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Judge Tosses Fetal Heartbeat Bill

You knew there wasn't a chance of this one getting through our black robed oligarchs. But that's ok. Because of the verbiage of the original abortion rulings talks about viability being a possible line of demarcation (even thoght Doe v. Bolton effectively blocked that for a time) there was no way this law would withstand judicial scrutiny.

A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday that one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws is unconstitutional — a North Dakota statute banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a decision last year from U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who ruled the law unconstitutional. The law was approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature in 2013, though it was quickly put on hold after the state's lone abortion clinic filed a lawsuit that July.

Several conservative states have passed restrictive abortion laws in recent years, but abortion rights supporters say North Dakota's 2013 fetal heartbeat law was the strictest in the country.

Supporters said the law was meant to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that legalized abortion until a fetus is considered viable, usually at 22 to 24 weeks. It wasn't immediately clear whether the state would appeal the case, though lawmakers have set aside $800,000 to defend the state's abortion laws.

"Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota's law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs," the appeals court ruling said.

The attorney general's office said it was reviewing the opinion.

"Once the review is complete, we will make a determination of what further action, if any, is advisable," Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement.
What they're really saying is that they're going to wait to see if a Republican wins the presidency and there's a chance that a conservative justice is put on the bench that could possibly rule that the law is constitutional. Obviously, with the current makeup of the court that would likely be a fruitless endeavor.

If you needed convincing that elections matter, this would be evidence of that.

I'm not saying I completely trust Roberts and I certainly don't trust Kennedy but you'd just need one of them along with a new justice (hopefully conservative) to affirm the constitutionality of limits on abortion.

Laws are not everything but they're not nothing. We've seen abortion rates reduced in recent years and I think any fair thinking person (meaning those who don't act as spokespersons for Planned Parenthood or write opinion editorials for the Washington Post or New York Times ((is that redundant?))) would affirm that state restrictions on abortion have played a role.

I think pro-aborts have done a great job pointing out that innefectuality of electing Republicans in changing the makeup of the court. Some of the most liberal justices have been appointed by Republicans (Souter, Kennedy, O'Connor). So, I think it's fair to say there have been some...issues in the past. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible. It just means that Republicans stink and we have to really hold their feet to the fire. And we don't have to just elect Republicans, we have to elect pro-lifers. Hardcore pro-lifers.

Do I believe Chris Christie will face down the media and the Democrats on the issue of life? No. Not yet. I just don't. Could I be convinced? Maybe. But we need to choose carefully. I'm an idiot though. I was just starting to believe Mike Pence was a standup guy when he completely bailed on the religious freedom bill. But that's why we should be discussing these things with each other. And some elbows are going to be thrown in the primaries. I don't mind that. We're literally dealing with life and death issues. All that stuff about Republicans not criticizing each other is garbage. You should criticize the candidates and the cnndidates should be criticizing each other's views. I'm not saying they should take cheap shots and play the media gotcha' game but making it clear that a Republican is saying one thing but has done another in the past is perfectly fair.

I'd love to see this bill get a fair hearing from hte Supreme Court. Now let's make it happen.

*subhead*judges.*subhead*

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