Connect with us

Politics

The GOP in Tennessee cuts the session short with no action on gun control

Published

on

NASHVILLE — Hundreds of students, parents, and teachers marched to the Tennessee State Capitol day after day, demanding a ban on assault weapons and action on gun control. Their calls are echoed by musicians such as Amy Grant and Sheryl Crowwho traveled to the legislature to personally lobby lawmakers after a mass shooting at a Nashville Christian school.

Several religious leaders have joined the effort, writing to Republican leaders urging them to support a proposal that would help temporarily restrict access to guns for people the court deems to be a danger to themselves or others.

But on Friday, just under a month after the school attack, Republicans cut short the year’s legislative session and attacked any measure that dealt explicitly with guns, capping a three-month whirlwind of laws that highlighted the power of the far-right wing. of the Tennessee Republican Party and witnessed the brief expulsion of two black Democratic Representatives.

“It’s frustrating and motivating,” said Jimmy Starnes, 37, who spent Friday morning protesting at the Capitol with a group of moms, many of whom had not demonstrated in person until their friends and children were traumatized by the Covenant school shooting. that killed three adults and three nine-year-olds. “We’re not going anywhere,” she added.

Advertisement

Within two hours of the legislature’s hasty departure, the state’s Republican governor, Bill Lee, announced that he would summon lawmakers back for a special session to revisit the debate, with details expected in the coming weeks. Mr. Lee, whose wife lost a friend in the attack, has pushed the legislature to pass a protection bill, which, in an effort to win Conservative support, has become so limited in scope that some experts said it wouldn’t even qualify. As a sort of “red flag law” that gun rights advocates despise.

“There is broad agreement that dangerous and unstable individuals who intend to harm themselves or others should not obtain weapons,” Mr. Lee said in a statement. “We also share a strong commitment to preserving Second Amendment rights, ensuring due process and addressing the core of the problem by strengthening mental health resources.”

But it was clear as the legislature left on Friday that any measure that would limit access to guns, even as narrow as the proposal Mr. Lee championed, would run into sharp disagreement with the Republican majority.

Republicans have largely criticized the proposal and argued that they went too far in the session to replenish the state budget and examine the implications of such a law. Instead, they highlighted the passing of about $140 million to fund school resource police officers on public school campuses, another request from Mr. Lee.

Speaker Cameron Sexton suggested that Republicans look elsewhere, after they discussed other proposals that would “focus on the mental health aspect of this and fill in holes that currently exist in the law.”

Advertisement

“I hope we get another chance,” he added at a news conference on Friday night. “I also think it’s important again to have these conversations outside the Capitol with the public and allow them to get input on exactly how to proceed.”

However, calls for more time and discussion were a stark contrast in a session in which the assembly’s supermajority had dramatically undermined the autonomy of the state’s largest Democratic-leaning city and curtailed gay rights, despite protest from those communities.

The legislature imposed more control over the cities through Dissolution of two councils for oversight of the civilian police – despite of Invitations to invest in those organisations After the fatal beating of Nichols’ photos at the hands of Memphis police officers this year – and by handing over local control of the State Nashville Airport Authority.

Many of these actions are now awaiting Mr. Lee’s signature. The state now faces multiple lawsuits, with the latest coming Thursday, when the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations sued over a transitional care ban for transgender teens that is set to go into effect in July.

The $56.2 billion state budget passed the legislature this week in near unanimity as Republicans scrambled to leave Nashville. It includes a temporary relief from the state’s grocery tax and millions of dollars in corporate tax cuts, and about $3 billion goes toward road projects.

Advertisement

Yet the debate over whether and how to restrict access to guns defines the year’s action, after thousands of students, teachers and Tennessee residents flooded the Capitol to urge lawmakers to act. Protesters marched carrying children’s coffins, hundreds of students walked out of classes, and thousands linked arms to form a three-mile human chain through the city.

Some Republicans have urged their colleagues in the state legislature to take some steps toward gun control, even as gun lobbyists rallied against Mr. Lee’s proposal and any glimmer of gun control.

“A decision should always be right even if it costs you re-election,” said Oscar Brock, a member of the Republican National Committee, of the draft proposal. “I wish they had taken the governor on his offer.”

“I was a little disappointed,” he added. (Mr. Brock quickly added that his disappointment was not enough to shake his loyalty to the party.)

Sheer grief and anger over the legislature’s inaction exploded when Republicans evicted two young black Democrats stopping short of unseating a third Democrat, a rare act of revenge after the three led a gun control protest on the House floor. Local officials brought back the two men—State Representatives Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin J. Pearson of Memphis took office and spent the final days of the session on their feet, taking turns with Republicans in increasingly heated confrontations over gender and race.

Advertisement

The expulsions have inflamed already bitter tensions in the legislature and heightened national scrutiny of how the Republican supermajority used its power and how it let past instances of misconduct slide with severe impunity. Senior Republican, Scotty Campbell, Quit abruptly on Thursdayjust hours later news channel 5 He disclosed details of a March 29 memo that found he violated the Chamber’s ethics policy against sexual harassment.

The outpouring of financial and political support galvanized state Democrats, who saw a glimmer of hope that their party could begin to wrest seats from the Republican supermajority. In deeply smeared Tennessee, where political power is largely determined in Republican primaries, it remained unclear whether there would be any long-term backlash from conservative lawmakers.

But Republicans seemed eager to get out of Nashville, if only temporarily, to escape the firestorm of their own firings and internal unrest. They took dozens of measures during a marathon week, repeatedly cutting off debate over Democrats’ objections. And they’ve beaten recent procedural maneuvers that would have forced them to consider gun legislation, including a Democratic version of the red flag law and a ban on firearms. Buy semi-automatic rifles that holds more than 10 rounds.

“Why choose to leave and then come back when you can do it right here, right now?” State Rep. Karen Kemper, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, asked Republicans at a committee hearing on Friday. “People are yelling and yelling at us to do something,” she added.

Conservative opposition to any gun control measure seemed deeply rooted, though Republicans continued to persist They were interested in solutions “that prevent dangerous individuals from harming the public.”

Advertisement

“There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but as written, I still think it needs work,” said State Representative William Lamberth, a member of the Republican leadership.

However, many firearms researchers rejected the conservative opposition, arguing that the measure had been so watered down that it fell far short of the laws Republicans opposed. They noted that it focused too heavily on mental illness without addressing other indicators of violence and would require a waiting period before a court hearing, rather than allowing immediate intervention.

“Those with mental illness do not disproportionately commit violence,” said Dr. April Zeoli, a senior research fellow at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. “It doesn’t target the people who perpetrate the majority of the violence, so it won’t tip the scales too much in terms of gun violence, and it will only harm society with mental illness.”

Even if the bill becomes law, she wouldn’t count Tennessee among states with so-called red flag laws, said Lisa Geller, co-director of the High Risk Protective Orders Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.

The longer the Tennessee legislature waits, and the longer other state legislatures go without red flag laws or other protections, said Ms. Geller, “the more tragedies will happen in their states.”

Advertisement



Source link

Politics

The Supreme Court guarantees, for now, wide access to the abortion pill

Published

on

By

Washington – Supreme Court He said Friday evening That the abortion pill mifepristone will still be widely available for now, delays the possibility of an abrupt end to a drug used in more than half of all abortions in the United States.

The order halted steps that sought to limit the availability of mifepristone while moving forward on appeal: a ruling from a Texas federal judge to suspend the drug from the market altogether and another from an appeals court to impose significant barriers to the pill, including blocking access by mail.

The unsigned one-paragraph order, which came hours before the restrictions went into effect, marked the second time in a year that the Supreme Court had considered a major effort to severely limit access to abortion.

The case could ultimately have profound implications, even for states where abortion is legal, as well as for the FDA’s regulatory power over other drugs.

Advertisement

If the ruling by the judge in Texas that overturned the FDA’s approval of the pill after more than two decades holds, it could set the stage for all kinds of challenges to the agency’s approval of other drugs and enable medical providers anywhere to do so. Opposing government policy that may affect the patient.

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene after the US Court of Appeals allowed the Fifth Circuit to stand on a number of limitations in the Texas ruling, even as it said it would allow the pills to remain on the market.

In Friday’s order, Judges Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Judge Thomas did not provide reasons, but Judge Alito noted that the Fifth Circuit has already narrowed down the more remote aspects of Texas rule. He added that the FDA and the manufacturer of the branded version of mifepristone, Danco Laboratories, “have not shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm” as the case continues in appeals court.

Judge Alito expressed skepticism about the FDA’s claims that regulatory “chaos” would ensue if the lower court’s ruling went into effect. Referring to a competing case brought by Democratic state attorneys general in Washington state, which is seen as a direct challenge to the case in Texas, he accused the FDA of taking advantage of the court system to implement “the desired policy while evading both necessary cases.” Agency Actions and Judicial Review”.

Advertisement

This is most likely not the final word from the judges. After the Fifth Circuit hears the appeal, the case will likely go back to the Supreme Court.

None of the justices appointed by President Donald J. Trump have publicly objected.

The court’s decision is, at least temporarily, a victory for the Biden administration.

President Biden welcomed the decision, saying that “the administration will continue to advocate for the Food and Drug Administration’s independent expert authority to review, approve, and regulate a broad range of prescription drugs.”

He added that the Texas ruling “would have undermined the FDA’s medical judgment and endangered women’s health.”

Advertisement

A spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration declined to comment.

The reaction of the plaintiffs — a coalition of anti-abortion groups and many doctors — has been muted.

The fight will continue, said Eric Baptiste, senior counsel at the Coalition for Defense of Freedom, a conservative legal organization representing the coalition.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must be held accountable for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by failing to examine the riskiness of the chemical abortion drug regimen and to remove every meaningful safeguard, even allowing mail-order abortions,” said Mr. Baptist. .

After the Supreme Court struck down a constitutional right to abortion in June, political and legal battles have turned to medical abortion, a two-drug regimen usually used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Advertisement

The first drug, mifepristone, inhibits the reproductive hormone progesterone, and the second, misoprostol, taken a day or two later, stimulates contractions and helps the uterus expel its contents.

More than five million women have used mifepristone to terminate their pregnancies in the United States, and dozens of other countries have approved the drug for use.

The case reached the judges after a quick and tangled battle over the legal status of the grain.

In November, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the Amarillo Circuit of the Texas federal court system, ensuring that the case would be brought before a single judge: Matthew J.

Justice Kaksmarek, a Trump appointee, is a longtime opponent of abortion who joined the platform after working for the First Liberty Institute, a conservative legal group focused on religious freedom issues.

Advertisement

The coalition that brought the lawsuit, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, argued that the Food and Drug Administration improperly approved the birth control pill in 2000 and that mifepristone is unsafe. The agency has strongly disputed these claims, citing studies showing that serious complications are rare and that less than 1 percent of patients require hospitalization.

This month, Judge Kaksmarek, in an interim ruling, declared the FDA’s approval of the drug invalid and gave both parties a week to seek emergency relief before the decision took effect.

Less than an hour later, a federal judge in Washington state, Thomas O. Rice, appointed by President Barack Obama, issued a conflicting ruling in a separate lawsuit involving mifepristone. Judge Rice blocked the FDA from limiting the availability of birth control pills to the 17 states and the District of Columbia, which were parties to that lawsuit.

Competing rulings mean the matter is almost certain to go to the Supreme Court.

The FDA immediately appealed Judge Kaksmarek’s decision, and a divided panel of three Fifth Circuit judges, in New Orleans, upheld the agency’s approval of the drug, ensuring that mifepristone would remain on the market.

Advertisement

But the commission raised several barriers to access, sided in part with Judge Kacsmarek, while the suit went through the courts. It blocked a series of steps the Food and Drug Administration has taken since 2016 to increase the availability and distribution of the drug, such as allowing it to be mailed and prescribed by non-physician medical providers.

Adam Liptak And Christina Jewett Contribute to the preparation of reports.

Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Politics

Ohio Senate Candidate Calls for Reparations for Whites…But There’s a Catch | Expert portal

Published

on

By

As liberal states and municipalities explore the idea of ​​reparations for African Americans, one US Senate candidate in Ohio running to unseat Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has floated reparations for white Americans, but not all white Americans.

100 percent fed up Reports – Bernie Moreno, owner of a chain of auto dealerships across the Midwest, He called for compensation for the descendants of Union soldiers who died during the Civil War.

Moreno noted that such a thing as the death of white soldiers to free black slaves only happened in the United States.

Advertisement

He is the second Republican to throw his name into the hat for the GOP nomination for the 2024 Senate race, and Ohio Senator Matt Dolan is also vying for the nomination.

Moreno previously ran for Senate in 2022, and spent a large amount of his money promoting his campaign, but dropped out after meeting with former President Donald Trump, who ended up endorsing Sen. J.D. Vance (R) in the primaries.

Moreno describes himself as an “externally conservative” and will once again be able to finance a large portion of his campaign himself.

New York Post reports

Bernie Moreno, a Republican looking to challenge US Senator Sherrod Brown, has suggested that the white descendants of Northern Civil War soldiers should be eligible for some form of compensation.

“We stand on the shoulders of giants, right? We stand on the shoulders of people like John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington. That this group of people took over the greatest empire in history. They said no, we’re not going to stand with this. And he won, Moreno told supporters at a campaign event in Buckeye State this week.

“That same group of people later, the whites, died to liberate the blacks. This has never happened in human history before, but it has happened here in America. This isn’t taught much in schools, is it?” he added.

“They make it sound like America is a broken, racist country. You name a country that did that: that freed slaves, that died to do it. You know, they talk about reparations. Where are the reparations for people in the North who died to save black lives?”



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Politics

Senator calls on Republicans for a concerted campaign to ban abortion

Published

on

By

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) has made clear that the abortion bans being enacted in red states are not unilateral decisions but part of a concerted Republican plan to take away health care freedom.

video:

Advertisement

Smith told CNN’s Jim Acosta when asked about the Supreme Court’s suspension of the abortion pill ban ruling:

I worked at Planned Parenthood where I saw women every day making good decisions about their health care, not needing politicians to tell them what to do for people living in countries where abortion is still protected, and that freedom is still protected. They can know that, for now, they will still have access to abortion medication.

But as your article before I came showed, women in states across the country are losing that access. And this is not happening just now. This is part of a concerted campaign by this Republican party to strip that freedom away and I worked at Planned Parenthood when I saw this long-standing effort to ban abortion and that’s really what we’re seeing and proclaiming all over the country and I think that’s what we’d see at the federal level if they had The right to vote.

Advertisement

The issue of abortion is the issue of freedom. Republicans are trying to take away from the majority of the US population the freedom to control their own bodies and make their own healthcare decisions. Every American who values ​​individual freedom should be outraged by what the Republicans are doing.

These bans are not isolated individual decisions made by state governments. Ban is a concerted campaign to effectively ban abortion in the United States. Senator Smith was right. If the Republicans controlled the government, they would ban abortion.

The media tends to treat plagiarism as individual acts, but they need to see the bigger picture. If Americans wish to remain free, they must stop those who are bent on destroying the most personal individual liberties.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending