Louisiana lege goes hog-wild with anti-abortion bill

Now that the law that South Dakota SB 1215 became is at risk (how much?) of being repealed by initiative in November, other jurisdictions with anti-abortion lege majorities are providing backup.

The next SCOTUS test case bill launches from Baton Rouge PDQ.

It's SB 33 and, after being approved by the House 85-17, only awaits a final Senate vote before winging its way to the governor's desk.

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SCOTUS Thugs At It Again

Re:  Garcetti v. Ceballos (04-473), Tue 30 May 2006.

  • Removes 1st Amendment rights from, and ensures the arbitrary punishment of, public employees who say or write anything offensive to government hierarchies in their official communications.
  •  Criminalizes dissent.
1st Amendment:  "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, ...".

SCOTUS, however, in its infinite nit-picking for the greater glory of money-power, robustly contends that it is not Congress.  On Tuesday, SCOTUS announced that it can by God abridge the freedom of speech any damned time and any damned way it freaking pleases.

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CBPP - H.R. 4890 Worse Than You May Think

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a new Republican proposal to give Bush a line-item veto.  At the time, I had a few major concerns.

First, one man's pork is another man's Department of Education.  Giving an executive the power to line-item veto is, as the Supreme Court has said, giving him the power to legislate.  What, after all, should keep Bush from using the line-item veto to further erode spending on programs that benefit Americans to make room for more corporate welfare and Republican pork?  This is no outrageous claim, but a logical follow-up to bills such as S.1932.

Second, even though this new Republican proposal requires Congress to approve the President's cuts, the idea is based on the good faith of Congress.  What if there was a situation in which the executive and legislative branches were controlled by the same party, and the legislature gave up the task of oversight in order to advance the interests of the party?  Or, what if the executive and legislative branches were controlled by different parties functioning in a highly partisan environment and either branch used the new rules for partisan rather than good government ends?

It seems that my concerns were not too far off.  A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the new line-item veto proposal does much more than its proponents have been saying.

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Ginsburg's Speech and the Non-Issue of Citing Foreign Law

While we're on the subject of Scalia, one of his favorite gripes has to do with U.S. Courts citing foreign laws and legal decisions.  This is an issue that has been popular with the far-right in this country for a while, and has bubbled up again recently following a speech Justice Ginsburg gave in South Africa in February.  

Far-right conspiracy theorists see the citing of foreign law as the U.S. "outsourcing American law".  The fact of the matter, though, is that this is really a non-issue.

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Scalia's Judicial Moralizing

Justice Scalia is in the news again after delivering a speech in which he condemned "judge-moralists." According to the Associated Press report,

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia railed against the era of the "judge-moralist," saying judges are no better qualified than "Joe Sixpack" to decide moral questions such as abortion and gay marriage.

Now, being a "Joe Sixpack", I'm flattered by Scalia's thinking of me.  And I agree with him on this completely.  Sure, we can all sit around reading Kant and Rawls until we're blue in the face, but we, as individuals, will still probably disagree with one another  about things like consequentialism vs. deontology and what have you.

Furthermore, I think that this should not really have much to do with the way questions such as abortion and gay marriage are decided in relation to the law.

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