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In It to Win It

In It to Win It's Journal
In It to Win It's Journal
July 6, 2024

Kansas Supreme Court reaffirms abortion rights are protected by constitution, striking down 2 laws

In two 5-1 opinions, the court built on a 2019 decision in which it said the state’s Constitution protects abortion rights and that lawmakers seeking to restrict abortion must meet a high “strict scrutiny” test. The decisions cement Kansas' role as a key abortion access point for patients across the broader region.


The Kansas Supreme Court struck down two laws restricting abortion on Friday, affirming its prior interpretation that ending a pregnancy remains a constitutionally protected right in Kansas.

In two 5-1 opinions, the court built on a 2019 decision in which it said the state’s Constitution protects abortion rights and lawmakers seeking to restrict abortion must meet a high “strict scrutiny” test. When Republican lawmakers asked voters, in 2022, to amend the constitution to stipulate that it does not protect abortion rights, Kansans overwhelmingly declined to do so.

“We stand by our conclusion that section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights protects a fundamental right to personal autonomy, which includes a pregnant person’s right to terminate a pregnancy,” wrote Justice Eric Rosen in one of the majority opinions.

A decision against abortion providers would have been monumental, not only for Kansans but for the thousands of women across the region who now travel to Kansas each year to get abortions that have been banned in their home states. A large majority of patients at Kansas abortion clinics now come from Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and farther afield.

The court’s majority upheld lower court rulings that two laws restricting abortion — passed several years ago by Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature — were unconstitutional. One law, passed in 2015, banned an abortion method frequently used in second-trimester abortions called ‘dilation and evacuation.’ The second law, passed in 2011, imposed licensure restrictions on doctors who provide abortions that exceeded those imposed on other medical providers.
July 5, 2024

Kansas Supreme Court strikes down anti-abortion laws

Kansas Supreme Court strikes down anti-abortion laws

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday issued opinions overturning two laws limiting access to abortion, with the court finding again that the state constitution protects the right to personal autonomy, which includes a woman’s decisions about her own health, body and family planning.

One of the cases, filed in 2015, had previously been ruled on by the higher court. The law in question effectively banned the most common form of second-trimester abortion, dilation and evacuation, except for when necessary to save the life of the mother.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the state constitution protects personal autonomy, including when it comes to the decision of whether to continue a pregnancy, and that any government infringement on this right must be able to “withstand strict scrutiny.”

The case was sent down to a district court, which found there was “no reasonable alternative” to dilation and evacuation and that the Kansas state government failed to prove the law was constitutional, permanently blocking it from being enforced. The state Supreme Court upheld that decision this week.

“The State devoted much of its brief to inviting us to reverse our earlier ruling in this case that the Kansas Constitution protects a right to abortion. We decline the invitation,” Justice Eric S. Rosen wrote in the opinion.

July 5, 2024

Trump seeks new pause in classified documents case, citing Supreme Court's immunity ruling

Trump seeks new pause in classified documents case, citing Supreme Court’s immunity ruling

Donald Trump says the Supreme Court’s ruling that he has blanket immunity from prosecution for his “official acts” as president should result in a monthslong pause of his criminal proceedings in Florida.

The Friday filing by Trump’s legal team with U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is the latest move by the former president to seize on the high court’s landmark immunity ruling to sideline his lingering criminal cases. He is asking Cannon for a chance to argue the immunity issue before her between now and early September, effectively pausing all other proceedings in the case by two months.

Trump has argued that his decision to transmit classified documents to his Florida home as he prepared to leave the presidency should be treated as an “official act” and be removed from special counsel Jack Smith’s case against Trump for allegedly hoarding national security secrets at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Now, he says, the Supreme Court’s ruling requires that the case be put on hold until the immunity issue is resolved.

The push by Trump is the latest effort to wield the Supreme Court’s decision as a weapon in his ongoing cases in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Georgia, each of which implicate some of Trump’s actions in his final months in the White House. The ruling has already scrambled plans for New York state judge Juan Merchan to sentence Trump on his 34-count conviction for concealing evidence of his alleged 2006 affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. Though that case centered on Trump’s private actions, some of the evidence prosecutors relied on overlapped with his first two years in the White House, which Trump contends should have been treated as off-limits.
July 5, 2024

Wisconsin Supreme Court issues major ruling allowing ballot drop boxes to be used in battleground state

Wisconsin Supreme Court issues major ruling allowing ballot drop boxes to be used in battleground state

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled absentee ballot boxes can be reintroduced in the swing state - overturning a 2022 ruling that had largely prohibited them.

In the Friday 4-3 ruling, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote for the majority: “Our decision today does not force or require that any municipal clerks use drop boxes. It merely acknowledges what (state law) has always meant: that clerks may lawfully utilize secure drop boxes in an exercise of their statutorily-conferred discretion.”

The 2022 conservative court had ruled that drop boxes were illegal in the battleground state, making the voting process more complicated for some Wisconsin voters.

Liberal justices won back the majority in the Wisconsin court in 2023.

Although drop boxes had been used in the state for decades, they came under fire during the 2020 presidential election and the Covid-19 pandemic, when limiting in-person interactions was paramount.

July 4, 2024

Judge cites new Supreme Court ruling in blocking health care anti-discrimination protections for transgender Americans

Judge cites new Supreme Court ruling in blocking health care anti-discrimination protections for transgender Americans

The Biden administration cannot enforce new anti-discrimination rules in health care for transgender Americans, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled Wednesday, citing a recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that weakened the power of federal agencies.

The preliminary injunction from US District Judge Louis Guirola comes just two days before the new protections were set to take effect. The George W. Bush appointee said his block on the federal protections will apply nationwide.

The new rules unveiled by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year were meant to bar health providers and insurers receiving federal funding from discriminating against those seeking care on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. The HHS rule restored Obama-era protections for transgender patients that the Trump administration rolled back in 2020.

But the rules were swiftly met with legal challenges, including from a group of Republican state attorneys general who argued that HHS overstepped its authority when it issued the new rules and that they would be harmed by a loss of federal funding for not complying with the changes.
July 4, 2024

Lawfare: The Biden Administration supposedly using social media companies to censor people

I knew I should have avoided talking about this with others because all it did was made me go back and look this bullshit lawsuit again by the troll factories that are the Missouri AG's office and the Louisiana AG's office knowing it would make me upset, upset enough to write this fucking post. Republicans always want to talk about how Democrats are using "lawfare" against Trump, and Republicans have been masters at this shit against Democrats long before then. It's not about the facts of a case and substantiating them, this case was about painting a completely fabricated narrative using our federal courts, while KNOWING full well that this bullshit would catch the worst headlines for the Biden Administration.

To summarize, Louisiana and Missouri allege that the government threatened and pressured social media companies into censoring users of social media, and particularly censoring (what I consider to be) bat-shit crazy Republican conspiracy theorists. They have this long and winding complaining that reads like a soap-opera that doesn't actually name any specific examples of censorship. It has a lot of paragraphs that are fillers that serve no purpose other than taking up space.

Follow me as I go through this fuckery. Note the dates or years of the alleged conduct and notice the lack of use of the terms "Trump" and/or "Trump Administration."

1) Obviously, they file their lawsuit in 2022 and Joe Biden is the incumbent president, so his name is all over it

2) They had the Hunter Biden laptop story alleging that it was censored by the media in 2020. Keep in mind that Joe Biden is not in government at this time and this is a lawsuit about alleged government censorship.

The only purpose here is adding more anti-Biden content. Even Obama gets a honorary mention.

3) They allege the censoring activity started in 2020. You remember who was president who in 2020? Somehow, they never refer to the government in 2020 broadly as the "Trump Administration." Anytime they refer to conduct in 2020 by the government, they get specific. Conveniently, Fauci is a named Defendant. In 2020, they put all the blame on Fauci.

4) The very few times they mention "then-President Trump", he's a victim rather than the person running the government.

5) There it is again!!!! "Started in 2020"!!!! Who was President in 2020?????

6) They claim that social media companies started censoring people heavily in 2020 as a result of a charged led by Joe Biden in 2020 in which Biden supposedly "threatened" that Section 230, which gives social media companies protection from liability, be revoked. JOE BIDEN WAS NOT PRESIDENT IN 2020! THE MAN HAD NO POWER! HOW WAS HE GOING TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THAT "THREAT" AT THE TIME IF THE SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES DIDN'T ACT?!?!?!?!


I won't bore you with the rest of this bullshit complaint, but to top all off. Here's the real kicker. The Trump judge is as equally full of shit as the state AGs. The government rebuts their claim by saying that the government has coordinated with companies to combat misinformation over previous administrations, even during the Trump Administration... and the judge takes the time to excuse the Trump Administration from these activities! Look at this shit!

Additionally, when the judges lists the "conservative voices" that were "censored", he allies them with Trump as if they were all victims.

July 4, 2024

Abortion measures could be on Arizona and Nebraska ballots after organizers submit signatures

Abortion measures could be on Arizona and Nebraska ballots after organizers submit signatures

PHOENIX (AP) — Organizers in Arizona and Nebraska said Wednesday that they turned in far more signatures than required to get ballot measures on abortion rights before voters in November’s election.

In Nebraska, there could be two competing questions. One, like the Arizona proposal, would add a right to abortion to the state constitution. The other would enshrine Nebraska’s current ban on most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In both states, it’s now up to election officials to certify the signatures before they’re added to ballots.

Democrats have made abortion rights a central message since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 and it is a key part of their efforts in this year’s elections. Activists in Arkansas are still pushing to meet Friday’s deadline to make the ballot there.

In five other states, the issue already is set to go before voters this year: Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and South Dakota. New York also has a measure that advocates say would protect abortion access.
July 3, 2024

The Supreme Court Is Getting Very Annoyed With the Fifth Circuit's Dogged Lawlessness

Balls and Strikes

Just before dropping the worst decision in decades on Monday, giving presidents a degree of unaccountability kings can only dream of, the Supreme Court released a decision in the NetChoice cases. These long-running Internet regulation cases concern the capacity of states—specifically, Texas and Florida—to dictate what speech Internet platforms must host without running afoul of the First Amendment. The core question: Does the First Amendment prevent Texas and Florida from mandating that Facebook and other social media companies keep up racist ravings, conspiracy theories, and misogynistic content? In a technically unanimous but dizzyingly convoluted ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court said: probably not.

A few years ago, Texas and Florida passed similar laws that purport to promote speech by limiting private platforms’ ability to “censor” their users. What most of us call content moderation—the common, necessary practice of platforms curating, deleting, and sorting speech—Texas and Florida characterized as left-wing Silicon Valley silencing of primarily conservative ideas. And though the First Amendment generally does not constrain private actors from regulating speech, Texas and Florida claimed that they could enact requirements that platforms not censor without running afoul of this principle.

Why? Because, in their view, states must ensure that each of their social media-addicted citizens who hate 5G and love hydroxychloroquine has access to Twitter. In a news release timed to the Texas law’s enactment, Governor Greg Abbott described “a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis seemed to imply that tech companies are run by soy boys, stating at the signing of Florida’s law that “the person… in pajamas on their laptop drinking a soy latte in Silicon Valley” is as much of a threat to speech as a “tyrant…in military fatigues.” Apparently Fidel Castro and Mark Zuckerberg have more in common than any of us ever realized.

Both laws present obvious First Amendment problems. Generally, the First Amendment prevents the government from telling private entities how to order their own speech. This “editorial discretion” doctrine dates back over fifty years, originating in Miami Herald v. Tornillo, which struck down a Florida “right-of-reply” law for newspaper editorials. While the Court has not extended editorial discretion to every private entity that has since asserted it, the doctrine did seem to cover the choices of private groups with an expressive component to curate their speech. Social media companies, which set forth voluminous content moderation standards and make countless choices about what content to host or take down, seem paradigmatically covered by the First Amendment’s protection of editorial discretion.
July 3, 2024

The MAGA Supreme Court Is All the Way Here

Balls and Strikes

In his last days as president, Donald Trump was getting desperate. After losing the 2020 election in decisive fashion, he began pushing baseless conspiracy theories that the results were tainted by voter fraud, and ordered his Department of Justice to open sham investigations of crimes against democracy that did not take place. As the date for certifying the results approached, he began organizing slates of illegitimate electors, and pressured Republican state officials to send those slates to Washington instead. When that effort fizzled out, Trump ordered Vice President Mike Pence to set aside the results during the formal vote count; when Pence balked, Trump turned to his enraged supporters outside the White House, urging them to “fight like hell.” They responded by ransacking the U.S. Capitol, leading to the deaths of nine people.

On Monday, in its final ruling of the 2023-24 term, the Supreme Court decided that none of this, legally speaking, matters. Writing for all six members of the Court’s Republican supermajority, Chief Justice John Roberts invented a sweeping doctrine of presidential immunity that broadly insulates Trump from prosecution for his actions leading up to January 6. The result in Trump v. United States also ensures that if Trump wins a second term this fall, he will be free to exercise the now-near-boundless powers of the office without fear of meaningful consequences.

“The relationship between the president and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably,” writes Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a dissent joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. “In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.”

Trump v. United States—which, to be clear, is the name of a Supreme Court case, not a short summary of the state of American politics—is not technically the end of Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump in Washington, D.C. But every aspect of the Court’s handling of this case, from the glacial pace of its resolution to the substantive result that goes beyond even what Trump asked for, was designed to rescue Trump from facing a jury of his peers before polls open in November. For the six Republican justices in the majority, the practical consequences for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee are what matter: Voters will select the next chief executive of the federal government without a legal determination about whether one of their two options recently tried to overthrow it.
July 3, 2024

Is this a safe space?

I understand the anger about the negativity surrounding Joe Biden. We want Joe to win, and the powers that be are trying their damnedest to make sure that doesn't happen.

At the same time, I think we also have to keep in mind that this race is bigger than Joe Biden. It's not about Joe Biden specifically. Joe Biden is a means to an end, and that end is beating Donald Trump. As much as we would like this to be a pro-Biden race focused on Joe Biden's accomplishments, this should be an anti-Trump race. The anti-Trump coalition is that 81 million voters (and particularly those 40-something thousand voters across those three states) that showed up for Biden in 2020. These include anti-Trump Republicans and Independents and pro-Biden Democrats and Independents. The anti-Trump coalition is bigger than the pro-Biden coalition.

When we look at polls that aren't good for Biden and when we see people criticize for Biden the poor debate performance, it's not because these people don't like Joe Biden. This is not an anti-Biden view. It's because we don't want to lose to Trump, and that goal is the #1 goal. That goal is bigger than Joe Biden.

To add my personal thoughts on Joe Biden, I think he's had a successful Presidency. In truth, I voted for him in 2020 thinking he would do one term and not run for re-election, and my expectations of him were not high. I thought that he would not have been able to get past the gridlocked politics of the Trump era. To my surprise, he played the hand he was dealt better than any other Democrat could have. He's gotten some significant and generational legislation passed with bipartisan support. Joe Biden was able to make deals with those old-school Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, and the Republican leaders in the House in a way that the next Democratic President might not be able to do with the next wave of upcoming Republicans. I applaud that. Joe Biden might be the one of the last bipartisan presidents because the next generation of Republicans aren't getting any better. Joe Biden's also the one I trust to deal with the two conflicts on the other side of the world. Joe Biden is a phenomenal president. However, the end goal is bigger than Joe Biden. Joe Biden has done a great service, and may continue to do so.

If there are concerns that Joe Biden is not the man to accomplish the goal in 2024, that's an uncomfortable that we shouldn't shy away from. A portion of voters that we relied on in 2020 need to be reassured. Calling the polls or the media "trash" or "garbage" isn't going to minimize their concerns. The people need to be shown that Joe Biden is the man of 2024 just like he was in 2020 to get the job done; and the people need to be shown that Trump is still the crazy idiotic and chaotic motherfucker that they chose to leave behind in 2020.

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