Terrifying Texans, Undue Burden, Long Road to Justice


Terrifying Texans, Undue Burden, Long Road to Justice

Terrifying Texans

Super Tuesday has come and gone, and the fallout in the Lone Star State wasn't surprising. Sen. Ted Cruz beat out windbag Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio, winning the Republican primary. Hillary Clinton trounced Sen. Bernie Sanders to secure the Democratic primary.

On the state level, there weren't any major shake-ups. There were some contested primaries, particularly on the Democrat side, but the winners weren't totally unexpected. There are a few runoffs on the Democrat side, no real fireworks.

However, travel 80 miles to the north, and Travis County has a new Republican chair: Robert Morrow.

The night he won election, instead of thanking the voters like most politicians do, he sent out flurries of tweets claiming that former Gov. Rick Perry is bisexual, that Rubio frequents gay foam parties, that Hillary Clinton has a penis, that his dick is 11 inches and other vitriolic stupid statements. Travis County Republicans, who have already distanced themselves from Morrow, will have to find a way around his idiocy.

Farther north, near the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is Mary Lou Bruner, who is in a runoff with Keven Ellis for conservative State Board of Education District 9. Unlike Travis County Republicans, District 9 constituents can still vote against Bruner, who uncovered the fact that President Barack Obama is, in fact, a gay prostitute. (A side note: Why are these far-right, tea party nuts so fascinated with homosexuality?)

Bruner also feels threatened by Muslims and has said that the North was the aggressor during the Civil War, which in her words, had nothing to do with slavery.

This is the same state Board of Education that has been embroiled in controversy for adopting textbooks that reduced the role of slavery in history classes and barely recognizes the United States' expansive history of racial segregation.

However, The Texas Tribune reported that Bruner very well could win the runoff in the conservative district.

Undue Burden

The Lone Star State is expansive, covering 282,820 square miles, with more than 27 million residents, half of whom are women. So the Supreme Court's decision on one of the most important reproductive-rights cases since the early 1990s could have huge implications here.

Last Wednesday, the court heard arguments from the State of Texas, which in 2013 passed a sweeping law called House Bill 2 that required abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical requirements, and forced doctors to have admitting privileges to a hospital. Whole Women's Health, a gynecology and abortion provider that sued, says the Lone Star State law places an undue burden on women seeking abortion services in Texas. That "undue burden" language comes from a 1992 Supreme Court case that decided states can impose abortion regulations on residents, as long as they don't constitute an undue burden.

With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the outlook of the case has changed drastically, and all eyes are on the highest court in the nation.

The Washington Post reports that if the court ties 4-4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit's decision upholding Texas' law would stand, but there would be no national precedent. However, if Justice Anthony Kennedy sides with the court's liberals, reaching a five-member majority, that decision would have national implications that the law constitutes an undue burden.

If the law does stand, however, there would be just 10 abortion clinics left in a state that covers nearly 283,000 square miles.

Long Road to Justice

Last week, news broke that San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus indefinitely suspended Officer John Lee, who shot and killed an unarmed black man on February 4.

Now, Lee hasn't been fired yet, and he will meet with McManus where his punishment could be less significant than termination, media reports indicate.

In a statement released to the San Antonio Express-News, McManus said he issued the indefinite suspension because Lee put himself in an unnecessary tactical situation where he felt compelled to use deadly force on Antroine Scott, who was holding a cellphone that Lee says he mistook for a gun, causing him to fear for his life.

According to KSAT, the indefinite suspension is the first step toward firing Lee.

The SAPD has already handed the case over to the Bexar County District Attorney's Office.

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