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In It to Win It

In It to Win It's Journal
In It to Win It's Journal
June 25, 2024

Oklahoma Supreme Court says Oklahoma's establishment of a religious charter school is unconstitutional

Related post: Oklahoma attorney general sues to stop US's first public religious school

Link to opinion: https://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=appellate&number=121694

Maggie Garrett

The Oklahoma Supreme Court rules that charter schools are PUBLIC SCHOOLS and, therefore, the state CANNOT contract with the St Isidore Catholic Charter school.

St Isadore wasn't just run by the Catholic Church, it planned to incorporate Catholicism "into every aspect of the school." It planned to require students to attend chapel and it refused to abide by nondiscrimination laws that conflicted with its religious tenets.

June 23, 2024

Abortion access has won when it's been on the ballot. That's not an option for half the states

Abortion access has won when it's been on the ballot. That’s not an option for half the states

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Tucked inside the West Virginia Statehouse is a copy of a petition to lawmakers with a simple request: Let the voters decide whether to reinstate legal access to abortion.

The request has been ignored by the Republican lawmakers who have supermajority control in the Legislature and banned abortions in the state in 2022, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a constitutional right to the procedure.

The petition, with more than 2,500 signatures, is essentially meaningless given the current makeup of the Legislature. But it illustrates the frustratingly limited options millions of Americans face in trying to re-establish abortion rights as the country marks the two-year anniversary since the Supreme Court's ruling.

West Virginia is among the 25 states that do not allow citizen initiatives or constitutional amendments on a statewide ballot, an avenue of direct democracy that has allowed voters to circumvent their legislatures and preserve abortion and other reproductive rights in a number of states over the past two years.

Republicans there have repeatedly dismissed the idea of placing an abortion-rights measure before voters, which in West Virginia is a step only lawmakers can take.
June 22, 2024

Now an abortion rights advocate, woman raped by stepfather as a child will campaign with first lady


WASHINGTON (AP) — A 22-year-old woman who became an abortion rights advocate after she was raped by her stepfather as a child will campaign with first lady Jill Biden in Pennsylvania this weekend as part of a 2024 election push around the anniversary of the fall of Roe v. Wade.

Hadley Duvall of Owensboro, Kentucky, first told her story publicly last fall in a campaign ad for the governor’s race in her home state, discussing the consequences of abortion restrictions, particularly those without exceptions for rape or incest.

In the ad supporting Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, Duvall spoke of how she was raped by her stepfather at age 12, became pregnant and miscarried. Her stepfather was convicted of rape and is in prison.

In the ad, Duvall called out the anti-abortion Republican candidate by name and said that “anyone who believes there should be no exceptions for rape and incest could never understand what it’s like to stand in my shoes.”

Beshear won reelection, and Democrats have said Duvall’s ad was a strong motivator, particularly for rural, male voters who had previously voted for Republican Donald Trump for president.
June 22, 2024

The Supreme Court refuses to accept blame for its worst guns decision


There is good news in Friday’s Supreme Court decision in United States v. Rahimi: The Court concluded that at least some people subject to domestic violence restraining orders do not have a categorical right to own a firearm, and upheld a law preventing them from doing so. While Rahimi produced a maze of concurring and dissenting opinions, eight justices ultimately agreed that a man who literally threatened to shoot the mother of his child should not be armed.

But there’s also bad news: Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion is utterly incoherent.

It does nothing to clear up the mass confusion created by the Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which held that all gun laws are unconstitutional unless the government can “demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” That decision threw gun regulation throughout the United States into chaos and prompted an unusually long list of complaints from sitting judges.

In Rahimi, the far-right US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a federal law banning people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from owning guns. Yet, while the Fifth Circuit has a history of taking liberties with the law to achieve conservative results, its decision in the Rahimi case was correctly decided under Bruen.

As Justice Clarence Thomas persuasively argues in dissent, Bruen compelled the Fifth Circuit to rule that domestic abusers do, indeed, have a Second Amendment right to own a gun. Friday’s decision in Rahimi essentially carves out an exception to Bruen that is just large enough to allow Zackey Rahimi, the cartoonishly violent individual at the center of this case, to be disarmed. But Roberts’s opinion does little else. And it provides absolutely no meaningful guidance to lower court judges who are struggling to apply the vague “historical tradition” test announced in Bruen.

June 22, 2024

Signs promoting Biden's infrastructure may break the law, Cruz alleges

Signs promoting Biden’s infrastructure may break the law, Cruz alleges

Sen. Ted Cruz is asking a federal watchdog to investigate whether the Biden administration is violating the Hatch Act by using taxpayer dollars to tout its 2021 infrastructure law — a move that comes amid evidence that most voters are unaware of one of the president’s biggest legislative achievements.

The Texas Republican argues that the administration has “highly politicized” the law, including by encouraging projects funded by the statute to post signs giving credit to President Joe Biden, according to a letter from Cruz provided to POLITICO. He pointed to guidelines posted by the White House specifying that the signs say in large letters: “Project Funded By President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

It’s not uncommon for the names of presidents and other public officials to appear on signs announcing projects they helped fund — and critics of former President George W. Bush similarly complained when the Internal Revenue Service sent letters to taxpayers promoting his tax cuts. But Cruz argues that Biden takes it to another level, alleging that the White House “unilaterally rebranded” the 2021 statute as “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“I write to refer this to you for investigation as a possible violation of the Hatch Act, federal law that broadly prohibits using taxpayer dollars for campaign activity,” Cruz wrote on Thursday to Hampton Dellinger, head of the Office of Special Counsel. “Congress, not President Biden, wrote [the infrastructure law], and it did not do so to aid the President’s reelection campaign.”

“These displays are nothing more than campaign yard signs courtesy of the American taxpayer,” Cruz wrote.
June 22, 2024

There are no pro-abortion rights OBGYNs in Congress. These candidates are hoping to change that.

There are no pro-abortion rights OBGYNs in Congress. These candidates are hoping to change that.

As Congress grapples over abortion rights two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, two physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology are hoping to bring their expertise and exam room experiences to Capitol Hill.

Dr. Kristin Lyerly and Dr. Kelly Morrison are running for Congress for the chance to become the only pro-abortion rights OBGYNs on Capitol Hill.

The erosion of abortion rights since the 2022 Supreme Court decision is part of what drove Lyerly to run for the House in Wisconsin, she said in an interview.

"I get to hear the stories directly from my patients and their families. And I think once you — unless you are there in the room, you don't truly understand the depth of how this affects people," she said.

Lyerly has been working as an OBGYN for over 15 years and has administered care in Wisconsin, where she is seeking a congressional seat in the state's Eighth District and in neighboring Minnesota. She's running unopposed in the state's August 13 Democratic primary and in November would face one of at least three Republican candidates, including Tony Wied, who is backed by former President Donald Trump.
June 22, 2024

Martin Short and Bill Maher

I thought this was just hilarious!

June 22, 2024

Appeals court finds 'Obamacare' pillar unconstitutional in suit over HIV-prevention drug

Appeals court finds 'Obamacare' pillar unconstitutional in suit over HIV-prevention drug

A federal appeals court on Friday found unconstitutional a key component of the Affordable Care Act that grants a health task force the effective authority to require that insurers both cover an array of preventive health interventions and screenings and refrain from imposing out-of-pocket costs for them.

The lawsuit centered on the objections of a coalition of small businesses in Texas to the requirement that they cover a drug for HIV prevention, known as PrEP, in their employee health plans. The appeals court did not, however, overturn the related ACA pillar; the practical, immediate impacts of its ruling apply narrowly to the plaintiffs in this case.

Legal experts expect that the case, Braidwood v. Becerra, will ultimately advance to the Supreme Court, given that it poses crucial questions about the constitutionality of the health task force’s effective authority and that of other federal health bodies. Additionally, the current court has demonstrated interest in cases concerning the delegation of congressional authority to agencies and experts.

In response to Friday’s ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, public health advocates expressed concern that, should the Supreme Court ultimately void the task force’s authority, this could compromise the nation’s already sluggish HIV fight.

“While we were predicting the worst, at the moment insurers will still have to cover preventive services, including PrEP, except for the original plaintiffs,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hep Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. However, if the task force’s authority is ultimately voided, Schmid said, insurers will likely impose cost-sharing for PrEP, or not cover the newer, more expensive forms of it. He projected that such burdens would depress PrEP use among those at greatest risk of HIV.
June 21, 2024

Florida Supreme Court allows judicial candidates to declare political ideology

Sun-Sentinel - Gift Link


The Florida Supreme Court cleared the way for judicial candidates across the state to openly declare their political ideology — as long as they don’t disclose their party affiliation.

The high court’s decision was tucked in a ruling over how to penalize a St. Johns County judge who told potential voters in a 2022 campaign voicemail that she was a conservative. Judicial races are supposed to be nonpartisan, but the high court ruled her statement was ethically permissible.

“To describe oneself as a ‘conservative’ does not signal bias, pro or con, toward anyone or on any issue,” the justices ruled, overriding the findings of the Judicial Qualifications and the admission of the judge facing discipling, County Court Judge Casey L. Woolsey.

Judges have been publicly scolded for even admitting their political party registration in response to questions from the media. But Woolsey never said she was a Republican. “The statement ‘I am a conservative’ is not partisan, either inherently or, as the JQC believed, when made during an election campaign in a predominantly Republican community,” the court ruled.

“Our judicial code does not prohibit a candidate from discussing his or her philosophical beliefs,” the justices wrote, citing an earlier decision.

In South Florida, lawyers and legal experts called the ruling “bizarre” and predicted it would usher in an era of nakedly partisan judicial campaigns.
June 21, 2024

Simplified SCOTUS: Department of State v. Muoz (2024)

This case is NOT “does a citizen have a right to a spouse to be admitted to the country who is a non-citizen” like I have seen some characterized it as. That question was decided in 2015’s Kerry v. Din.

This is a spousal rights case on whether immigration is a field in which spouses have rights to be involved (as there are many other civil areas in which they have rights). “Fundamental liberty interest” being the official terminology.


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