Responding to Texas’ new law severely restricting abortion, Democratic Connecticut state president Nancy DiNardo last week tried to piss off the party base. “Connecticut,” she said, “will never allow the activist Supreme Court to deny women in our state reproductive rights.”
Texan law is bizarre, so strategically formulated. Its application is attributed to civil lawsuits brought by individuals against abortion providers and facilitators. Successful plaintiffs can claim a premium of $ 10,000 from each defendant. For procedural reasons, the Supreme Court has denied early intervention against the law, suggesting that the court’s new Conservative majority may consider overturning the court’s abortion precedent, the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.
There is nothing new to say about the abortion itself. But his politics will always produce new material – as DiNardo did last week. Because a Supreme Court that would reject Roe and send the abortion law back to the states would be no more “activist” than the Supreme Court that issued Roe and removed the states issue, where it had rested since the founding of the country.
Even liberal legal experts – including late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – have recognized that regardless of abortion policy that should be, Roe was legally unhealthy or a fat stretch at best. That is, Roe was the product of an “activist” Supreme Court.
DiNardo’s premise and goal is hysteria. Because the Supreme Court will not “take away the reproductive rights of women in our state”, because the Court does not have the power to do so. The power of the court here is only to decide whether abortion is a federal constitutional right, a right in every state.
Additionally, Connecticut has a long permissive abortion law and public opinion here seems unlikely to change the law much, although most residents of the state are likely would have favor requiring parental or guardian approval for underage abortions.
Last week, DiNardo and all other leading Connecticut Democrats ignored a chance to defend a constitutional right far more established than abortion. Although neither the federal nor the state constitution mentions abortion, both guarantee the right to own a firearm. Even more explicit than the Second Amendment to the Federal Constitution, the Connecticut Constitution says, “Every citizen has the right to bear arms in self-defense and the state.
A gun rights group, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, has filed a federal lawsuit against police chiefs in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury for refusing to process gun license applications municipal fireworks, without which people cannot get state permits. The lawsuit details how candidates in cities have been stranded for many months, if not indefinitely.
The cities have not denied their obstruction of this constitutional right. New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker basically admitted it, noting the frequent gun crimes in his city as if it nullifies a constitutional right. Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez dishonestly blamed the lockdown on the virus outbreak.
Mayor Elicker was demagogic. “My priorities are to ensure the safety of our residents, not to benefit retailers and gun manufacturers,” said the mayor.
But cities are not sued by gun manufacturers and retailers, but by their own residents. Some may have noticed the social disintegration all around them and the government is the cause. These residents may think they should protect themselves because the government will not.
The Connecticut political establishment views abortion as a good right and gun ownership as a bad one. For the political establishment, this makes constitutions themselves dispensable.
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EXPOSE HIDDEN COTS: Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is urging the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to cut Eversource Energy’s electricity rates. Perhaps this should be done, but only after determining and making public the amount of the electricity bills that hide the social policy costs of the state government.
If only the state government had an agency to audit its own costs comprehensively. Auditors don’t do that. Yes, Connecticut’s electricity rates are nearly the highest in the country, but so are Connecticut taxes, and state residents pay a lot more for the government than they do for electricity.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer.