20 Comments
Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

Robert, this might be the best column you have ever written. Incisive, angry, empowering. Thank you. I hope your readers are listening.

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Thanks, Mir. I hope that I have helped alert people to the danger we face. I hope readers are listening, as well.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

Things look grim, but we can’t give up hope. Without hope, we fall into despair and do nothing. Keep up your good work.

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Agree 100%. Thanks.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

This was my take on the Texas anti-abortion law: Well, with this new law, Texas has officially joined totalitarian countries like Russia and China where neighbors and family members are required to report acts against the state committed by friends, family members or neighbors! As for the Supreme Court? I expected no good news from them, but I was still disappointed.

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Agree 100%. The statute is offensive, creepy, and Orwellian.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

The Supreme Court's failure to intervene re the Texas statute is not just terrible for women in Texas--and by extension, all over the nation. Nor is it just a setback regarding freedom of choice; if the state may interfere with womens' bodily integrity, what areas of private conduct and thought are protected? (That is an issue that I hope will be argued strongly when the court takes up the Mississippi abortion statute this fall.) But more than that, the majority's action (for failing to act is action) is a body blow to the very idea of law itself. Eighty years ago, Justice Frankfurter noted that the history of liberty has largely been this history of procedural safeguards. By ignoring those safeguards, the Court's majority has undermined the whole system that the law is supposed to embody.

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The majority opinion is a sham and a lie. It's premise is that petitioners failed to address the "complex and novel" issues raised by the statute. That is THE reason that courts issue injunctions--to preserve the "status quo ante" while the parties and courts work through "complex and novel" issue. Moreover, THE reason the issue came to the Court in such a mess is because the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow the district court to hold a hearing on the constitutionality of the statute. The bad faith of the majority is manifest, cynical, and haughty. They do not care that their reasoning would garner a failing grade in a law school essay. We owe the majority no presumption of good faith. The members of the majority are a threat to democracy.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

More frightening than the attempt to abort the right to abortion is the introduction of Vigilante Enforcement of anti-American laws as a tactic to circumvent Constitutional protection of basic rights. Imagine, for example, allowing any citizen to sue any voter whom they suspect may be voting illegally, with a $10,000 bounty and protection from any repercussions if the suit is dismissed. Or suing any school superintendent for requiring masks, or vaccines for healthcare providers. As horrid as this law is in and of itself, the mechanism for enforcement is an even graver threat to our founding principles.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

Planned Parenthood [PP] should immediately contract with every provider in Texas that PP will indemnify the provider against legal fees and damages in any suit brought against the provider. This is far preferable to shutting down all clinics in order to avoid lawsuits. In any such suit the provider-defendant should be able to argue against liability on grounds that the law is unconstitutional. If the provider loses, then an appeal from the judgment should put the case in a procedural posture to allow the provider so seek for injunctive relief against enforcement of the judgment and to pursue appeals as needed.

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typo: "allow the provider so seek for injunctive relief" should be "allow the provider to seek injunctive relief"

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Superb, Robert! I am forwarding this to all the people I know in Maine, Susan Collin's state.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

I see no objective reason to believe we will prevail against these forces. A SCOTUS that supports religion-based extreme right-wing politics is a first in America. The camel is entirely inside the tent.

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I disagree with your premise, Janet. The question is who are "these forces." We could expand the Court to 20 today with a majority vote in the Senate and the House. We are two Senators away from being able to do so.

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From your lips to God's ears as my mother used to say!

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

I have to disagree with you, the battle has been lost. Here in Collier County Florida and the city of Naples the Texas template is being put forth, opposed by the County and City attorneys, but barely rejected by councils at each level. However, the Sanctuary County which mirrors the anti abortion law gives citizens the "right" to sue for any perceived abridgement of their "bill of rights". The city of Naples has anti-abortionists just mirroring the Texas law as a city Ordinance. While rejected by a one vote margin, it will be brought up at every council meeting till it wins. The templates have been well thought out and will be spread across Florida and as you state throughout the states.

Along with voter suppression and nullification the battle may have been enjoined but the Democratic opposition is not fully engaged. We must stress Article 1 section 4 of the constitution which designates the Federal legislature as the bastion against voting restrictions by the states.

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I disagree with you, Charles. We are only two votes in the Senate away from expanding the Court. We will achieve that goal. A Republican candidate for president has not won a majority of the popular vote was 2004. It will never happen again. The GOP is shrinking, and this decision will ensure that it shrinks further. Have we lost the battle today? Sure. But we are in a war, and losing one battle is not what will determine our success.

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Sep 2, 2021Liked by Robert B. Hubbell

Outstanding post, Robert. I agree with JJ Margolis comment below and your response. I believe Justice Breyer's dissent lays bare the false pretense for the majority's "action":

"Texas’s law delegates to private individuals the power to prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion during the first stage of pregnancy. But a woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during that first stage. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, 846 (1992); Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, 164 (1973). And a “State cannot delegate . . . a veto power [over the right to obtain an abortion] which the state itself is absolutely and totally prohibited from exercising during the first trimester of pregnancy.” Planned Parenthood of Central Mo. v. Danforth, 428 U. S. 52, 69 (1976) (internal quotation marks omitted). Indeed, we have made clear that “since the State cannot regulate or pro- scribe abortion during the first stage . . . the State cannot delegate authority to any particular person . . . to prevent abortion during that same period.” Ibid. The applicants persuasively argue that Texas’s law does precisely that."

It is now even more imperative the Californian's vote "NO" in the recall election. Hopefully, this decision will wake some Democratic and independent voters from their stupor.

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We are quickly splitting in two. With the peril to voting rights and women’s rights, Texas has become a rogue state. You present the worst case to steel us, and I appreciate that, as always. I wondered how Collins got elected in the first place, because she is, like Virginia Fox of NC, mealy-mouthed but mean. I honestly don’t know how I could face recent days without your newsletter, since I am watching the destruction of so much of the heritage I cherish.

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Susan Collins has made a career out of talking like a middle of the road Republican, while voting like the extremist right winger she in fact is. Just take a look at her voting record. So there is nothing new revealed by her support for Kavanaugh, or his support for the Texas law. Everyone knew what Kavanaugh was and how he would vote on the most important issues. That's why he was nominated by Trump and supported by every Republican senator. Plus - I hope you're sitting down - Joe Manchin. To the extent the GOP has succeeded in dividing the country into Jesusland and the other 65% of Americans, the logical next step is to split into two countries. Each can go its own way with its own economic and social norms. It will be like the U.S. and Canada. We can trade with each other and visit with each other, but won't be bound by each other's laws.

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