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CNN: Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion access law

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CNN:  Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion access law

 



Washington (CNN)In a dramatic ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Texas abortion access law in a victory to supporters of abortion rights who argued it would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state. 

The 5-3 ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing so-called "clinic shutdown" laws.

 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decried the ruling. "The decision erodes States' lawmaking authority to safeguard the health and safety of women and subjects more innocent life to being lost," the Republican governor said in a statement. "Texas' goal is to protect innocent life, while ensuring the highest health and safety standards for women."

 
How honest of him to flat out admit that the purpose of the law was to prevent abortions.  :)

 

Kennedy the swing vote

All eyes were on Kennedy entering oral arguments -- a position the 79-year-old justice has often found himself in on the abortion issue.

Kennedy was one of the authors of Casey, but then disappointed supporters of abortion rights when he upheld the federal partial birth abortion ban in 2007. All eyes were on him for this case to see if he would take the opportunity to clarify Casey. Instead, as the most senior justice in the majority it was his choice to allow Breyer to write.
 
"The fact that Justice Kennedy gave away this opinion assignment and didn't write separately is striking," said Vladeck. "Kennedy has not only been the swing vote on abortion issues since he joined the Court in 1988, but he has written an opinion in virtually every major abortion case during that time, including the majority opinion in the Court's controversial 2007 decision upholding the federal ban on so-called 'partial-birth' abortions.

"It's not stunning that he sided with the liberals in striking down the Texas law in this case, but it is stunning that he didn't feel the need to explain why," Vladeck added.

 
 
NYT: Why the Supreme Court’s Texas Abortion Decision Is So Momentous:

 

.Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion for the majority delivers an ingredient that’s been missing for 25 years: a definitive statement of what it means for a state to impose an “undue burden” on the right to abortion, by placing a “substantial obstacle” in the path of a woman seeking one. The court established the “undue burden” standard in 1992, but what the test meant appeared to shift over time, until it was close to shapeless. Now the court has issued a clear answer, which gives proper weight to medical expertise and scientific evidence — and respects women and the choices they make. That’s monumental, too.

 

 
 

“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” Breyer wrote in an opinion joined by the court’s three other liberals — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — and the swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy. So this is what “undue burden” means: a safety precaution that does more harm than good, measured in terms of preventing a woman from having an abortion versus protecting her health. The test for the court, in assessing Texas’ regulations, is whether they make women safer, compared with the previous rules. 

 

The answer, the evidence presented in the lower court showed, is no. Before doctors had to get admitting privileges, they had to show they had a working arrangement with a hospital to care for a patient with complications. When asked at argument for a single instance in which admitting privileges “would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment, Texas admitted that there was no evidence in the record of such a case,” Breyer writes. Yet when the state began enforcing the admitting-privilege rule, the number of clinics in the state dropped to about 20 from about 40. (Abortion providers often don’t qualify for the privileges because their rates of complications are too low for regular admissions of patients.) 

 

The surgical-center rules are similarly useless. The record showed “that abortions taking place in an abortion facility are safe,” Breyer writes — “indeed safer” than many outpatient procedures for which Texas had no analogous rules. Among the riskier procedures the state didn’t similarly regulate: home births, colonoscopies, liposuction and (from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion) tonsillectomies and dental surgery. The state singled out abortion for regulation to discourage it. As clinics shut, more women had to travel 100 or 200 miles to reach a clinic. That hit poor women hardest. The balancing test Breyer lays out — burdens to access weighed against benefits to health — makes clear why forcing women to travel long distances can be a violation of the Constitution.

 

 

I haven't gone into people speculating about how this decision might affect the elections.  Not sure if that belongs in the election thread, or here.  But I'm leaning towards here.  (Just so that people who want to run and hide from any discussion which mentions abortion can still read the election thread.) 

 

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Good.

Also noting that even if Scalia was alive, the Court ruling would have still been 5-4 to strike

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Kennedy has made two big swing decisions recently. Seems until he next appointment he is the X factor.

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How honest of him to flat out admit that the purpose of the law was to prevent abortions.  :)

 

 

 

 

 

the women having them are not innocent to you?  :)

 

seems a fair ruling as long as they apply undue burden equally in other matters

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seems a fair ruling as long as they apply undue burden equally in other matters

I actually was wondering about that, myself.

That standard, "does the benefit of the law outweigh the restriction imposed?", is the standard that I really think needs to be applied to all laws. And it's the one that I try to apply, myself.

 

in particular, when I was reading that part, I was thinking about gun control. 

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Glad the charade of passing off Anti-Abortion legislation in the form of "protecting the mother" has been exposed at the highest level possible.

Shout out to Wendy Davis, where ever she is.

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Glad the charade of passing off Anti-Abortion legislation in the form of "protecting the mother" has been exposed at the highest level possible.

.

That was actually the reasoning used in Roe.

Laws prohibiting abortions claimed that they were passed to protect the mother. And the plaintiffs brought scientific evidence showing that abortions in the first two trimesters actually had less medical complications than pregnancy did.

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I actually was wondering about that, myself.

That standard, "does the benefit of the law outweigh the restriction imposed?", is the standard that I really think needs to be applied to all laws. And it's the one that I try to apply, myself.

 

in particular, when I was reading that part, I was thinking about gun control. 

 

 

or religious freedom or voting

 

kinda odd they allowed taking away gun rights for  misdemeanor spousal abuse and won't allow this law though

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Abortion is a dead fight that only a few lunatics still fight. Its time to move on from it.

This is about as an untrue statement as an abortion provider saying they care about human lives.

 

Latest Gallup poll on abortion views:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/191834/americans-attitudes-toward-abortion-unchanged.aspx?g_source=ABORTION&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles

Edited by Zguy28

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kinda odd they allowed taking away gun rights for  misdemeanor spousal abuse and won't allow this law though

Perhaps somebody actually pointed out actual cases where abusive spouses and guns have harmed people? :)

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Abortion is a dead fight that only a few lunatics still fight. Its time to move on from it.

 

From the CNN article:  (Quoting Clinton): 

 

In the first three months of 2016, states introduced more than 400 measures restricting access to abortion.

 

 

I'll point out that several states have recently passed laws similar to this Texas one. 

 

It would appear to me that your statement seems inaccurate.  Unless your definition of "a few lunatics" includes "virtually every Republican elected to office". 

 

(A definition which, I will agree, does have some validity.)  :)

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Only took 8 posts to bring up gun rights...impressive!

 

Larry is a NRA plant.

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Praise be!

 

Glad to see that some members of the Supreme Court still have their bull**** meters calibrated correctly.

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I was surprised that this thread went unmade all day yesterday.

 

 

Glad the charade of passing off Anti-Abortion legislation in the form of "protecting the mother" has been exposed at the highest level possible. Shout out to Wendy Davis, where ever she is.

 

It was always such a sick, transparent, pretension.

 

 

 

BenningRoadSkin, on 28 Jun 2016 - 07:31 AM, said:

 

Abortion is a dead fight that only a few lunatics still fight. Its time to move on from it.

 

 

 

 

You're sure overstating the "it's over" angle, and describing all who oppose current laws as lunatics is lazy-brained and gratuitously insulting. There are millions of intelligent fine people who have very serious issues with abortion, and they and their arguments merit and demand attention. They have their right to fight for their beliefs. There are lunatics, and a lot of ugly, too. And you see that on various sides of most topics.

 

I'm in a different camp with some long time posters on this issue, but I can tell our "big time" emotions/protection for kids is sure shared. I've devoted a great deal of my life to helping kids and families in bad situations. I am very much "pro choice" for want of a better term. No way would I insult in sweeping manner those who oppose abortion simply for taking that stance. Such would only be an option for me if they choose tactics that I deem worth castigation---like calling medical providers that perform an abortion "murderer" or burning down a clinic, obstructing access etc. 

 

 

 

This is about as an untrue statement as an abortion provider saying they care about human lives.

 

 

 

So that would mean his statement is true.  :rolleyes:  :)

 

Because medical providers do care about those human lives. :o

 

You're of course factually wrong in general, and really just showing your own inner ugly. I agree with your rejection of the idea that the "fight" is "over" , but you do it in pathetic form.

 

  

Only took 8 posts to bring up gun rights...impressive!

  

 

Long term picture, species-wise, ya have to hope a lot of our seemingly intractable and recurring messes are mostly cuz we're still comparatively new and fresh, especially with learning how to manage that big fancy toy between our ears, and in a few million years we should be better honed at our deal just like so many other critters who have had more time to practice.  :D

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Supreme Court basically looked at Texas, said "No, that Spade is a Spade, and you do not have a flush of Hearts. Buh bye."

Indeed, this is an important decision because the whole "we're blocking abortions for womens' health reasons" is the latest front in the pro-choice-pro-life battle, and it's pretty silly once information is actually presented. This decision, rightfully, knocks that front out.

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Perhaps somebody actually pointed out actual cases where abusive spouses and guns have harmed people? :)

 

I know you aren't claiming abortion clinics haven't harmed people  :P

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This case really isn't about abortion, although it came up in the abortion context.   It's more fundamentally about passing laws that claim to be for the purposes of X, while really intending the result of Y (and not hiding or justifying it well enough).  

 

This was a really transparent and dishonest law, and the Court needs to remind legislatures every once in a while that they have the power to look behind the curtain and realistically examine a law's true purposes and real world effects, not just what the legislature claims the purposes are and effects will be.  

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This case really isn't about abortion, although it came up in the abortion context.   It's more fundamentally about passing laws that claim to be for the purposes of X, while really intending the result of Y (and not hiding or justifying it well enough).  

 

This was a really transparent and dishonest law, and the Court needs to remind legislatures every once in a while that they have the power to look behind the curtain and realistically examine a law's true purposes and real world effects, not just what the legislature claims the purposes are and effects will be.

Yeah, part of me simply suspects that the lesson that the anti abortion people will take from this is "if we want to accomplish our goal, we're going to have to lie more than we already are".

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Yeah, part of me simply suspects that the lesson that the anti abortion people will take from this is "if we want to accomplish our goal, we're going to have to lie more than we already are".

Larry, would you lie to save a human life?  I'm not asking you to whether you believe a baby in the womb is a person, because I know the answer. Its more of a general question.

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Larry, would you lie to save a human life?  I'm not asking you to whether you believe a baby in the womb is a person, because I know the answer. Its more of a general question.

Certainly. So, I'm certain, would every other person.

But it gets to be a bit fuzzier, when "it's a human life" IS one of the lies.

That, and also a fundamental problem with people loudly asserting that they believe that their Cause is so Holy that it overrides all other morality. Historically, a really dangerous attitude.

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Certainly. So, I'm certain, would every other person.

But it gets to be a bit fuzzier, when "it's a human life" IS one of the lies.

That, and also a fundamental problem with people loudly asserting that they believe that their Cause is so Holy that it overrides all other morality. Historically, a really dangerous attitude.

It is a dangerous attitude. Ask abolitionists who ran the underground railroad. And yes, I am comparing the two (and I'm sure Jumbo will be along to insult me again). :)

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For most, luckily, it doesn't override all other morality. For example, most pro-life people are pretty upset when an abortion center is bombed or a doctor shot. That there are people for whom this issue overrides all morality is sad.

 

This may be overly picky, but "all" is a dangerous word. 

 

I do think it's a hugely influential issue that seeps and overrides many other considerations at times.

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You're sure overstating the "it's over" angle, and describing all who oppose current laws as lunatics is lazy-brained and gratuitously insulting. There are millions of intelligent fine people who have very serious issues with abortion, and they and their arguments merit and demand attention. They have their right to fight for their beliefs. There are lunatics, and a lot of ugly, too. And you see that on various sides of most topics.

I'm in a different camp with some long time posters on this issue, but I can tell our "big time" emotions/protection for kids is sure shared. I've devoted a great deal of my life to helping kids and families in bad situations. I am very much "pro choice" for want of a better term. No way would I insult in sweeping manner those who oppose abortion simply for taking that stance. Such would only be an option for me if they choose tactics that I deem worth castigation---like calling medical providers that perform an abortion "murderer" or burning down a clinic, obstructing access etc.

In fairness, I never said the people who oppose it are lunatics. I said the people who are fighting the battle are. Thats both sides. Its  only in the consciousness of a a relatively small minority. 

 

I said the fight is over and those who fight it are, which I do believe. Its dead. 

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