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Anti-Abortion Zealouness Should Cost States Money

July 15, 2020

I contend there should be a monetary fine associated with those states where the un-constitutionality of a law is not in question at the time of passage, and therefore the time and cost needed to be borne by the over-worked federal bench should be compensated.  It would put a handle on over-zealous state legislators who have proven, as in a recent case from Georgia, not to care about the spending of tax dollars on needless litigation.

Georgia passed a law that banned most abortions after six weeks.  Many newsrooms referred to the idea of making abortions illegal after a doctor detected fetal cardiac activity as the “heartbeat” law.  On Monday a federal judge ruled the law is in clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The problem with states like Georgia who wish to be in the vanguard of pushing the over-the-top efforts on issues such as abortion, always with an eye to the partisan gains to be reaped, is the cost to the taxpayers at needing to litigate a losing proposition.  In the Georgia case, given its flagrant over-reach, one would only need to have talked with a first-year law student to know what was passed violated the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

But that knowledge did not stop the efforts of the Republicans who are not swayed by logic or reason but are determined to rush pell-mell into any storm, and never consider the legal costs for their clueless actions.  There had to have been at least one legal scholar who advised the GOP caucus in Georgia of what District Judge Steve C. Jones ruled this week.

“In sum, the undisputed material facts in this case lead to one, indisputable conclusion: that Section 4 of H.B. 481, by prohibiting a woman from terminating her pregnancy upon the detection of a fetal heartbeat, constitutes a pre-viability abortion ban. As this ban directly conflicts with binding Supreme Court precedent (i.e., the core holdings in Roe, Casey, and their progeny) and thereby infringes upon a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion prior to viability, the Court is left with no other choice but to declare it unconstitutional.”

Politicians can hold on to every outrageous idea they desire. That is how our system was designed.  They can rant while energizing their constituents as they wish.  But a line needs to be drawn when there is indisputable evidence that passage of clearly and well-demonstrated unconstitutional bills will be utterly rejected by the courts. While Republicans carp on saving money at every turn in government, it then needs to be taken to heart when huge legal bills are amassed to defend a law that could never muster a constitutional call.

And so it goes.

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