A record high number of states are now governed solely by a one-party majority – which can then pass whatever legislation it likes. People don’t typically pay attention to state legislative races, and gerrymandered districts enable less-informed voters to pull the straight ticket and vote in all members of one party. The results can be hilarious… and terrifying. This series will focus on the bipartisan foibles of state government, especially around corruption, womens’ health and reproductive rights, and LGBT issues.
This week, we learned about two stories involving gender and sexuality issues in which Republicans do not want you to know what their actual position is.
We start in North Dakota, where apparently Roe vs. Wade never happened. Governor Jack Dalrymple has just signed into law a trio of laws that effectively ban abortion.
“Minutes after Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed three anti-abortion measures — one banning them when a heartbeat can be detected, which is as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — unsolicited donations began pouring into the state’s lone abortion clinic to help opponents prove the new laws are unconstitutional.
‘Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade,’ Dalrymple said in a statement, referring to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion up to until a fetus is considered viable — usually at 22 to 24 weeks… He asked the Legislature to set aside money for a “litigation fund” that would allow the state’s attorney general to defend the measure against lawsuits.”
So, once again, the party of fiscal responsibility wants to spend at, the very least, hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a grand experiment in constitutional law that will probably have no eventual effect on the legality of abortions in North Dakota or anywhere else. Moral values apparently dictate that money would be better spent addressing this problem than aiding the 13% of North Dakotans living in poverty.
Moving on to the Supreme Court, where today, as Business Insider reveals, Justice Antonin Scalia is determined to be a crude caricature of himself at all times:
“We don’t prescribe law for the future,” Scalia said. “We decide what the law is. I’m curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868?”
Sounds impressive. What was the response?
“Olson countered that with a question of his own, bringing up two past high-profile cases involving discrimination. ‘When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriages? When did it become unconstitutional to assign children to separate schools?’ Olson asked.
You see, Justice Scalia; Supreme Court decisions are what decides that something is unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas had no comment.
Obviously. Carry on.