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In It to Win It

In It to Win It's Journal
In It to Win It's Journal
September 30, 2022

Judge: Indiana can't enforce abortion burial, cremation law

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has barred Indiana from enforcing a 2016 law's provisions that require abortion clinics to either bury or cremate fetal remains, finding that they violate the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young ruled that the law’s requirements infringe on the religious and free speech rights of people who do not believe aborted fetuses deserve the same treatment as deceased people.

“The Constitution prohibits ‘mechanisms, overt or disguised, designed to persecute or oppress a religion or its practices.’ The fetal disposition requirements are contrary to that principle,” Young wrote in Monday’s decision, which granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs who had sued the state.

September 30, 2022

How Medicaid expansion keeps winning

Six times since 2017, voters in a state have weighed in directly on whether to expand Medicaid and make more low-income adults eligible for free public health coverage. Six times, the ballot measure has passed.

That undefeated streak could extend to seven wins in South Dakota this November.

On Election Day, voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would extend Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. If it passes, anybody making less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level (about $18,000 for an individual or $36,900 for a family of four) would qualify for Medicaid coverage. Right now, 5 percent of the state is uninsured. Childless adults of working age can not qualify for coverage at all. Pregnant women, children, and the elderly can currently receive Medicaid benefits, but working parents must have a very low income — less than 63 percent of the federal poverty level, about $17,500 for a family of four — to enroll.

An estimated 45,000 South Dakotans would be covered by the expansion, adding to 20.4 million low-income Americans nationwide already insured by the Medicaid expansion since the program took full effect in 2014. Many of those who would qualify for Medicaid in South Dakota — about 14,000 — are Native Americans currently ineligible for coverage. The ballot initiative appears to have a good shot at passing in November: Polling commissioned by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network found 62 percent of South Dakota voters said they support the measure.

September 29, 2022

GOP states sue Biden administration over student loan plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration in an effort to halt its plan to forgive student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans, accusing it of overstepping its executive powers.

It’s at least the second legal challenge this week to the sweeping proposal laid out by President Joe Biden in late August, when he said his administration would cancel up to $20,000 in education debt for huge numbers of borrowers. The announcement, after months of internal deliberations and pressure from liberal activists, became immediate political fodder ahead of the November midterms while fueling arguments from conservatives about legality.

In the lawsuit, being filed Thursday in a federal court in Missouri, the Republican states argue that Biden's cancellation plan is “not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers,” as required by the 2003 federal law that the administration is using as legal justification. They point out that Biden, in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes” this month, declared the Covid-19 pandemic over, yet is still using the ongoing health emergency to justify the wide-scale debt relief.

September 29, 2022

Trump's pick for governor in Michigan is left to fend for herself as money dries up

LANSING, Mich. — Two months ago, former President Donald Trump and the Republican establishment joined forces to elevate Tudor Dixon in Michigan’s messy GOP primary for governor, signaling a united front against Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer.

But since then, national Republicans have largely abandoned Dixon, leaving her to fend for herself in a state that was supposed to be one of the party’s top targets in 2022.

Trump may be the exception. He’s scheduled to headline a Saturday rally for Dixon and other GOP candidates in the state. His visit comes at a time when Whitmer and the Democratic groups supporting her re-election are crushing Dixon and the GOP in ad spending, $16.5 million to $924,000 through Wednesday, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm.

September 28, 2022

Opinion: Ron DeSantis Is Making an Asylum Crisis of His Own

NY Times

No Paywall

When nearly 50 migrants were lured onto a pair of planes in San Antonio and dumped on Martha’s Vineyard this month, a sequence of events arranged by Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, it was an escalation of what his fellow Republican governor, Greg Abbott of Texas, has been doing since spring: sending busfuls of migrants to “sanctuary” jurisdictions, ostensibly to protest what they call President Biden’s “open borders” immigration policy.

Mr. DeSantis’s stunt wasn’t meant as a policy critique. If it had been, he would have had to acknowledge that — by the logic he and other immigration hawks have been using for years — he was encouraging future migration by (falsely) promising jobs and government benefits to migrants.

But even trollish stunts have consequences for policy debates. The broader the attacks by the Republican governors, the narrower the space of alternative policies they could support. By refusing to articulate what America ought to be doing on the U.S.-Mexico border, Mr. DeSantis is painting himself and his party into a corner — where the only acceptable position will be rejecting the principle of asylum entirely.

Asylum has become a policy problem for both parties. The Biden administration is attempting to address complaints — like those Republicans have made in the past — that the system takes too long to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate asylum seekers. Republicans, meanwhile, are gleefully erasing any distinction between the two.
September 28, 2022

An off-duty Massachusetts National Guard member aggressively confronted a tour bus full of senior ci

An off-duty Massachusetts National Guard member aggressively confronted a tour bus full of senior citizens thinking they were migrants

An off-duty Massachusetts Army National Guard member tailed a Florida tour bus and confronted its senior citizen passengers, mistaking them for more migrants being sent to the state from Florida, the Cape Cod Times reported Tuesday.

The incident comes on the heels of a political stunt by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis chartering two planes to send 50 migrants to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The state's governor Charlie Baker said the migrants have since been moved to a military base shelter in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The off-duty service member pursued the tour bus for at least 10 miles to their hotel in East Falmouth, later confronting the bus driver, Michael Vaughn, and 37 senior citizens aboard.

"He thought there were immigrants on the bus," Vaughn, the owner of Tallahassee-based transportation company Mikes Limousine, told the Cape Cod Times. "He was totally wrong."

Vaughn told the local news outlet that the service member "was literally five feet off my bumper" as he tailed the vehicle, even when he tried slowing down and changing lanes.

September 28, 2022

Why the New Legal Attack on Biden's Student Loan Relief Is Already Doomed



On Tuesday, Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit designed to block President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. The suit makes a creative attempt to surmount the biggest obstacle to a legal assault on Biden’s program: the fact that nobody appears to be injured by loan relief, so nobody has standing to sue. But it will still probably fail, for two related reasons. First, the lawsuit is premature, since there’s no existing program yet for courts to assess and strike down. Second, because it’s premature, the suit divulges conservatives’ best strategy to surmount the standing hurdle—and gives the administration an opportunity to forestall it.

If PLF’s goal is to impress its funders with a splashy sortie against Biden, mission accomplished. But if its goal is to halt student debt relief, the suit is not nearly as clever as PLF thinks.

September 27, 2022

Judge rules that Texas AG who ran away from being served a subpoena won't have to testify in abortio

A judge has ruled that Attorney General Ken Paxton doesn't have to appear at a hearing on the abortion access lawsuit that he reportedly tried to run away from being served a subpoena for, CNN reported.

According to an affidavit that was first obtained by the Texas Tribune, Ernesto Martin Herrera, a process server arrived at Paxton's home to serve him the subpoena but Paxton escaped in a truck driven by his wife, Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton.

CNN reported that Paxton's office asked a judge to void the subpoenas arguing they were not proper and were not effectively served.

"Top executive officials should not be called to testify absent extraordinary circumstances," the motion from Judge Robert Pitman said, CNN reported.

The subpoenas required Paxton to testify at a hearing on Tuesday on a lawsuit filed by abortion rights groups. The groups are seeking protection against legal threats for helping women access abortions in other states after Texas enacted tough restrictions on abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

September 27, 2022

GOP House lead shrinks again as voters see high-stakes contest

The Republicans have a lead. But it keeps shrinking.

While they're still in a very good position to capture a House majority, that majority looks narrower today than it ever has, having ticked down for the second straight month to 223 seats in our model estimate. Republicans were at 226 in August and 230 in July.

Voters are engaged because they think the stakes are so high — for many, bigger than just affecting their pocketbooks.

September 25, 2022

Gavin Newsom is a superstar...


Look, it’s clear that DeSantis broke the law. Question is which law did he break? Did he break the laws of his own state? Did he break federal law? But one thing he did is he broke with precedent, any precedent of decency and honor; his lack of character on display. He comes into another state, your state, to try to find pawns in a political game, rounds them up, send them to an island, and then fundraises off it. What does it say about his character and the character of the Republican Party that celebrated that act of cruelty and dehumanization? So I called it out because I find it offensive and disgraceful and I find it increasingly normalized now the republican party.

It’s certainly well established here with Greg Abbott, who is apparently getting more attention on this topic than Ron DeSantis and he wanted in, and I mean that, and that’s what happened to the Republican Party in this country, and that needs to be called out and Ron DeSantis rightfully is being called out but by not enough people and that’s what concerns me, particularly with the silence, the appalling silence within the Republican Party.

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