Supreme Court

Gun Rights Activists Join Abortion Rights Activists To Fight Texas Abortion Law

The Texas law “could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First or Second Amendment rights,” the Firearms Policy Coalition tells SCOTUS.

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The legal conflict over abortion often divides Americans along predictable political lines. The fight over Texas' new anti-abortion law, however, has now united gun rights activists and abortion rights activists on the same side.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a national gun rights outfit, filed a friend of the court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday in support of Whole Woman's Health, the abortion rights group that is leading the legal fight against Senate Bill 8, the sweeping Texas anti-abortion law that recently went into effect.

"The approach used by Texas to avoid pre-enforcement review of its restriction on abortion and its delegation of enforcement to private litigants," the gun rights group told the Supreme Court, "could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First and Second Amendment rights or, indeed, virtually any settled or debated constitutional right." The Firearms Policy Coalition "takes no position on whether abortion should be protected by the Constitution," the brief stated, "but believes that the judicial review of restrictions on established constitutional rights, especially those protected under this Court's cases, cannot be circumvented in the manner used by Texas."

S.B. 8 was designed by Texas lawmakers to allow the state to dodge accountability for its own law in federal court. How? By outsourcing the law's enforcement to private actors. According to S.B. 8, "any person" may sue "any person who…aids or abets the performance or inducement of abortion" and win a $10,000 bounty plus legal fees if the civil suit is successful. According to Texas, this scheme insulates the state from having to answer for its law in federal court since no state official is enforcing the law.

The Supreme Court declined to block the law from going into effect last month, with a 5-4 majority stating that while Whole Woman's Health had "raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue," the law also raised "complex and novel antecedent procedural questions" that the majority did not wish to tackle at that time.

The Firearms Policy Coalition is now urging the Supreme Court to directly tackle those questions. "This case is important not because of its specific subject matter of abortion," the gun rights group stated in its brief, "but instead for Texas's cavalier and contemptuous mechanism for shielding from review potential violations of constitutional rights as determined by this Court's precedents." Make no mistake, the Firearms Policy Coalition warned, in what may be seen as a direct message to those members of the Court that care about the Second Amendment, "if pre-enforcement review can be evaded in the context of abortion it can and will be evaded in the context of the right to keep and bear arms."

That is exactly right. Texas' legal stunt against abortion will be copied by other states for use against other unpopular rights. Liberals are right to be worried about this law. Conservatives should be worried about it too.

NEXT: Montana Attorney General Harasses Hospital Staff for Refusing To Administer Ivermectin to a Patient

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  1. If more guys were shooting blanks, both sides would be satisfied.

    1. Alec Baldwin begs to differ.

      1. Brandon Lee syndrome yikes

        1. Even better, rumor is, the idiot armorer had been target shooting with the SAA just beforehand. Using a prop gun that hasn't been disabled from firing/chambering actual ammunition is just insane anyway, but not maintaining a sterile set is absolutely criminal. If that's what actually happened...

          I see the gun orgs' point, but bans are going to come regardless of what legal precedents exist, if the legislators think they'll pass.

          1. Alec Baldwin was shooting on location.

            1. Didn't know he was that much of a method actor...

              Olivier frowns on such shenanigans.

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  2. could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First or Second Amendment rights

    So easily, in fact, that they've already been doing so for years.

    1. Well, they haven't been doing this for years. The legal approach adopted in SB 8 is pretty unique. And a precedent to be squashed before it goes any further regardless of your opinion about abortion.

      1. There really isn't a difference between this and red flag laws. A third party tosses you into the legal grinder where the process is the punishment.

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        2. Except that there are differences. A family member whose been threatened to be shot by a crazy family member could experience actual harm in the absence of the curtailment of a alleged crazy guy exercising right to possess firearms (which is not unlimited, see felons, domestic violence perpetrators, etc.). And a judge has to determine whether the person is a threat to complaining family member or himself.

          Joe Plaintiff under SB8 need not and cannot show any potential individualized harm to himself resulting from Jane Prego exercising her (also not unlimited) right to abort, and wins automatically without having to even allege a potential harm. And gets absurd damages and attorney fees while risking no such damages or attorney fees for losing.

          Not defending red flag laws, just attacking your terrible analogy. Sure, they are both mechanisms for people to use the state to bully people out of exercising rights. But “there really is no difference” is a gross mischaracterization.

      2. People are too myopic to comprehend the consequences. Or the concept of a Pyrrhic victory.

    2. Nah, they just got fucking HUD to sue gun manufacturers in the past.

  3. the law also raised "complex and novel antecedent procedural questions" that the majority did not wish to tackle at that time. The Firearms Policy Coalition is now urging the Supreme Court to directly tackle those questions.

    Serious question: Is there any legal mechanism that can force SCOTUS to directly decide on a given controversy? Perhaps refusal to take up an issue and clever wrangling over technicalities serve *some* purpose, but one suspects most Americans find this stuff frustrating at best.

    1. This came to mind, not sure though since I'm not a lawyer:

      Writ of Quo Warranto.
      A writ of quo warranto is not a petition, but a notice of demand, issued by a demandant, to a respondant claiming some delegated power, and filed with a court of competent jurisdiction, to hold a hearing within 3 to 20 days, depending on the distance of the respondant to the court, to present proof of his authority to execute his claimed powers. If the court finds the proof insufficient, or if the court fails to hold the hearing, the respondant must cease to exercise the power. If the power is to hold an office, he must vacate the office.

      https://constitution.org/1-Activism/writ/quo_warranto.htm

    2. It's a pretty fair reading of the Constitution that SCOTUS is supposed to have mandatory jurisdiction over suits between states, but it still treats them as discretionary.

      So there's no legal mechanism that can successfully force them to hear a particular suit, no.

  4. >> the majority did not wish to tackle at that time.

    but muh judicial activism!

    >>the judicial review of restrictions on established constitutional rights

    a gun rights 501(c)(4) believes Roe is "established constitutional rights"

    1. By definition, it is established constitutional rights.

      1. of course, until it isn't. whitemike stole your keyboard? lol

        1. Looks like someone stole your shift key. Dare you blame whitemike, whoever that is?

  5. It's weird how everyone keeps pretending that the Texas government just made this up themselves, without ever mentioning how they got the idea from the private enforcement of the ADA and environmental regulations.

    1. Don't forget hoplophobes trying to sue gun manufacturers out of business.

      1. Good point.

    2. Still pulling that terrible analogy? Some of its most fervent critics on here have acknowledged it is inapposite to this debate.

      Yes, ADA is highly susceptible to abuse/fraud, etc., and terribly concocted.

      But there is a giant difference in the fetus itself or a next of kin on its behalf suing to prevent its termination/abortion and joe freaking blow doing it after the fact for money. In the ADA laws, it at least has to be the purported disabled person suing for his own perceived rights violation. SB8 is miles away from that. Money goes to a stranger and isn’t even done to actually address the fetus’ right to be born (which a true libertarian who is anti-abortion has to admit is the real issue and face head on).

  6. The approach used by Texas...could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First and Second Amendment rights or, indeed, virtually any settled or debated constitutional right."

    Settled constitutional right? I am familiar with the BoR and I am pretty sure there is specific mention of firearms. Constitutional or otherwise, self defense is a natural right. Is abortion mentioned somewhere in any way other than an emination? Is killing an unborn child a natural right?

    1. Fuck you bigot, tearing apart unwanted children is a human right. It's right between to the right to rape, and the right to rob liquor stores.

    2. It is, by definition, a Constitutional right. And all rights are equally strong. Those that come from the Ninth Amendment (unenumerated rights) are exactly as valid as enumerated rights (the Bill of Rights).

      And it's getting exhausting to keep having to point this out to the self-righteous and hysterical, who don't like facts, but it is legally neither a child nor can it be killed. That is just a black-letter fact. Do us all a favor and stop saying untrue things.

      1. ...then why are people punished for killing the child when a pregnant woman is injured in a manner to cause a miscarriage?

        1. There are specific laws called "fetal victim" or "fetal homicide" laws. They are sentence escalators. Basically, if and only if a fetus is injured or killed and if and only if it happens during a specific list of crimes, the fetus can be treated as a victim. But they specifically don't give any status to a fetus outside of that specific set of circumstances.

          They are favored by prosecutors but they are, in my opinion, terrible laws. I don't think any victim (in this case a pregnant woman) should be treated as any more or less valuable than any other victim.

          But, like I said, a fetus is not legally a person (or a child or a human being or alive) and so cannot be "killed" by abortion. Because abortion is not a crime, let alone one of the listed crimes that bring in fetal victim laws.

          1. The Holocaust was a crime even though completely legal in Germany and the occupation zone. Just because Taney ruled against Dred Scott doesn't legitimize slavery.
            And in America the court has never ruled on the humanity and personhood of the unborn, regardless of you're inference here.

            You're defending the indefensible, and being decietful while doing so.

            1. It is not indefensible. It is the majority moral position of Americans. Being a vocal minority doesn't change the fact that Americans have heard the anti-abortionists moral arguments and found them unpersuasive.

              It's not like no one knows what you guys believe. They know and reject it.

              And the slavery argument is about as dishonest as it comes. But you had to double down on the false analogies by including the Holocaust? And you wonder why people find your side dishonest and unconvincing?

              If you want to use your moral beliefs to determine your own actions on abortion, that is the definition of freedom. If you want to use your moral beliefs to determine other people's actions on abortion, that is the definition of totalitarianism.

              But apparently the ends justify the means, from the anti-abortion point of view. That's never ended badly, right?

          2. A fetus is a child. Period. Also, Roe V. wade was a bad, unconstitutional decision.

            1. Neither is true. Not legally, not morally, not scientifically.

      2. but it is legally neither a child

        Just biologically a child you anti-science ghoul. Also, point out the legal ruling that says it doesn't get to be human until blessed by the birth-canal-fairy.

        1. No, it is biologically a fetus, you ignorant fool.

          Among others, Roe and Casey both determined that a fetus isn't a person, but instead is a part of the mother's body, until the third trimester/viability.

          A fetus has never been considered a person in American legal history. Not in the Constitution, not in the legal code, never.

          And 1 US Code 8 requires live birth to be called a person, child, human being, or individual.

          This is all the legal logic about fetal personhood. The philosophical argument is that, if the mother died, would the fetus survive? If not, it isn't a separate person.

          In a strictly biological sense, which doesn't have anything to do with personhood, a fetus is alive. Of course, that is when anti-abortionists say personhood begins. Or is it when there is a heartbeat-without-a-heart? Or at the end of the first trimester? Or at 15 weeks (which is a little after the first trimester)? Can you get together with your fellow totalitarians and let us know which point we become ghouls and murderers for advocating for people to be allowed to make their own decisions?

          1. Fetuses are viable down to twenty weeks with sufficient lung development. Well before the third trimester. That Marxist trash have perverted tunings with unconstitutional legal decisions doesn’t change that.

            You support infanticide. Change your evil ways.

            1. One, and only one, fetus has ever survived at 20 weeks. Let's not take the thinnest end of the bell curve and pretend it is the average.

              Oh, wait. You are against abortion. You are pretty much the definition of misleading, dishonest, and bad faith. Never mind. Facts and accuracy would be lost on you.

      3. Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
        I don't see where the "black letter fact" exists that the Supreme Court gets to enumerate a right.
        Only "the people" can do that.

        1. Retained. Not new, not invented. We have them regardless of whether they are enumerated or not.

        2. retardedfire confuses the Positive Christian National Socialist "Volk" with what the U.S. Constitution calls people. It is truly amazing how deeply Bryanist and Bellamy collectivism has imprinted itself on the ku-klux Bauble Belt mentality stuck--not in 1788, but in the Red Republican Comstockism of 1873. As their Savior would say: "Sad."

          1. I knew you would make an appearance for this article. You fucking infanticide ghoul. We all know your spirit animal is Kermit Gosnell.

            Kill yourself.

            1. You first. It'll make the world a slightly better place.

      4. If NASA found a single cell amoeba on Mars the headlines would unanimously read "Life Found on Mars!"

        ... but a fertilized embryo here on earth - nope...

        1. No one denies that a fertilized egg is life as biology defines it. But that is completely unrelated to the moral/philosophical issues of when a fetus should be considered a separate person, what characteristics define life, and when rights attach to the fetus (legal personhood).

          The extremist anti-abortion position is that all of those things occur at conception (or, alternatively, implantation). It is a position accepted by very few people (roughly 15% of Americans).

          There are some who have adopted the idea that a "heartbeat" (even though there won't be a heart for another 4 weeks or so) is the new definition, at roughly 6 weeks. There haven't been any studies done that I have seen about that definition, so I don't know how many people believe that.

          But it is definitely less than 35%, since roughly 33% of Americans believe that abortions should be illegal in the first trimester.

          By the time you get to the end of the second trimester, slightly less than half of Americans believe a fetus is a person. The belief that abortion should be legal through the end if the second trimester has always been higher than those who believe it shouldn't.

          When you get to the third trimester, only a minority believe that abortion should be legal through the third trimester. The numbers I have seen are roughly 30%, but I find it hard to believe that it is that high as a strictly moral position.

          It is probably higher because those who might have stopped, based on their moral beliefs, at the end of the second trimester see the intransigence of the anti-abortion folks and decided that there is no compromise possible because of the zealotry of the anti-abortionists. Absent politics I have to believe that it would be roughly the same as the percentage who believe life and personhood begin at conception (so roughly 15%).

          For the record, I am one of the ones who personally believes that life begins at viability (26 weeks, plus or minus a few weeks), but don't trust the zealots to accept anything less than conception.

          That's a long way of saying a single cell amoeba is the same as a fertilized egg; biological life, but not anything more.

          1. Polls don’t have a goddamn thing to do with objective medical facts. You can try and spin this all you want. The cold hard fact is that a fetus is a human baby.

            1. When you ask someone their opinion, you don't get to just dismiss it if you don't like the responses. It's not like people aren't aware of what they think or what the issues are regarding abortion.

              You self-righteous jackasses have poured literally billions of dollars into presenting your message over the last 50 years. Your problem isn't that polls are worthless. Your problem is that the vast majority of Americans have heard your bullshit and, appropriately, told you to shove it up your ass.

              People don't share your position because your position is extreme, coercive, paternalistic, morally arrogant, religiously based, and logically deficient.

              If you don't agree with abortion, don't be involved with getting one. But your opinion about anyone else getting an abortion is completely irrelevant.

            2. Oh, and legally a fetus is neither a human being nor a child. Scientifically a fetus isn't a baby. And morally a fetus isn't a human being, a baby, a child, or a person until it can sustain its own life.

              Your moral reasoning is terrible and your belief that you are morally superior to anyone is completely wrong. You live your life and let other people else live theirs. And no, that doesn't include fetuses because they aren't people.

    3. To answer this question, you’d have to find a consensus way to define when groups of cells have developed enough to acquire personhood, and be invested with their own Constitutional rights. No simple task.

      In the meantime, adult women do have certain long established rights of privacy and bodily autonomy, which these laws seek to undermine in the favor of potential future holders of rights.

      1. No simple task."

        Actually that's horseshit. Medical and biological textbooks have been pretty clear on that for the last 100 years.

        1. Please do share the line that has been so clearly drawn by medical and biological textbooks. Because if it's fetal viability outside the womb you might want to read the Roe v Wade decision again.

  7. Thank you for deviating from the standard Reason style guide which repeatedly calls it an abortion "ban".

  8. Better question; can we use this approach to criminalize a politician lying?
    You know, if a politician runs on the most transparent administration ever, and hides everything from everyone, the entire country can sue the bastard? Great fun.

  9. One guarantees death 99% of the time. One guarantees death < 1% of the time. So equal?

  10. By the way... let's not pretend that democrats haven't formed fake gun rights groups before....

    https://www.westernjournal.com/democratic-strategists-caught-posing-conservative-group-bid-sabotage-republican-candidate-report/

    1. And the Firearms Policy Coalition is a bunch of pro-gun democrats featured primarily in heavily blue states like California, Oregon, Washington.

      https://ballotpedia.org/Firearms_Policy_Coalition

      Okay. Great. So they agree with Democrat policies outside of gun control. And even there there sole activism seems to be against a california law on ammunition and large magazines. In fact they only have so far 2 efforts they've fought against.

      Truly the creme de la creme

      1. From their website:

        CURRENT STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES & VISION
        Establish a regulatory environment in which every individual adult in the United States who is not prohibited from exercising rights under an analysis consistent with the Constitution’s text, informed by American history and tradition, can:

        I missed the constitutional text about Abortion rights.

        1. One of the reason Hamilton argued against the Bill of rights, is he worried that anything not enumerated, could be taken away by tyrannical and overbearing government. Thus the 9th amendment, and the penumbra of unenumerated rights emanating from those listed in the constitution. The constitution certainly implies that women have a right to bodily autonomy. How far into development such rights apply to the unborn is a lot less clear.

          1. Unless you're willing to say that a woman pregnant with a boy is growing her own penis, the claim that a fetus is part of her body fails as an argument for abortion rights. The farthest that argument will take you is to Blockian evictionism.

            1. However, the inability of a fetus to sustain its own life if the mother were to die is a clear indication that it isn't a separate person. Once you get there (about 26 weeks, give or take) we can talk. Until then? Not very sensible to call a fetus a person if it isn't capable of independent existence.

              1. By what measure? Every baby I have seen will die without a person to care for it.

                1. This is the same dumbass thing that every one of you mouth-breathers say when this point is made.

                  Try to follow, if you can. Every baby you have ever seen can sit by itself and continue to live. A pre-viability fetus could not.

                  It's not that hard to understand, it's very logical, and it's a reasonable moral position to take regarding when personhood begins. Which is why anti-abortionists have to be dishonest about it.

                  1. Oh, so, needing life support is what makes the fetus not a person. Does that apply only to prenatal human life or to postnatal human life as well?

                    1. Yes. If a person does not have the brain activity necessary to sustain its life, they are dead. Brain death is death.

                      The last step in being able to sustain life is the brain activity necessary to manage and regulate the body. That happens at around 26 weeks. So, again, it isn't a person or child or human with rights or whatever phrase you prefer, until roughly 26 weeks.

              2. Because it’s sentient, you fucking soulless piece of shit.

                1. Not until around 26 weeks, you brainless, delusional, evil fuckwit.

      2. They thought this was good to put on an about page??

        Opportunistically leverage changing cultural, political, and legal environments to achieve tactical victories and divert enemy resources (i.e., funding and personnel) away from strategically critical areas to reduce enemy effectiveness.

        They sound like nuts.

        1. Holy shit. Reading that in context is really weird. If you were trying to "divert enemy resources (i.e., funding and personnel) away from strategically critical areas" and considered the NRA your enemy, this is exactly the type of group you would represent yourself to be. Everything else on that page is specifically targeted to attract people fed up with NRA capitulation and Republican overreach.

          It's like they had another list of objectives that they were translating into libertarian and neglected to redact this paragraph. Creepy.

          1. They actually mean diverting funding and personnel from gun control groups by winning in court which hurts gun control groups ability to get funding and find people willing to work with them. The NRA is not their enemy in the least.

      3. Not sure how you got that the FPC believes in any democratic policies. Their only purpose and their only litigation is to fight against gun control across the country in many different states. They are based in California because it makes sense to be in the state with the most restrictions to fight against since that's where a bulk of precedent setting litigation will happen. They also take cases in so many Democrat states because those are the states that have gun control laws. They don't stop in just Democratic states either. They are actively looking for litigants in Texas to put a case forth to allow 18-20 year olds the ability to carry a concealed firearm.

        You can see all of their court proceedings and briefs on their legal tab. They are involved in far more than 2 cases.
        https://www.firearmspolicy.org/legal

  11. Refresh my memory, which amendment inalienable right is murdering a baby?

    1. by Decree of Stevens.

      1. That not all individual rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights doesn't mean that rights to perform and solicited abortions are Constitutionally protected, any more than rights to abuse children and animals are.

        1. No, but the right to a woman's bodily autonomy is clearly an unenumerated right. Unless you want to argue against it. Or personal and medical privacy. If so, have at it.

        2. Anti-abortionists insist it's about abortion, but it's ultimately about bodily autonomy and privacy (especially medical privacy). If you want to demand that there is more than one person involved in the medical decision, you'd better get cracking. It's been almost 50 years and you have convinced roughly 15% of Americans that life begins at conception.

    2. Also, not murder and not a baby. Legally speaking.

      1. Those hiding behind legal justifications lack humanity.

        1. So of someone doesn't agree with your morality they aren't human? What an arrogant prick you are.

          1. You're equivocating on the definition of "humanity," and you know it.

          2. The retardedfire kind of arrogant prick is nothing new. Germany's leader of the mystical altruist masses was more explicit: "In the ranks of the movement [National Socialist movement], the most devout Protestant could sit beside the most devout Catholic, without coming into the slightest conflict with his religious convictions. The mighty common struggle which both carried on against the destroyer of Aryan humanity had, on the contrary, taught them mutually to respect and esteem one another." They are real big on "humanity" and define "morality" as sacrificial altruism. So why infiltrate a libertarian publication?

      2. There was a time black people were viewed in much the same way, legally. We’re you around during slavery, you certainly would have been a pro slavery advocate, making identical arguments.

        That’s how you democrats always roll.

        1. First, I'm not now and never have been a Democrat.

          Second, there is no moral, philosophical, or scientific support for slavery. There is for abortion.

          But these non sequiturs are a common tactic of you anti-abortionists because your actual beliefs are so weak and unconvincing to reasonable people.

  12. "Firearms Policy Coalition"

    Who are these guys? I read their website and they seem a little sketchy, like they're astroturfing or something.
    Can anyone fill me in? Are they legit?

    1. I don't think an astroturf org would think to post this:

      galvanize the People to draw a line and reject the condition of government expansion and interference with the People’s rights and liberty (i.e., “Fuck you. No.”).

      But they are based in Sacramento, so they are probably pro-choice gun owners.

    2. Did you read their website for real? Especially the tab for Legal Action? FPC has been one of the gun rights groups actually fighting in courts across the country.

      https://www.firearmspolicy.org/legal

      1. Lol, the website says nothing about who actually runs things, how they are chosen, or who funds them

        That Root is the author, and he addressed none of this, is unsurprising if telling.

        And, who the Hell are you?

  13. I have never heard of "Firearms Policy Coalition".

    And I disagree with their comparison of abortion to the bill of rights.

  14. Who'd a thunk the Libertarian Moment would arrive mounted on the central sentence in our 1972 and 1976 platform plank The Supremes copied into Roe v Wade? That the original case was litigated right out of Austin Texas, home of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers is icing on the wedding cake! Governor Babbitt's fugitive slave foot-shooting is giving us as good a plug as George Wallace did when he was crusading against women having rights, for racial collectivism and violent plant prohibitionism.

  15. Is there some kind of "Democrats for tax cuts" 6-member organization I can trot out to create the illusion of bipartisan support for my position, like this article just did?

    1. If the Libertarian party with a mere 4 million leveraged spoiler votes on a good day is sooo unimportant to 4th Reich National Socialist Positive Christianity, why are nazis infiltrating our publications rather than the other way around?

      1. I’m essentially agnostic, and even I think you’re a fucking anti-theistic bigot. And a big advocate of infanticide.

      2. Small government needs shoring up right now, so I want the rational libertarians voting in Republican primaries.

        Not you, obviously.

  16. This just goes to show you where some republicans priorities are

    1. Republicans in office prioritize 1. looting boodle and pelf 2. bullying girls/doctors 3. shooting hippies, latinos and brown people over plant leaves. Republicans booted out of office have only one priority: camouflage themselves as fiscally responsible libertarians to sucker mathless voters. Seen any exceptions?

      1. Fuck off with your baby murdering bullshit. You are no real libertarian. Just an infanticidal nutcase.

        1. By the way, self-identified libertarians reject anti-abortion beliefs by 2 to 1. Because, you know, libertarians don't like government force being used against people. Like you zealots want to do.

  17. Obvious astroturf is obvious.

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