Reason Roundup

Alabama Abortion Fight Could Come to the Supreme Court: Reason Roundup

Plus: New details on federal bullying of banks, a new fight over nutrition advice, and new migrant mania from President Trump

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Pacific Press/Sipa USA/Newscom

Abortion, politics, and the law. In Alabama, a 2016 law banned abortion by "dilation and extraction" (D&E), the most common procedure used to perform abortions after the first trimester. The law was rejected by a federal judge, in a decision upheld in August by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Now Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office is hoping to take the case to the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the office indicated that it would file a petition for the Court to review the case but needed additional time to file. "The constitutionality of a state ban on dismemberment abortion is an important question of national significance," wrote Alabama lawyers in their motion.

Reproductive freedom has taken a backseat to immigration and other cultural flashpoints in the Trump era, but legal battles and political drama surrounding abortion have still been raging in some states. For instance, California's "FACT Act"—deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in June—just got a final blow from the lower court that it was sent back to. The federal district court order permanently bans enforcement of the law, which would have required anti-abortion pregnancy centers to post signs advertising state aid for abortion.

And next week's midterm elections feature some states voting on referenda directly related to abortion and others where the issue has become a major sparring theme between gubernatorial candidates.

  • West Virginians will be asked to vote on a measure (Amendment 1) saying nothing in the state constitution "protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion."
  • Voters in Alabama will consider a similar initiative (Amendment 2).
  • In Oregon, Measure 106 would ban the use of public funds for abortions unless they are deemed medically necessary by a doctor.

Abortion "has consistently animated Republican voters more than Democrats," points out Daniel Cox today at FiveThirtyEight. "Two new surveys, however, reveal a remarkable shift in how important the issue of abortion is to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterm election."

A PRRI survey found 47 percent of Democrats say abortion is a critically important issue to them, compared to 40 percent of Republicans. Meanwhile, Pew found that "abortion is a far more central voting concern for Democrats today than it has been at any point in the last decade," notes Cox.

Ten years ago, just 38 percent of Democratic voters said abortion was very important to their voting decisions that year. In the most recent survey, 61 percent of Democratic voters said it was very important.

FREE MINDS

No talking about diet without a license? New Jersey is considering new rules for nutritionists and anyone offering healthy eating advice.

FREE MARKETS

Lawsuit offers new details on Operation Choke Point.

"New documents introduced into a lawsuit stemming from the Obama administration's 'Operation Choke Point'…show that powerful bank regulatory agencies engaged in an effort of intimidation and threats to put legal industries they dislike out of business by denying them access to the banking system," reports John Berlau at Forbes. More:

While I am often outraged about things the government does, now I am truly scared and frightened about the ability of government bureaucrats to shut down arbitrarily whole classes of businesses they deem to be "politically incorrect." As one who champions the FinTech sector and the benefits it can bring, I also worry that such powers may be uses to shut down innovative new industries, such as cryptocurrency, that carry some perceived or real risks.

Choke Point was a multi-agency operation in which several entities engaged in a campaign of threats and intimidation to get the banks that they regulate cut off financial services—from providing credit to maintaining deposit accounts—to certain industries regulators deemed harmful a bank's "reputation management." The newly released documents—introduced in two court filings in a lawsuit against Choke Point—show that the genesis of Choke Point actually predated Barack Obama's presidency, and began when President George W. Bush was in power.

For Reason's previous coverage of Operation Choke Point, see:

FOLLOW-UP

U.S.-Mexico border could see up to 15,000 U.S. troops. President Donald Trump's demonization of the Central American migrant caravan continues, as do his pledges to send ever-more-ridiculous numbers of troops to America's southern border.

Yesterday, Trump shared an anti-Democrat, anti-refugee video that's being widely panned as racist and irresponsible.

QUICK HITS

  • When considering whom to vote for, the question isn't just "what their stated positions are, but whom are they willing to recognize and listen to?"
  • Vice finds that "just about anyone can buy an ad identified as 'Paid for by' by a major U.S. politician."
  • The existence of intersex people doesn't mean sex is a spectrum, argues Debra Soh. "Certainly, research has shown that as many as 1 percent of the population is intersex, a medical condition denoting that an individual possesses anatomy characteristic of both sexes, such as a combination of vulvar and testicular tissue. Statistically speaking, however, this means that the vast majority of us fall into one category of sex or the other."
  • A city ordinance let officers harass strippers as part of a licensing inspection process. A judge ruled it unconstitutional, and now cops must pay $1.5 million.

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  1. Abortion, politics, and the law.

    The trifecta of great conversation.

    1. Hello.

      Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, 5000 people show up – knock, knock…who’s there? A Caravan. A caravan who? Are you gonna let us all in or not? We came with Jamaican patties – why is it silly a country sends troops to back up border agents?

      5000 people is a lot of people and things can get messy in a hurry.

      1. “The massacre began when one of the troops was struck by a Jamaican patty hurled over the fence.”

        1. “Arghh! IT BURNS!”

          /falls to knees accidentally spraying bullets from machine gun.

        2. “Argh! My eyes! It burns!”

          /falls to knees accidentally spraying bullets from machine gun.

          Reason’s squirrels can seriously die of cancer.

        3. “That was my non-lazy eye!”

    2. There’s also prostitution.

      1. ^this how BUCS finishes his talk when firing an employee

        1. After work everyday I always tell myself, “There’s always prostitution.”

  2. Reproductive freedom has taken a backseat to immigration and other cultural flashpoints in the Trump era, but legal battles and political drama surrounding abortion have still been raging in some states.

    The Constitution is a living document that changes with the times.

    1. Nice try, but the Constitution’s meaning becomes set in stone once the Supreme Court establishes what legal scholars refer to as a SUPER-PRECEDENT, which the Roe v. Wade decision certainly is.

      1. Roe v. Wade didn’t go far enough, as abortion should be allowed up until around 18 months.
        It’s not really human until it can walk, talk, and wipe its own ass, is it?

        1. You would dehumanize Kirkland’s parents like that? Man you really are trolling for a verbal beatdown.

        2. You haven’t raised a kid if you think you can count on them to wipe their own asses at 18 months.

          1. My parody is not up to OBL’s standard

      2. Super-precedent? I’ll take the soup.

  3. The existence of intersex people doesn’t mean sex is a spectrum…

    It is when you do it right.

    1. Poor Mrs. Fist.

    2. SPECTRUM. He said “spectrum”, not “speculum”.

  4. …as do his pledges to send ever-more-ridiculous numbers of troops to America’s southern border.

    It’s either send them there or Afghanistan.

  5. Nearly 30 percent of anti-Semitic comments on Twitter come from bots.

    Not NPC’s?

    1. < NPCinput > We now call it anti-Zionist and BDS, do not call it Antisemitism or Kauf nicht bei Juden < /NPCinput>

  6. Certainly, research has shown that as many as 1 percent of the population is intersex, a medical condition denoting that an individual possesses anatomy characteristic of both sexes, such as a combination of vulvar and testicular tissue.

    Wait. Is the fact of physically intersexed people the reason given for claiming sex is a spectrum? Are we talking gender or sexuality? I DON’T WANT TO CLICK ON THAT LINK TO FIND ANYTHING OUT.

    1. Why? Are ya Chicken?

    2. “research has shown that as many as 1 percent ”

      That means it could be zero percent. Get better at this please.

      1. The figure is closer to .001%.
        Congenital adrenal hyperplasia and Klinefelter syndrome would be the most common, with Klinefelter being the chromosomal expression XXY. Nevertheless, Klinefelter suffers are always male and many can still get women pregnant, with a genetically normal child.
        Ovotesticular disorder would be the only true hermaphrodism. As of 2010, there have been at only 11 reported indications of fertility in true hermaphrodite humans in the scientific literature.

        The scientific dishonesty used when LGBT made their arguments to the public, is going to bite them in the ass one day. They should have left biology and psychology alone, and approached it from libertarian perspectives.

        1. It’s because even the ‘woke’ writers at Reason don’t understand that the people pushing this stuff make the literal claim that gender and sex are two completely different and separate things. That even ENB apparently doesn’t understand that is amusing.

          I mean, I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with their gender arguments I just think they’re stupid and trivial. If you need to identify with a stereotype, what the fuck is wrong with you?

  7. This is the beginning of a thread documenting threats of assassination against President Donald Trump on Twitter.

    These threats remain on Twitter without consequences.

    This new hashtag #DocumentTheLeft will uncover the MILLIONS of death threats on Twitter against Donald Trump.

      1. Is it a hope or is it a threat?

        1. Who said “hope is not a strategy”?

          1. when hope fails people often take action

  8. A city ordinance let officers harass strippers as part of a licensing inspection process. A judge ruled it unconstitutional, and now cops must pay $1.5 million.

    That judge knows how to make it rain with other people’s money.

    1. Smart judge: The cops pay, and he gets the nookie.

  9. Ten years ago, just 38 percent of Democratic voters said abortion was very important to their voting decisions that year. In the most recent survey, 61 percent of Democratic voters said it was very important.

    Honestly it should be 100%, with Drumpf trying to turn this country into The Handmaid’s Tale. But the upward trend is encouraging. Democrats agree with us libertarians on our second most important issue (unrestricted abortion), and they’re quickly warming up to our open borders immigration stance. For these and other reasons ? Russia, the bad economy, etc. ? all libertarians must vote Democrat in the midterms.

    #BlueTsunami
    #Resist

    1. Wait…I thought Drumpf had already turned the country into The Handmaid’s Tale, with a dash of Nazi Germany for flavor. Maybe you’re behind on your talking points.

      1. Drumpf is literally Trump. And so will be every Republican who runs for office after him

  10. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/311966/

    Voters blame media for dividing the country more than Trump. The same media that thinks Trump calling CNN fake news is just creating chaos and destroying the country turn around and daily claim Trump is a fascist bent on becoming a dictator who was only elected because of evil Russian meddling. Could there be anying more irresponsible and destructive than claiming an election was fixed without any evidence and doing so for pure partisan advangtage? But remember, it is Trump who is destroying the norms of the Republic.

    1. I can’t believe racist, quarter-witted jerk offs like Don Lemon still have jobs.

      1. Trump says nasty things about his opponents but he only goes after media people and political figures who have the platforms and ability to fight back. The media in contrast is forever going after the public at large and people who don’t have the ability to fight back. They are completely incapable of attaching Trump without also attacking all of his supporters. But then they can’t understand why his supporters are not persuaded by their attacks.

        1. See also: The Daily Show and its spinoffs attacking random normals and claiming they are “punching up” because said normals go to church and/or aren’t minorities.

          1. They are the worst. After the election, I told some of my liberal friends that if they really wanted to win elections and cared so much about the quality of the political discourse in this country as they claimed, they should stop watching the Daily Show. It does nothing but make Democrats look like smug assholes who hate most of the country. None of them understood what I was saying. They all just said “it is just a comedy show and Fox News” and all of that. They seem to be incapable of understanding the effects their words have on other people.

            1. TDS, by telling idiot college kids they are some sort of intellectual and moral elite, was a massive contributor to the contempt for the ‘deplorables’ that gave us Trump.

              Thank you, Jon Stewart, for killing the Democratic Party.

    2. You just don’t understand. I would blame Fox News and Trump for the division. You would only blame CNN.

      1. How is Trump “dividing America”? Seriously. If Trump is dividing America then every politician who ever lived did the same thing. When the media claims Trump is “divisive” they are just saying he should stop defending himself and the interests of those who voted for him and do what the media wants. Being “divisive” to the media is just refusing to surrender and agree to everything they want.

        1. Seriously? How is Trump dividing America? Here are a few examples, for starters:

          1) Withdrew from Paris COP agreements … planetary destruction now virtually guaranteed.
          2) Relaxed EPA regulations … local environmental destruction now certain.
          3) Relaxed other regulations … capitalists now free to loot consumers and destroy the environment.
          4) Weakened Consumer Financial Protection Bureau … bankers now free to loot customers.
          5) Used dog whistles and code language to communicate support for white nationalists, Nazis, Islamophobes, homophobes, misogynists, and other deplorables … When Trump says that mad bombers, violent mobs, and synagogue shooters are evil, Trump supporters understand that he’s praising them because Trump and Trump supporters are evil.
          6) Insisted that NATO members start carrying their own weight … thereby threatening the viability of European welfare states.
          7) Refused to escalate tensions with Russia … because we all really know that Trump is just Putin’s puppet and that the US should have a regime-change policy for Russia even if it were to cause another world war.
          8) Appointed two Supreme Court justices who do not align with progressive values … and everybody knows that at least one of the two is a violent, drunken rapist.

          Seriously, that’s just for starters … the list could go on and on.

          1. So basically, he is being a Republican who actually keeps his word to his supporters.

            Sadly Cato, this is what these idiots actually believe.

          2. don’t forget Handmaid’s Tale

            1. My favorite is how they claim Trump is destroying all of the norms of the Republic and then turn around and call for the Supreme Court to be packed, an end to equal representation for all the states in the Senate and for the electoral college to be abolished. And they do so without even a hint of self awareness. It is just amazing.

      2. “Right-wing media and Trump share a lot of blame for dividing Americans, top Democrat Brown says”.

        Good thing the Democrats are blameless. Civility returns in 5 days, Hillary promised.

      3. Nothing says love and unity like making racist remarks about white people or publishing presidential assassination fanfics.

        Everything that progressives accuse others of doing, they do: they’re racists, fascists, corrupt, power-mad, religiously dogmatic just with more “secular”deities, i.e. the old gods, anti-science, and so on.

        1. Pretty much. Republicans may be terrible, but Democrats seem to be actively destructive. I don’t want to choose between bad and bat shit insane, but that’s basically where we’re at.

    1. Well it must be a Kirkland-cracker state because GILLUM ELECTION STRATEGY is working like a charm. Joke’s on O’Keefe. Better keep cranking out those expos?s, son, while anyone still has a chance to see them. You can cater to your dying demographic on the dark web after you are deplatformed as alt-right hate speech by everyone in the “respectable class” whom the future actually belongs to.

      1. Wow, what the hell is wrong with you?

        1. You make a persuasive argument, sir.

        2. The better question is, what the hell is wrong with the people who are voting for Gillum because as Diego notes his strategy appears to be working regardless of how obviously corrupt he is.

  11. Between this and the Sotomayor pinch from the beginning of term, it’s beginning to look like the “Gorsuch is an a-hole and everyone else on SCOTUS hates him” narrative was overhyped https://t.co/xUA727E9CO
    ? Dara Lind (@DLind) October 31, 2018

    We have a new villain on the court anyway.

    1. “We have a new villain on the court anyway.”

      Up until RGB’s seat is filled

    1. Well hey, the Reason slant on that is probably something like ‘well at least they recognize limits on the court for the next five minutes, even though they’ll definitely forget about it as soon as they win’.

  12. “New documents introduced into a lawsuit stemming from the Obama administration’s ‘Operation Choke Point’…show that powerful bank regulatory agencies engaged in an effort of intimidation and threats to put legal industries they dislike out of business by denying them access to the banking system,” reports John Berlau at Forbes.

    Remember, no one in his administration was indicted.

    1. This is why I don’t buy the “its a private company” defense of Twitter, Google, etc. Too many behind the scenes ways for the government to reward friends and punish enemies for me not to just consider politically motivated ‘woke’ companies as arms of the government.

      1. Given the revolving door between google and Barry’s admin, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that they’re really private. Of course reason never wanted to touch that corruption.

        1. It’s private in the strictly fascist definition one might assume.

    2. I actually find it more troubling that, after the program was nominally halted, the banks and other service industries continued the denials. Either the program just went dark and continued, or even more frightening, the program developed a life of its own, and couldn’t be stopped by merely ending the government coercion.

      Oh, and not having anybody in your administration indicted is a bad thing: Even relatively honest administrations always have at least one or two bad apples, if nobody at all is indicted, all it demonstrates is that you’ve corrupted the DOJ.

      1. Like visits in jets on the runway?

      2. The program made the government’s point. Behaving has no financial consequences. Misbehaving when that government is your regulator will.

  13. …the genesis of Choke Point actually predated Barack Obama’s presidency, and began when President George W. Bush was in power.

    Luckily the country elected a Bush clone.

    1. One day, perhaps soon, all will come to realize everyone in office is a terrible person and government has too much power.

      1. Let’s not go to extreme interpretations, crazy person.

    2. note they made that claim without providing proof is it like teh Fast and furious which was ended by Bush to only be raised from the dead by Obama in a more evil form

  14. A new plan from the Federal Reserve could bring a lot less regulatory burden to smaller banks.

    DEREGULATION IS WHAT BROUGHT THE 2008 ECONOMIC CRISIS.

  15. Republicans are failing to make the case for capitalism.

    Luckily Venezuela has that covered.

    1. I appreciate your faith that voters will connect those dots

      1. Likely Facebook has purged any news reporting on it.

  16. Police in #Seattle are entrapping and robbing women involved in #sexwork. Below are public records of the arrests and robberies (aka civil asset forfeiture). This is how #police “save” sex workers. Is this how you would like to be “saved”? #rightsnotrescue pic.twitter.com/D0IJjv6rpV
    ? Ms. Savannah Sly (@SavannahSly) October 30, 2018

    If you can think of a better way for a hammer to save a woodscrew, they’re all ears.

  17. When considering whom to vote for, the question isn’t just “what their stated positions are, but whom are they willing to recognize and listen to?”

    I prefer my leaders in the smallest bubble they can find.

  18. “just about anyone can buy an ad identified as ‘Paid for by’ by a major U.S. politician.”

    Of course, that ad is made in China.

  19. Nearly 30 percent of anti-Semitic comments on Twitter come from bots.

    And 60 percent of pro-Semitic comments come from bots, right? RIGHT?!

    1. 30% come from bots. The other 70 come from progressives and the Nation of Islam! And none are banned!

  20. Vice finds that “just about anyone can buy an ad identified as ‘Paid for by’ by a major U.S. politician.”

    Man, that Deep Fakes is getting out of control.

  21. Arrest and robbery are how the government “saves” everybody. They’re not just picking on the sex workers.

  22. The existence of intersex people doesn’t mean sex is a spectrum

    But it does mean love is a battlefield.

    1. Intersex people have been used as shields by the trans establishment increasingly for years now, and they are getting really fucking fed up with it. Will the woke-signalling elite listen? Fuck no–any more than they do anything but laugh at the pleas of disabled people that they need straws. But at least the world will know, if they care to hear it.

      1. the woke-signaling elite

        Nice band name.

  23. “A PRRI survey found 47 percent of Democrats say abortion is a critically important issue to them, compared to 40 percent of Republicans. Meanwhile, Pew found that “abortion is a far more central voting concern for Democrats today than it has been at any point in the last decade,” notes Cox.

    Ten years ago, just 38 percent of Democratic voters said abortion was very important to their voting decisions that year. In the most recent survey, 61 percent of Democratic voters said it was very important.”

    Are we just assuming here that all the Republicans are pro-life, and all the Democrats pro-choice?

    1. Obviously not, because that “critically important” “central concern” *could* be either pro or con.

    2. Yes and I think that is likely a good assumption. Don’t you?

      1. Not remotely a good assumption.

        Using a rather restrictive definition of “pro-life”, which considers people who want much more restrictive laws than we presently have as “pro-choice”, about a quarter of Democrats are pro-life. And a third of Republicans pro-choice.

        Nothing in the polls presented in the OP tells us which faction in the Democratic party is getting more worked up.

        1. But you can assume that pro-choice Republicans aren’t that passionate about their position, likewise with pro-life Democrats.

    3. Plus, it’s not racist to assume blacks and Latinos vote D without question.
      Also a known fact, whoever’s raises the most money in a campaign , wins. ( Except Trump, cuz Russia)

    4. Also, perhaps (no, definitely) the more important metric is surely how the issue ranks against others. What difference, when you think about it, do the absolute numbers mean? It seems reasonable to think that Democrats have recently taken to declaring all sorts of issues to be extremely, DEFCON 1 important to them, and would be quite ashamed to declare than any such thing as the separation of trans youth from their Muslim parents at the Mexican border were not one of the foremost things in their mind in the voting booth, certainly well up there with the performance of their 401(k) and the status of their deductions.

    5. All narratives are that simple.
      Only (non woke) whites are Republicans, any POC is a Democrat.
      Only (non woke) heterosexuals are Republicans, all LGBTQ are Democrats
      Only (non woke) rural people are Republicans, anyone who lives in a big city is a Democrat
      All racists / sexists / ickyists are Republicans, the rest of civil society are Democrats

      Anything like a 70/30 split is treated as if it’s a 100/0 split.
      Repeat something often enough and it becomes truth.

      1. My guess is that the Democrats who say abortion is the most important issue to them are largely white Progressives. I bet minority Democrats and especially minority male Democrats don’t care very much about abortion even if they are nominally pro choice.

        It shows a real split in the party between the white progs who run it and care about the culture war issues of abortion and gays and the minority voters who are inceasingly the bulk of the party’s voters who care about the economy and other issues and could not care less about the culture war. That is a real problem for the Democrats.

        1. It is incredibly likely that many of these men do not care about abortion. Opinion on abortion–which has changed stubbornly little since Roe v. Wade, which is utterly shocking given everything else–is very “gendered.” And the difference is–men are much, much more moderate on the issue, with women found at the extremes. We are talking women’s bodies on the one hand, and the lives of babies on the other. Women do not fuck around about these issues.

        2. Fuedalism worked for centuries, john. I wouldn’t make any assumptions about how large a problem this is for team blue.

  24. Libertarianism means lethal injection is too cruel a legal method of execution for heinous criminals but dismemberment is fine in the name of reproductive freedom.

    1. Whatever feelz good. Personal responsibility is for suckers.

    2. The way they ignore the utter monstrosity of it all is what baffles me. Nobody can look at a sonogram past the first trimester and say “that’s not a fellow human” without being sociopath.

  25. “that’s being widely panned as racist and irresponsible.”

    Oh who gives a shit.

  26. “No talking about diet without a license? New Jersey is considering new rules for nutritionists and anyone offering healthy eating advice.”

    We’ve found no other way to get Michelle Obama to STFU.

  27. Republicans are failing to make the case for capitalism.

    This isn’t as dumb a headline as “Vegetarians are failing to make the case for veal cutlets” perhaps, but it’s as least as dumb a headline as “Bicycle manufacturers are failing to make the case for the infield fly rule.” Republicans favor the rule of Top Men just as much as Democrats and they both favor the rule of Top Men every bit as much as any other collectivists, why would they be expected to defend free market capitalism?

    1. So anything short of some libertarian ideal of completely free markets is not capitalism? You are free to define the word however you like. But, it seems to me that there are lots of variations and degrees of capitalism as there are socialism. And in claiming that no one but libertarians are capitalists, you sound just like socialists claimng that real socialism hasn’t been tried.

      1. Your point is valid but doesn’t really address his comment on the GOP. The big players in that party are NOT free market, NOT pro capitalism. They are cronyists at heart, through and through.

  28. ‘Common Sense Abortion Control’.

    Hmm…you know when you insert the lefts own arguments against gun ownership the ‘abortion fight’ starts to look a lot more ludicrous.

  29. cops must pay $1.5 million.

    By cops you mean everyone but the cops, right?

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