The new Texas anti-abortion law is one of the most far-fetched laws I’ve ever heard about. I can’t understand how the U.S. Supreme Court could let this happen. It’s unbelievably unjust.
The idea of the law: Encourage private citizens to bring multiple lawsuits to hamper abortions, tying people up in courts. This is a cynical and corrupt abuse of the legal system. No law should be written like this, and to let this one go into effect only ensures other states will copy the idea, and the whole country will be tangled up in senseless litigation.
Private citizens who have no business meddling in a woman’s health decisions will be encouraged to do such things as sue for “damages” if a friend of a woman so much as drives her to a clinic or loans her money to help pay medical fees. How does this make sense? What damages?
How can an uninvolved stranger claim $10,000 in damages as a result of a medical procedure they weren’t a party to? It’s completely illogical.
The kindest explanation for what the Supreme Court has done is they have decided to sit back and wait to see if the law is as bad as it looks. Sort of a “let’s give them some rope” approach. I think that’s giving them too much benefit of the doubt.
There’s no ruling — just a decision not to decide in a situation that looks dire to me. I can’t see how the law can be anything but cruel.
Closer to home, one of our mayoral candidates has made some remarks suggesting that, as mayor, he would see to it that homeless people who won’t move into shelters will have to suffer some unspecified consequences. Do we really need mayoral candidates threatening an already vulnerable and marginalized community? This is disappointing.
I get it: Tents are ugly. Well, so are shelters, but only the people crammed into them know how ugly they are, because shelters have walls around them and their interiors are hidden from view.
Camping in city parks is unpopular, so people are ready to hear campers threatened with vague consequences if they don’t comply with orders to move indoors. This is then what passes for “compassion” in this city. This kind of compassion should not be roused.
Meanwhile, Charter Amendment 29 was crushed in superior court. I watched as Judge Catherine Shaffer presented the crushing, and she rocked it. Instead of trying to get a stay of the ruling, the amendment’s backers ought to go over the words of the fair and generous judge and rewrite the amendment to take her many objections into consideration. They should resubmit an amendment that could pass that kind of criticism. It’s their civic duty.
If the stay is granted, there will be a meaningless vote in November for a charter amendment that can’t go into effect because it’s already been ruled illegal.
It will be a Schrödinger’s amendment, projected out into time; only if an appeal to the superior court ruling is successful could the amendment go into effect. Otherwise it will be dead.
By the way, I’m sure Erwin Schrödinger’s cat would have hated him if he had any idea about the subatomic supposing Schrödinger had in mind.
At this point, if an appeal is successful after that ruling, it will have the status of a Hail Mary pass.
Advanced exercises for loads and loads of extra credit: Throw these two court bungles out of the park and you just might win a chair like the one Tim Eyman took off with from Office Depot. (I’m kidding. Adventures in Irony has a joke budget of $0.)
One of the arguments supporting the Texas anti-abortion law discussed above is that “liberals have done it, too.” They have. In order to facilitate enforcement of environmental laws, liberal legislators have let private citizens sue for damages that ought to have been regarded as public damages — so I’ve read. This columnist doesn’t care. Principles are principles. We opposed the Supreme Court’s liberal justices when they undermined eminent domain. Just because liberals have done it doesn’t make it right. If you think I’m wrong, write a 500-word essay saying how so. And shove it in a bottle and toss it in Elliott Bay for all I care.
An easy one: Praise Judge Catherine Shaffer in other ways than I have.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Read more of the Sept. 8-14, 2021 issue.