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Exclusive: A Road Map for Prosecuting Trump

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New York Times: “Several former prosecutors and veteran lawyers said afterward that the hearing offered the makings of a credible criminal case for conspiracy to commit fraud or obstruction of the work of Congress.”

“In presenting her summary of the evidence, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy) demonstrated that Mr. Trump was told repeatedly by his own advisers that he had lost the election yet repeatedly lied to the country by claiming it had been stolen. He pressured state and federal officials, members of Congress and even his own vice president to disregard vote tallies in key states. And he encouraged the mob led by extremist groups like the Proud Boys while making no serious effort to stop the attack once it began.”

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Exclusive: House GOP Already Mulling National Abortion Ban – TalkOfNews.com

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“Some House Republicans who oppose abortion rights are pushing legislation to implement a nationwide abortion ban at 15 weeks, coming just hours after the Supreme Court released its opinion overturning Roe v. Wade,” CNN reports.

“The legislation appears unlikely to advance in the Senate in the near future — due in part to the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Still, the early discussions represent the excitement energizing opponents of abortion rights, eager to capitalize on Friday’s victory.”

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Exclusive: New Op-Ed: "On abortion, justices demonstrate courage under fire" – TalkOfNews.com

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No Pseudonymity in Challenge to Federal Vaccination Mandate

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Yesterday, the Deseret News invited me to write an op-ed on Dobbs. I thought I would have some time to think about it, but the Court moved quicker than I expected.

My Op-Ed is titled, “On abortion, justices demonstrate courage under fire.” This piece builds on my essay “Judicial Courage” in the Texas Review of Law & Politics.

Here is the introduction:

In 1973, Roe v. Wade created a constitutional right to abortion. Two decades later, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court refused to reverse that controversial decision, writing that “to overrule (Roe) under fire … would subvert the Court’s legitimacy beyond any serious question.”

Today, Roe was overruled in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. And in doing so, the majority demonstrated real courage “under fire.” Five justices were willing to take this bold and correct legal step in the face of never-ending personal attacks, efforts to pack the court, fallout from the leaked draft opinion, protests outside their homes and even an assassination attempt.

Dobbs, which is a triumph for originalism and sound constitutional law, also signals that the court is infused with judicial fortitude. This virtue, more than any particular method of deciding cases, guarantees that the court will steadfastly safeguard the rule of law.

And the conclusion:

Two years ago, I dubbed the final month of the Supreme Court’s term as “Blue June.” In case after case, the court’s purported conservative majority went to the left. Chief Justice John Roberts, the swing vote, found creative ways to strike balances that did not really resolve contentious issues, but avoided any obvious conservative victory. He hewed closely to a jurisprudence of public relations.

Two years later, we are in a very different time — call it “Red June.” Today, the court overruled Roe v. Wade; yesterday the court held that New York’s restrictions on concealed carry were unconstitutional. These two decisions, separated by 24 hours, were handed down in the face of immense pressure from every facet of our society. Yet the justices did not falter. They are infused with judicial courage. And if they stick to their guns, come what may, the rule of law will be steadfastly safeguarded.

I will have much more to say about Red June, or perhaps Red Flag June in due course.

You should also check out Joel Alicea’s piece in City Journal, titled “An Originalist Victory.”

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To acknowledge this achievement is to acknowledge the constitutional theory around which the coalition that brought it about rallied for a half-century: originalism. It was originalism that the pro-life movement adopted after Roe and supported through the confirmation defeat of Robert Bork; the attempted defeats of Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh; and the setback of Casey. The goal of overruling Roe and Casey bound the conservative political movement to the conservative legal movement, and originalism was their common constitutional theory. Dobbs thus had the potential—as I argued in an earlier essay—to exacerbate the tensions over originalism within the conservative legal movement. It would be viewed as the acid test of originalism’s ability to translate theory into practice, and there would be no avoiding the stakes for the conservative legal movement in the case: “complete victory or crisis-inducing defeat,” as I put it. We now know that it was a complete victory, and it was, in large part, originalism’s victory.

I count Joel, Sherif Girgis, and a few others, as leaders in the conservative legal movement who helped advance the debate in Dobbs.

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Exclusive: The end of Roe is only the beginning for Republicans – TalkOfNews.com

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The end of Roe is only the beginning for Republicans

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Republicans are celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as a win for the anti-abortion movement that was decades in the making.

After a draft version of the opinion was leaked to Politico in May, Republicans expressed optimism, but largely withheld expressions of triumph. They didn’t hold back on Friday, reveling in the immediate shift that began taking place after the decision, as red states invoked laws to further restrict abortion and as congressional Republicans began planning new anti-abortion policies.

“What an historic day this is and what a great victory for life. And it’s not just a victory for life. It’s a victory for millions of people who have been part of this pro-life movement for decades, who have gone to state legislatures, who have gotten involved in the political process, who prayed … The decades of work [are] celebrated today,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said during a press conference on Friday.

For most Republicans, the decision presented an opportunity to tout their party’s ability to deliver on long-running campaign promises as they head into the midterms. But for Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — who supported the confirmations of some of the conservative justices who joined the opinion based on the assumption that they wouldn’t overturn Roe — it was a moment of reckoning.

“This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon,” Collins said in a statement.

Most Republican lawmakers didn’t share Collins’s frustrations, and have made clear that the end of Roe is a launching pad for the anti-abortion movement, not an endgame. For months, they’ve been outlining a longer-term goal of imposing new restrictions on abortion nationally if they retake control of Congress.

How far they actually go could be limited by public opinion: Gallup’s tracking poll has found 85 percent of voters think abortion should be legal in some or all circumstances. Former President Donald Trump reportedly predicted that the decision could ultimately hurt Republicans politically, especially among suburban women who helped propel him into office in 2016.

For now, however, those fears aren’t stopping red states and national Republicans.

Red states immediately started moving to further restrict abortion

At least 13 states have “trigger laws” that were designed to outlaw abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Some of them activated those laws in the immediate aftermath of the decision on Friday.

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Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s decision, Missouri’s Republican attorney general issued an opinion that “triggers” parts of a 2019 law to effectively end abortion in the state. That law bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy unless there is a critical medical reason, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. It also explicitly bans abortions for fetuses that might have Down syndrome and requires minors to notify their parents or guardians before getting an abortion in most cases.

Texas has yet to trigger its own law, though that will likely happen in about a month. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Friday that prosecutors could start seeking criminal charges against abortion providers immediately based on old state abortion bans that were enacted before Roe and that were never repealed by the legislature. The few remaining abortion providers and funds in the state consequently announced that they would be shutting down for fear of legal repercussions.

“Although these statutes were unenforceable while Roe was on the books, they are still Texas law,” Paxton wrote. “Under these pre-Roe statutes, abortion providers could be criminally liable for providing abortions starting today.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, also announced Friday that he had enlisted state lawmakers to craft legislation that would ban most abortions after 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for when the pregnant person’s life is endangered and in cases of rape and incest. He told the Washington Post that his preference would be a 15-week cutoff, but that 20 weeks might be a feasible compromise in the split state legislature.

“The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life,” he said in a statement.

Republicans are already calling for a nationwide abortion ban

Republicans have also started to build a foundation to further restrict abortion access in the US, especially if they retake control of Congress.

“Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land,” former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Friday.

House Republican leaders — including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Study Committee chair Jim Banks, and Judiciary ranking member Jim Jordan — are already lining up to support legislation that would impose a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, CNN reported.

That ban could pass the House if Republicans recapture the majority in this year’s midterm elections, as they are widely expected to, but it probably wouldn’t win support from a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, even if the GOP regains control of the chamber. It is possible that Republicans could choose to eliminate the filibuster to pass the ban, but so long as a Democrat remains in the White House, they would veto any such legislation.

Republicans have also indicated that they plan to reintroduce the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” if they recapture the House majority. That bill would put in place requirements for the care of infants born after failed, late-term abortions and could send doctors to prison if they fail to comply. Reproductive rights and physician groups have previously opposed the legislation on the basis that it could criminalize doctors and is duplicative of existing laws that already support infants in these very rare cases.

And those plans appear to be only the beginning of their ambitions.

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“In the days and weeks following this decision, we must work to continue to reject extreme policies that seek to allow late-term abortions and taxpayer dollars to fund these elective procedures,” McCarthy said in a statement Friday. “As we celebrate today’s decision, we recognize the decades of advocacy from the pro-life movement and we acknowledge much work remains to protect the most vulnerable among us.”


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