The Great Texas Abortion Law Freak Out

 

By now, those of you who are paying even a smidgen of attention to the news are aware that legislation titled the Texas Heartbeat Act (S.B. No. 8) went into effect yesterday.  The law prohibits a physician from performing an abortion, absent a medical emergency, “if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child.”  This occurs at about six weeks from conception.   Of most interest is the fact that the law–unlike some other state attempts–does not permit state officers to enforce it.  In a rather unique piece of draftsmanship, it permits a private party to sue in state court against anyone who violates the law or aids and abets in the violation.  If the plaintiff is successful, they are entitled to injunctive relief, attorney’s fees, and at least $10,000 in damages.

There is a somewhat complex procedural history leading up to yesterday’s Supreme Court action which I’m not going to track here.  The bottom line is that, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court denied abortion providers’ request for an emergency injunction preventing the law from going into effect.  This is not a decision “on the merits”–on the ultimate constitutionality of the law, but only a determination that the defendants in the suit–Texas officials (including the Attorney General) and a citizen activist–were not attempting to enforce the law, so there was (among other things) no “case or controversy” to be resolved.  That is, or should have been, a fairly simple resolution.  But not so fast.  It’s abortion.

“By its inaction, the Supreme Court ended abortion access in TX last night. Roe v. Wade was effectively overruled, not with a bang, but with a whimper, through the shadow docket . . .” said Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, indicating little knowledge of the Supreme Court’s action.  Not to be outdone, President Biden said the statute “unleashes unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-anointed enforcers to have devastating impacts.”  According to Biden, “For the [Supreme Court] majority to do this without a hearing, without the benefit of an opinion from a court below, and without due consideration of the issues, insults the rule of law and the rights of all Americans to seek redress from our courts . . .”

Surprising no one, a collective of “legal experts” on Twitter unleashed a barrage of criticism directed at the Supreme Court, and public demonstrations have followed.  The freak out is so severe that we are even hearing about “women’s” rights once again, with the inclusiveness of “birthing people” seemingly forgotten.  Since a degree of subtlety is rarely the hallmark of criticism from the left, the fact that none of the defendants in the case had actually done anything seems to have escaped notice.

There are, of course, lessons to be learned even at this intermediate stage of the dispute.  There is a strong case that, based on the law, the decision should have been 9-0.  The dissents, including one from Chief Justice Roberts (natch), are weak, and never really say what an injunction against the named defendants would accomplish.  This reminds us, again, that politics, and in Roberts’ case, optics, frequently drives the unanimity from Justices on the left.  It’s also no surprise that the usual suspects are demagoguing a complex issue, or that the reaction of Twitter is usually a contrary indicator to what is actually right.  But, hopefully, we already knew that.

 

 

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  1. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    I think the decision to not issue an the emergency injunction is the correct one. 

    When there is actually a plaintiff with a cause of action under the statute who files a lawsuit either a District or Appeals Court applying current Supreme Court precedent will declare it unconstitutional.  Whether an appeal reaches the Supremes before the Mississippi case is a question.

    While the current Court will allow for laws that narrow the scope for permissible abortions I do not think it will directly overrule Roe v Wade.  I only count two definite “yes” votes for that – Thomas and Alito.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Biden Administration will demagogue all over this because it’s the perfect distraction from their horrific Afghanistan withdrawal (which they insist went perfectly).

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    I think the decision to not issue an the emergency injunction is the correct one.

    When there is actually a plaintiff with a cause of action under the statute who files a lawsuit either a District or Appeals Court applying current Supreme Court precedent will declare it unconstitutional. Whether an appeal reaches the Supremes before the Mississippi case is a question.

    While the current Court will allow for laws that narrow the scope for permissible abortions I do not think it will directly overrule Roe v Wade. I only count two definite “yes” votes for that – Thomas and Alito.

    I agree, particularly the second paragraph.  But, as I indicated above, this particular ruling is something of a no brainer.  The reaction to it is a leading indicator of what will occur if SCOTUS upholds the Mississippi law.

    • #3
  4. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Hoyacon (View Comment): The reaction to it is a leading indicator of what will occur if SCOTUS upholds the Mississippi law.

    If SCOTUS upholds the Mississippi law, the Planned Parenthood types will teach ISIS a thing or two.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I watched Scott Adams this morning and he had some comments on this Texas law and the Court decision. One thing he said I found interesting was that he thinks this law will hurt the Texas economy by discouraging people to move to Texas. I don’t see that at all. People who support right to life concepts won’t be discouraged from moving there. I don’t know if others might be discouraged, like a lot of those who have taken California to where it is today, but if they don’t move to Texas that’s a good thing for Texas politically and economically. I’d like to hear other views.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Hoyacon: The freak out is so severe that we are even hearing about “women’s” rights once again, with the inclusiveness of “birthing people” seemingly forgotten.

    Very perceptive.  Great point.

    • #6
  7. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Well, of course the Democrat Pro-Slavery Party that transformed into Democrat Party of Death objects to any limitation on killing human beings alive in the womb. Human life to the Democrats is not something to cherish, protect or save. Whether it’s a helpless human being growing and developing and destined to be born or human beings left behind in Afghanistan now in hiding from the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS-K hoping to live.  

    This law is just another reason that if it was possible to do so today, my son and I would escape from California and move to Texas in a heartbeat.

    • #7
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I tire of everyone’s reluctance to talk about what abortion is: modern infanticide. Infanticide has a long, rich, history going back into pre-civilization. Every civilization has engaged in it, because, let’s face it, we like to have sex. And sex leads to babies, and babies are a decade and a half burden at least, if not more. Oh sure, as they grow, they can be extra labor on a farm, but they also have to be fed. So, as we get more civilized, with city folk an all, and don’t need those hands on the farms, well, gosh, we can kill the babies off.

    The thing is, Christianity was down on the whole baby killing thing from day one. Something about everyone one being one of God’s children, loved by God. Human sacrifice was out too. God Himself as His own Son has already been the ultimate sacrifice. Can’t beat that. 

    The reason that Christians swell the ranks of the Pro-Life movement is that they believe all humans are God’s children. It is hilarious to think that arguments about natural miscarriage and blighted ovums would change their mind on when to start treating a lump of cells as a baby. Wanted babies can be celebrated as such before they even have a heartbeat, even in if that pregnancy is not viable.  Strange how that is a baby and not a clump of cells at the time. 

    So, we all know, despite the lies that are told, that the cells growing in the woman is in fact a person from day one. Lies to oneself are the most pernicious, and deep down, the ring hollow. The question that has to be answered is:

    Do adults who do not want to go through pregnancy and/or raise a child have to do it? 

    The answer we have today is muddled, for sure. For women, the answer is totally up to her. If she wants to kill the baby she can. For the man, he has no choices at all. Oh, he does not have to worry about 9 months of pregnancy, but if he does not want to raise the child, he has no choice if the mother wants too. Indeed, she can stop him from being involved but force him to pay for 18 years + college. It really is Her Body, Her Choice, Her raising the baby, and He gets no choices at all. Of course, the baby gets no say at all. 

    The final thing that is always there, is the war on girls, who are far more likely to be aborted. As a culture, adult women have more value than potential women, even over the value of potential men. Very odd that feminists support reducing their own numbers, but crusades are not logical. 

    Then again, should logic be the rule of the day when we are talking about baby killing.

    • #8
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Hoyacon: The freak out is so severe that we are even hearing about “women’s” rights once again, with the inclusiveness of “birthing people” seemingly forgotten.

    Very perceptive. Great point.

    Well, but even the Wokists can’t refer to the pro-abortion crowd as “birthing people,” or can they? They seem to use a completely foreign lexicon.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hoyacon, I don’t think that the Dem howls of protest are unwarranted.

    To be clear, while I haven’t looked into the details of this Texas law, I’m strongly inclined to favor it.  I oppose abortion, and I think that Roe ought to be overturned.

    I think that you are correct about the somewhat unusual enforcement mechanism, by private right of action with a $10,000 fine or penalty, though I haven’t read the statute myself.  This is not unprecedented, but is not common either.  I think that such provisions are colloquially called “private attorney general” laws, authorizing a private citizen to bring a lawsuit as if he were a government official.  I’ve handled one such case personally, involving a qui tam action under a federal false claims act, and I think that there are some others (environmental laws come to mind, though I haven’t searched out specific details).

    The quandary for Texas abortionists is that, while it may be true that there is no one who has sued yet, they face the prospect of a $10,000 fine for each abortion performed in violation of the Texas act.  They’re going to argue that the law is unconstitutional, and a declaratory judgment action is appropriate in the circumstances.  Pending resolution, they either have to risk a huge financial loss if they lose, or stop performing abortions.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I’d be happy if they had to stop performing such abortions.  But I don’t blame them for howling.

    Let me give a similar example on the other side.  Imagine that California passed a law allowing any person to bring a lawsuit for “misgendering,” with a $10,000 fine.  Now imagine that I want to refer to a certain former decathlete who is now running in the California gubernatorial race.  If I call him Bruce Jenner — or even if I call him “him” — I would risk running afoul of this hypothetical California law.

    I do think that such a law would be a violation of freedom of speech.  But it would be quite a risk for me to violate the law, and take a chance of an adverse decision.  

    • #10
  11. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hoyacon, I don’t think that the Dem howls of protest are unwarranted.

    To be clear, while I haven’t looked into the details of this Texas law, I’m strongly inclined to favor it. I oppose abortion, and I think that Roe ought to be overturned.

    I think that you are correct about the somewhat unusual enforcement mechanism, by private right of action with a $10,000 fine or penalty, though I haven’t read the statute myself. This is not unprecedented, but is not common either. I think that such provisions are colloquially called “private attorney general” laws, authorizing a private citizen to bring a lawsuit as if he were a government official. I’ve handled one such case personally, involving a qui tam action under a federal false claims act, and I think that there are some others (environmental laws come to mind, though I haven’t searched out specific details).

    The quandary for Texas abortionists is that, while it may be true that there is no one who has sued yet, they face the prospect of a $10,000 fine for each abortion performed in violation of the Texas act. They’re going to argue that the law is unconstitutional, and a declaratory judgment action is appropriate in the circumstances. Pending resolution, they either have to risk a huge financial loss if they lose, or stop performing abortions.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d be happy if they had to stop performing such abortions. But I don’t blame them for howling.

    Let me give a similar example on the other side. Imagine that California passed a law allowing any person to bring a lawsuit for “misgendering,” with a $10,000 fine. Now imagine that I want to refer to a certain former decathlete who is now running in the California gubernatorial race. If I call him Bruce Jenner — or even if I call him “him” — I would risk running afoul of this hypothetical California law.

    I do think that such a law would be a violation of freedom of speech. But it would be quite a risk for me to violate the law, and take a chance of an adverse decision.

    Let Planned Parenthood spend their money to fight this. I’m glad Texas found something to make them howl. If we have all kinds of constitutional issues that we can’t get anyone to pay attention to, I’m not complaining about this one. Not much respect has been shown the Constitution or law and order generally over the last few years so we need to get in that game. 

    • #11
  12. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    So, assuming an abortion was not forced on a woman, who is the plaintiff? Grandparents?  

    • #12
  13. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hoyacon, I don’t think that the Dem howls of protest are unwarranted.

    To be clear, while I haven’t looked into the details of this Texas law, I’m strongly inclined to favor it. I oppose abortion, and I think that Roe ought to be overturned.

    I think that you are correct about the somewhat unusual enforcement mechanism, by private right of action with a $10,000 fine or penalty, though I haven’t read the statute myself. This is not unprecedented, but is not common either. I think that such provisions are colloquially called “private attorney general” laws, authorizing a private citizen to bring a lawsuit as if he were a government official. I’ve handled one such case personally, involving a qui tam action under a federal false claims act, and I think that there are some others (environmental laws come to mind, though I haven’t searched out specific details).

    The quandary for Texas abortionists is that, while it may be true that there is no one who has sued yet, they face the prospect of a $10,000 fine for each abortion performed in violation of the Texas act. They’re going to argue that the law is unconstitutional, and a declaratory judgment action is appropriate in the circumstances. Pending resolution, they either have to risk a huge financial loss if they lose, or stop performing abortions.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d be happy if they had to stop performing such abortions. But I don’t blame them for howling.

    Let me give a similar example on the other side. Imagine that California passed a law allowing any person to bring a lawsuit for “misgendering,” with a $10,000 fine. Now imagine that I want to refer to a certain former decathlete who is now running in the California gubernatorial race. If I call him Bruce Jenner — or even if I call him “him” — I would risk running afoul of this hypothetical California law.

    I do think that such a law would be a violation of freedom of speech. But it would be quite a risk for me to violate the law, and take a chance of an adverse decision.

    They’re howling because they can’t kill the unborn with impunity…and they’ll howl no matter what legal mechanism is used or what court case surfaces to overturn Roe.

    • #13
  14. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hoyacon, I don’t think that the Dem howls of protest are unwarranted.

    To be clear, while I haven’t looked into the details of this Texas law, I’m strongly inclined to favor it. I oppose abortion, and I think that Roe ought to be overturned.

    I think that you are correct about the somewhat unusual enforcement mechanism, by private right of action with a $10,000 fine or penalty, though I haven’t read the statute myself. This is not unprecedented, but is not common either. I think that such provisions are colloquially called “private attorney general” laws, authorizing a private citizen to bring a lawsuit as if he were a government official. I’ve handled one such case personally, involving a qui tam action under a federal false claims act, and I think that there are some others (environmental laws come to mind, though I haven’t searched out specific details).

    The quandary for Texas abortionists is that, while it may be true that there is no one who has sued yet, they face the prospect of a $10,000 fine for each abortion performed in violation of the Texas act. They’re going to argue that the law is unconstitutional, and a declaratory judgment action is appropriate in the circumstances. Pending resolution, they either have to risk a huge financial loss if they lose, or stop performing abortions.

    This is actually better expressed than the dissents, IMO.  Still, the fact remains that the damages are anticipatory at this point.  I could be wrong, but there is generally a requirement that a plaintiff cite actual damages, not prospective ones.  In addition, the defendants in the case could not, by the actual terms of the law, be the parties responsible for enforcing it.  They are the wrong people.  I attribute the freak out over a preliminary ruling to one word–abortion–and it seems fairly clear that the vast majority of those who are caterwauling don’t really understand what just happened.

    Should the law itself concern those who are pro-abortion?  Certainly.  Should yesterday’s SCOTUS action have surprised them and prompted the reactions?  I just don’t think so.

    • #14
  15. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Siri, show me the worst possible take on this development.

    .

    .

    .

    Siri, show me an example of failing to stop digging when one finds oneself in a hole.

    • #15
  16. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Siri, show me the worst possible take on this development.

    [See tweets above].

    No doubt there are also missives expressing a “hands off my body” sentiment.  Query how many in that group feel that there is a right to say no to vaccination.

    • #16
  17. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I watched Scott Adams this morning and he had some comments on this Texas law and the Court decision. One thing he said I found interesting was that he thinks this law will hurt the Texas economy by discouraging people to move to Texas. I don’t see that at all. People who support right to life concepts won’t be discouraged from moving there. I don’t know if others might be discouraged, like a lot of those who have taken California to where it is today, but if they don’t move to Texas that’s a good thing for Texas politically and economically. I’d like to hear other views.

    Discouraging pro-abortionists might act to stem the influx of unhappy Democrats fleeing failed Democrat states but bringing their leftism with them.

    • #17
  18. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Did someone say freak out?

    –Courtesy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

    • #18
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Did someone say freak out?

    Someone needs some effing perspective.

    • #19
  20. KevinKrisher Coolidge
    KevinKrisher
    @KevinKrisher

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I tire of everyone’s reluctance to talk about what abortion is: modern infanticide. Infanticide has a long, rich, history going back into pre-civilization.

    It is indeed a very ancient practice. It is linked to other very ancient practices such as slavery and concubinage, which viewed some human beings as inherently disposable. It is also linked to more recent practices such as eugenics, which viewed some human beings as inherently deserving of death or mutilation.

    But opposition to child sacrifice is also very ancient. It received one of its first blows when the ancient Israelites recorded the story of Abraham and Isaac, in which God dramatically forbids a type of child sacrifice that was common in the ancient Near East.

     

    • #20
  21. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    • #21
  22. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    In the interest of balance, here is a piece from libertarian law professor, Ilya Somin, who is a smart guy, well worth a listen.   I’m not going to summarize his argument, except to say that he thinks SCOTUS was acting under precedent (true), but that the decision should be concerning in the big picture.

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Again, what keeps someone who wants an abortion from going to a state that provides it?  Money?  Planned Parenthood and devoted leftists will gladly fund travel for those unfortunate enough not to have enough money to kill their children . . .

    Abortion is never going to go away, but the issue should be returned to the states as it was before 1973.

    • #23
  24. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I am bathing in the light of this beautiful decision!

    And enjoying the knipshit the left is having over it.  For a change, maybe we win one!  At least for now.

    • #24
  25. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    . . .

    This is actually better expressed than the dissents, IMO. Still, the fact remains that the damages are anticipatory at this point. I could be wrong, but there is generally a requirement that a plaintiff cite actual damages, not prospective ones. In addition, the defendants in the case could not, by the actual terms of the law, be the parties responsible for enforcing it. They are the wrong people. I attribute the freak out over a preliminary ruling to one word–abortion–and it seems fairly clear that the vast majority of those who are caterwauling don’t really understand what just happened.

    Should the law itself concern those who are pro-abortion? Certainly. Should yesterday’s SCOTUS action have surprised them and prompted the reactions? I just don’t think so.

    I hadn’t previously read the order or the dissents, but initially relied on your report.  I have checked it now (here), to respond to the issues that you raised.

    This is a very strange situation.  I don’t think that the problem is what you outline, about damages being anticipatory.  That would be a standing question, and an abortionist would pass that test in these circumstances.  The standing question is whether the named plaintiff is a proper party.

    Here, the problem is the reverse.  There is a question about whether the named defendants are the proper parties.  Apparently, this unusual Texas law does not allow any public official to enforce the law.  It allows this to be done by private individuals.  Justice Sotomayor’s dissent makes a good point, characterizing this as “deputizing” people as “bounty hunters.”

    The result is that the aggrieved plaintiffs, who do have standing, appear unable to find a proper party defendant.  They did name one private citizen, apparently an anti-abortion activist, but he filed an affidavit stating that he has no present intention to enforce the law.  Ordinarily, an executive official like the state AG is named in a suit like this, but the state AG has no authority to enforce this particular Texas law.  It also looks like the plaintiffs named one or more state judges, and the SCOTUS majority was dubious about whether it could enjoin a state court judge from . . . doing what, exactly?  The state court judges have no cases pending before them.

    This could be quite a damaging precedent, not on abortion, but on a way that a state could pass a statute with a serious chilling effect, yet evade the ordinary procedures that would typically allow declaratory review and preliminary injunctive relief.

    Now I’ve thought about this for five or ten minutes, and I see the fix for Planned Parenthood or another abortionist.  All that they have to do is find some private citizen to bring such a case.  It might even be one of their employees.

    • #25
  26. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    I hadn’t previously read the order or the dissents, but initially relied on your report. I have checked it now (here), to respond to the issues that you raised.

    This is a very strange situation. I don’t think that the problem is what you outline, about damages being anticipatory. That would be a standing question, and an abortionist would pass that test in these circumstances. The standing question is whether the named plaintiff is a proper party.

    Here, the problem is the reverse. There is a question about whether the named defendants are the proper parties. Apparently, this unusual Texas law does not allow any public official to enforce the law. It allows this to be done by private individuals. Justice Sotomayor’s dissent makes a good point, characterizing this as “deputizing” people as “bounty hunters.”

    The result is that the aggrieved plaintiffs, who do have standing, appear unable to find a proper party defendant. They did name one private citizen, apparently an anti-abortion activist, but he filed an affidavit stating that he has no present intention to enforce the law. Ordinarily, an executive official like the state AG is named in a suit like this, but the state AG has no authority to enforce this particular Texas law. It also looks like the plaintiffs named one or more state judges, and the SCOTUS majority was dubious about whether it could enjoin a state court judge from . . . doing what, exactly? The state court judges have no cases pending before them.

    This could be quite a damaging precedent, not on abortion, but on a way that a state could pass a statute with a serious chilling effect, yet evade the ordinary procedures that would typically allow declaratory review and preliminary injunctive relief.

    Now I’ve thought about this for five or ten minutes, and I see the fix for Planned Parenthood or another abortionist. All that they have to do is find some private citizen to bring such a case. It might even be one of their employees.

    If you’ve already addressed this (above?), forgive me.  But regarding the existence of a 
    case or controversy,” what would you say is the present harm suffered by the plaintiffs?  This would be a different question from the fact–an easy call IMO–that the defendants’ are not in a position to do anything that restricts abortion rights.  

     

    • #26
  27. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Jeffrey Toobin was on CNN criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision. His hands were not shown on camera. Apparently CNN made no requirement that his hands be in plain view at all times when he offered his opinion and analysis.

    • #27
  28. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Jeffrey Toobin was on CNN criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision. His hands were not shown on camera. Apparently CNN made no requirement that his hands be in plain view at all times when he offered his opinion and analysis.

    There is a backstory involving Toobin, his former colleague’s daughter (Jeff Greenfield), and abortion. Look it up if you want, but I’m not getting into it.  The idea that he has a voice on this issue is in bold letters under “What’s wrong with this country.”

     

    • #28
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    KevinKrisher (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I tire of everyone’s reluctance to talk about what abortion is: modern infanticide. Infanticide has a long, rich, history going back into pre-civilization.

    It is indeed a very ancient practice. It is linked to other very ancient practices such as slavery and concubinage, which viewed some human beings as inherently disposable. It is also linked to more recent practices such as eugenics, which viewed some human beings as inherently deserving of death or mutilation.

    But opposition to child sacrifice is also very ancient. It received one of its first blows when the ancient Israelites recorded the story of Abraham and Isaac, in which God dramatically forbids a type of child sacrifice that was common in the ancient Near East.

     

    Oh sure. That is why I want to have the honest conversation

    • #29
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    . . .

    If you’ve already addressed this (above?), forgive me. But regarding the existence of a
    case or controversy,” what would you say is the present harm suffered by the plaintiffs? This would be a different question from the fact–an easy call IMO–that the defendants’ are not in a position to do anything that restricts abortion rights.

    No problem.  I haven’t really addressed your question, except in passing.  I’ll try to give a better explanation.

    The present harm is that they cannot perform abortions without being at risk of paying a subsequent fine.  This is a common situation in which the plaintiff has standing.

    One example is the famous Citizens United case from 2010 (here).  Citizens United was a nonprofit corporation that wanted to run a movie titled Hillary: The Movie, critical of Hillary Clinton.  This ran afoul of campaign finance laws — laws that SCOTUS found to be unconstitutional.  Citizens United had standing to seek declaratory judgment and a preliminary injunction, on the grounds that the law was unconstitutional.

    The alternative would be to require Citizens United — or a Texas abortionist — to break the law and risk actual punishment or sanction.

    I am using a term of art here, “declaratory judgment.”  This may not be familiar to everyone.  There are usually statutes or court rules allowing a party to seek “declaratory judgment,” meaning a court adjudication of rights, status, or other legal relations.  Here’s a simple example.  Say that I want to sell my house, and you claim that you have a contract to buy my house.  I deny that you have such a contract.  But if I sell the house, and I’m wrong, then I have to pay damages to you (and often attorneys’ fees).  The declaratory judgment statute or rule allows me to bring a lawsuit right away, and have the court declare that we do not have a contract (or that we do).  The alternative rule, in this hypothetical, would allow you to hold your contract claim over my head indefinitely, without giving me an opportunity to challenge it in court except at peril of damages.

    In Arizona, this is allowed by the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act, which has been adopted in many states.  In federal court, it’s Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 57.

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