The 84th Texas Legislature convened this week, with a new batch of lawmakers, lobbyists, and elected officials poised to defend some of Texans’ most cherished freedoms: baked goods and the public possession of unlicensed handguns.
As state legislative sessions gear up for what could be one of the worst years on record for reproductive rights, anti-choice lawmakers across the country have in recent weeks filed barrages of laws that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion. Many of these laws are identical, or nearly so, to laws that have repeatedly failed in the same states where they are being reintroduced.
The Roberts Court on Monday denied review of a Louisiana ban on same-sex marriage, noting the federal appeals court has yet to rule, as well as two campaign finance related challenges.
Supporters of same-sex marriage across the South told reporters that they left the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals feeling optimistic Friday, as counsel for gay and lesbian plaintiffs from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas spent the morning in the New Orleans court arguing against same-sex marriage bans in the three states.
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges on Friday heard oral arguments in three same-sex marriage cases from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, with dozens of residents from all three states lining up as early as 4:30 a.m. to secure seats inside the New Orleans courtroom.
RH Reality Check Senior Political Reporter Andrea Grimes interviews reproductive justice activists from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley who traveled to New Orleans this week to witness the proceedings at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2.
At stake is the question of whether Texas’ remaining legal abortion clinics—16 currently operate in the state, down from 41 a little more than 18 months ago—will be allowed to stay open without making costly renovations or leasing new facilities to comply with hospital-like standards imposed by state lawmakers in 2013.
Florida lawmakers last week introduced a bill that would require abortion clinics have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
The conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considers marriage equality bans in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi the same day the Roberts Court considers stepping into the fray.
Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion access law, which in part requires abortion providers to operate as mini-hospitals, will return to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week.