WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE
Radical Texas anti-abortion bill falls after marathon 13-hour challenge: “Hundreds of jeering protesters helped stop Texas lawmakers from passing one of the toughest abortion measures in the country, shouting down Senate Republicans and forcing them to miss a midnight deadline to pass the bill.
“Initially, Republicans insisted they had started voting before the midnight deadline and passed the bill that Democrats spent much of Tuesday filibustering. But after official computer records and printouts of the voting record showed the vote took place on Wednesday, and then were changed to read Tuesday, senators convened for a private meeting.
“An hour later, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was still insisting the 19-10 vote was in time, but said, “with all the ruckus and noise going on, I couldn’t sign the bill.” — Associated Press 6/26/13
“Thanks to efforts from hundreds of protesters and state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-TX), an omnibus abortion bill did not win legislative approval from Texas lawmakers early on Wednesday morning. Republicans conceded that their vote to end Davis’ 13-hour filibuster on the legislation didn’t make the midnight deadline, when Texas’ special session officially concluded.”
“In order to block SB 5 from passing the Senate and heading to Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) desk before midnight on Tuesday, Davis filibustered the legislation for more than 12 hours. Under Texas’ Senate rules, Davis was not allowed to sit, lean against a desk, eat, drink, go to the restroom, or talk about anything unrelated to SB 5 during this time.” — Think Progress 6/26/13
Supreme Court strikes down key parts of Voting Rights Act: “The Supreme Court has ruled key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional, dealing a disappointing decision to minority voting rights activists and asking Congress to develop new guidelines for the landmark law.
“The high court nixed Section 4 of the law, which established a formula for certain states to seek federal approval before making any changes to their voting requirements or laws under Section 5. Those covered jurisdictions had a history of racial discrimination when the law was first passed 5o years ago.
“But on Monday, in a 5-4 ruling along ideological lines, the justices deemed that part of the law unconstitutional because the coverage formula is outdated.” — Roll Call 6-25-13
“Enacted in 1965, the Voting Rights Act requires a number of states with a history of racial discrimination to secure federal approval before altering their voting procedures. The law was last reauthorized in 2006 with overwhelming bipartisan support, but the formula dictating which states are subject to extra scrutiny is decades old.
“Behind Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled 5-4 Tuesday that the formula — contained in Section 4 of the law — is outdated and therefore unconstitutional.” — The Hill 6/29/13
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) overturned, Prop 8 falls: “The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional in a major victory for advocates of gay marriage and a blow to House Republican leaders. California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage also fell, with the court ruling that the appellants did not have standing to appeal a lower court decision overturning the law.
“House Republicans authorized spending up to $3 million to defend DOMA in court after President Barack Obama’s administration refused to do so, over the protests of Democrats. But the court ruled that the law violated the equal protection guarantees in the Constitution.” — Roll Call 6/26/13
GOP BUDGET CUTS
Extreme GOP budget cuts of 2014: “The most shameful achievement of the House Republican majority has been the elimination of $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending through 2022, which has already held back the economy from substantial growth and done real damage to people and communities that depend on government dollars. The widespread pain caused by this year’s sequester is the best-known aspect of these cuts, but caps that will continue to limit virtually every program for nine more years will also be extremely harmful.
” … The 2014 spending bills now emerging from the House Appropriations Committee are worse than in any previous year and would make some programs and departments unrecognizable.” — New York Times 6/22/13