington coach, said the Kennedy case was a victory in religious freedom and this bill would be protected.

“The Kennedy case for religious liberty was much like the Dobbs case was for the pro-life movement,” he said. “It was a fundamental shift.”
As I said years ago, "You people having rights at all is violating my closely held beliefs as a Christian" will be used to roll America back decades and to eliminate the civil rights era entirely. We're going to see a lot more of this in the years ahead, theocratic tyranny used to preserve white supremacy forever.

And yeah, we're locking in a two-tiered America where you may have rights in one state, and absolutely not in another, depending on your sex, religion, who you love, the color of your skin, etc.

It was unsaid before, now it's open oppression, and it's not going to be sustainable. Sadly, with the same states taking rights away also being the states with open carry firearms and little to no restrictions on who can buy them, the odds of mass violence (even more than the mass shootings we already have) are high, only this time when these states lean in on violence, thousands are going to die.

Another #MeToo Moment For The GOP

Turns out the Vice Chair of the Tennessee House Caucus was trying to expel Democrats to cover up his own sexual harassment of interns.
A member of GOP leadership in the Tennessee House of Representatives was recently found guilty of sexually harassing at least one legislative intern, likely two, by an ethics subcommittee acting in secret, NewsChannel 5 Investigates has learned.

About six hours after being confronted by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, Rep. Scotty Campbell gave up his seat in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Until now, Campbell, who served as vice chair of the House Republican Caucus and who recently voted to expel three Democrats who engaged in a gun violence protest on the House floor, had suffered no previous consequences as a result of his actions.

Watch full story on NewsChannel 5 at 6

Despite accusations of sometimes extremely vulgar comments and other inappropriate advances, Republicans did not remove the 39-year-old East Tennessee lawmaker from his leadership position nor from his committee assignments.

But taxpayers are paying for his actions.

NewsChannel 5 has learned that potentially thousands of dollars have been spent to protect one victim, relocating her from the downtown apartment building where she and Campbell both had apartments, shipping her furniture back home in another part of the state and placing her in a downtown hotel for the remainder of her internship.

Legislative officials refused to say how much they've paid out, saying that information is confidential.

Confronted with the allegations Thursday as he headed to Capitol Hill, Campbell referenced a second intern who was also involved in the investigation. NewsChannel 5 was previously unaware of that individual's complaint.

"I had consensual, adult conversations with two adults off property," he insisted.

"I think conversations are consensual once that is verbally agreed to. If I choose to talk to any intern in the future, it will be recorded."

But a four-member ethics subcommittee, composed of two Republicans and two Democrats, came to a different conclusion, according to a memorandum dated March 29 that was sent to House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

"Based on the completed staff investigation, the Ethics Subcommittee finds that Representative Campbell violated the Policy" against workplace discrimination and harassment, the memo says
"Can't be expelled on ethics charges if you quit! Later, losers!"
Seriously though, nobody should be surprised at this. When you have one-party rule like this for decades, you become corrupt every time.
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