The 5th Circuit Court has issued a decision allowing the state of Texas to ban elective abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, as medical supplies are in high demand to treat victims of the illness.
The panel made the ruling by a 2-1 margin on Tuesday. The majority cited “the escalating spread of COVID-19, and the state’s critical interest in protecting the public health” in making their decision.
Breaking: 5th Circuit rules for Texas in case over coronavirus abortion ban. Judge Kyle Duncan, a Trump appointee, cites "the escalating spread of COVID-19, and the state’s critical interest in protecting the public health."
— Emma Platoff (@emmaplatoff) April 7, 2020
Judges Stuart Kyle Duncan, a Trump appointee, and Jennifer Elrod, an appointee of George W. Bush, made up the majority while Judge James Dennis, a Clinton appointee, dissented with the ruling.
“That settled rule allows the state to restrict, for example, one’s right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home,” the majority wrote. “The right to abortion is no exception.”
The panel also determined that the lower court erred when they refused to apply the Supreme Court’s test to determine the constitutionality of abortion restrictions. The SCOTUS test pertains to the legal review of weighing the burden on a woman’s access to abortion services against the medical benefits of the restrictions on abortion.
The majority ultimately determined that the lower court “failed to balance (the Texas restriction’s) temporary burdens on abortion against its benefits in thwarting a public health crisis.”
“The bottom line is this: when faced with a society-threatening epidemic, a state may implement emergency measures that curtail constitutional rights so long as the measures have at least some “real or substantial relation” to the public health crisis,” Judge Duncan and Judge Elrod wrote in their majority opinion.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a guidance last month declaring that all abortions “not medically necessary to preserve the life or health” of the woman would be considered a “non-essential” medical service throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors who refuse to comply and murder babies in the womb despite the order are subject to “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time.”
The Democrat on the panel is dismayed with the opinion of the majority and would have preferred to keep the baby-mutilating industry going in Texas while coronavirus poses a serious threat to public safety.
“In a time where panic and fear already consume our daily lives, the majority’s opinion inflicts further panic and fear on women in Texas by depriving them, without justification, of their constitutional rights, exposing them to the risks of continuing an unwanted pregnancy, as well as the risks of travelling to other states in search of time-sensitive medical care,” Dennis wrote.
Because of this ruling, Texas is permitted to make common-sense decisions to conserve medical supplies during an unprecedented crisis.
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg Pays $16 Million in Fines of Black and Hispanic Felons to Enable Them to Vote
Billionaire and former New York City Mayor has raised $16 million dollars to pay off outstanding fines of Black and Hispanic felons in Florida, according to reporting from Axios on Tuesday. Florida restricts the voting rights of convicted criminals until they’ve paid off fines levied for their crimes by the criminal justice system.
It appears that Bloomberg’s fine repayment initative was only available to Black and Hispanic felons. Axios reported that to qualify for Bloomberg’s money, applicants had to have outstanding fines of less than $1,500, be already registered to vote, and to be Black or Latino.
White felons need not apply.
The program has reportedly already cleared the fines of 32,000 felons in the state, enabling them to vote in the election. It erases the punitive aspect of the court system’s fines, which were levied in the first place in order to require convicted criminals to personally make amends for their actions.
Bloomberg’s felon bailout giveaway is legally questionable, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has requested that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody investigate what he’s doing. If he’s paying felons to vote for any one specific candidate, Bloomberg is in violation of campaign finance rules and could be liable to serve jail time .
#BREAKING: I'm calling on the Florida Attorney General to launch an investigation into @MikeBloomberg for potentially engaging in bribery and vote buying in the state of Florida. pic.twitter.com/2pAjZlAwSh
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 22, 2020
“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” said a Bloomberg spokesperson when asked about the fine repayment initiative. But it doesn’t seem as if the failed Democratic primary candidate is willing to buy back the voting rights of individuals who might be less inclined to vote for Joe Biden in November.
Bloomberg already tried and failed to buy the nomination in the Democratic primary, and now he’s trying to buy the crucial swing state of Florida for Joe Biden. Corrupt oligarchs should not be allowed to abuse the political system with impunity.
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