Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Voter rights/abortions

Good news on voting rights.

 For too long, Republican lawmakers in many states have gotten away with enacting laws designed to impede voting by groups likely to vote for Democratic candidates. They claim the need to prevent voter fraud, which is practically non-existent. There should be many decisions like this one in Wisconsin.  In fact, there should have been a widespread investigation by the Dept. of Justice, proving the intent of these laws.  Voting is the bed rock of our democracy, states have a public policy duty to enhance voting opportunities. Any reduction in access to voting should be suspect and subjected to close scrutiny.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin's voter Identification law, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued his long-awaited decision Tuesday. It invalidates Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin's law would have required voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the polls. Supporters said it would cut down on voter fraud and boost public confidence in the integrity of the election process.
But Adelman sided with opponents, who said it disproportionately excluded poor and minority voters because they're less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to get them.

Hope for abortion rights

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Mississippi law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals would effectively shut down the state's only abortion clinic and pose an unconstitutional burden on women seeking abortions, an attorney told a federal appeals court Monday.

This case is clear, as are many others .  Women have a constitutionally protected right to obtain an abortion. Laws designed to limit or prevent access, based on dubious need for hospital privileges, invented design requirements for clinics, etc,, should be struck down. Texas, where many clinics have been forced to close, is another egregious example. Similarly, laws requiring medically unnecessary, unwanted procedures such as ultrasound, must be invalidated.