There’s an expression I don’t really get. Certain laws are seemingly settled until they get unsettled. Dred Scot was settled law; so was Prohibition and pre-suffrage voting restrictions. They were changed. Someone “negotiated” with “hostage-takers” and “arsonists” to “re-settle” those “settled” laws. (Though I don’t recall the South taunting the North with “Dred Scott is Constitutional, bitches.”)
Even EdselCare isn’t settled “settled law”. It changes daily, hourly (as do the excuses for its failure). Waivers, delays, contradictions—lies. What’s “settled” about it?
A federal appeals court Thursday reinstated a key part of a new Texas abortion law, considered to be among the most restrictive in the country.
The decision came three days after a federal judge struck down the provision, which requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they’re providing abortion services.
A day before parts of the law were scheduled to take effect, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday issued an injunction blocking the law’s admitting privileges requirement, arguing that it “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her.”
Thursday’s decision means the requirement will remain in place while a lawsuit moves forward.
Naturally, there are two sides to every story:
“This fight is far from over. This restriction clearly violates Texas women’s constitutional rights by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion statewide,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.
Perry cheered the ruling.
“Today’s decision affirms our right to protect both the unborn and the health of the women of Texas. We will continue doing everything we can to protect a culture of life in our state,” he said in a statement.
Wait! What’s that? Another law unsettled!
That sure was a blockbuster ruling Thursday from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, staying a federal judge’s decision against New York City’s “stop and frisk” police practice and tossing the judge off the case. The ruling throws a curve into the last week of New York mayor’s race and complicates the liberal campaign to block police practices that have greatly reduced crime.
The shocker came as the Second Circuit hears New York City’s appeal of Judge Scheindlin’s ruling, in which she declared that stop and frisk violated the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. New York police have for years stopped, questioned and searched for weapons if they have reasonable cause to believe someone may be connected to a crime. Cheered on by a liberal media campaign, Judge Scheindlin declared it illegal. She also appointed a panel of liberal worthies to micromanage New York’s finest, an affront both to the police force and self-government.
The Second Circuit panel is a long way from judging the merits of the appeal. But the three judges noted in their ruling Thursday that “upon review of the record in these cases, we conclude that the District Judge ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 2 (‘A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.’)”
Specifically, the court said Judge Scheindlin had “compromised” the appearance of partiality by improperly inviting a stop-and-frisk suit. In a December 21, 2007 hearing on an earlier case, Judge Scheindlin stated: “[I]f you got proof of inappropriate racial profiling in a good constitutional case, why don’t you bring a lawsuit? You can certainly mark it as related.”
She also stated that, “[W]hat I am trying to say, I am sure I am going to get in trouble for saying it, for $65 you can bring that lawsuit.”
I’m used to legal mumbo jumbo like res ipsa loquitur and m’lud, but since when did rah-rah, sis-boom-bah become acceptable court vocabulary?
I won’t even take a stand on the merits of any of these laws, but the process by which they are passed, challenged, imposed—whatever (as Secretary Sebelius would say)—sucks big time (to coin my own legalism).