News Politics

How The Wisconsin Recall Might Effect Reproductive Health

Robin Marty

Anti-choice advocates are anxiously supporting Governor Scott Walker, saying birth control and abortion may lie in the balance.

Governor Scott Walker was elected with a great deal of support from anti-choice voters, especially those who believe in limiting access to both abortion and birth control.  With the backing of Pro-Life Wisconsin, the state’s most rabidly anti-choice action group, Walker managed to win the governor’s mansion as part of a historic sweep that brought the House, Senate and Governorship all under Republican control.

No wonder anti-choice groups are getting so nervous about the recall.

According to Lifenews, “there is much at stake for unborn children.”

Scott Walker’s life-saving work as Governor has earned him the praise of Wisconsin Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life organization.

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“Governor Scott Walker is a champion for life,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director for Wisconsin Right to Life.  “Wisconsin Right to Life has had the pleasure of working with Scott Walker since he was first elected to the State Legislature where he was a dynamic leader for the right-to-life cause. And now as Governor, he is courageously working to protect taxpayers, women and babies from the scourge of abortion. There is no one in our nation more committed to building a culture of life than Governor Scott Walker.”

Culture of life?  Some may disagree, especially when it comes to his silence over the recent bombing at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin.

Walker pleased the pro-life base by cutting $1.9 million in funds to Planned Parenthood for routine cancer screenings and other preventive health care–specifically targeting clinics in the area where the bomb blew up. Working with pro-life Republican legislators, he also passed with a raft of anti-birth control, anti-sex ed, and anti-choice legislation in the recently concluded legislative session in Wisconsin.

Yet even Wisconsin Right To Life issued a statement condemning the Planned Parenthood clinic bombing.

Somehow, neither Walker nor [presidential candidate Mitt] Romney found the time to say anything at all about this instance of domestic terrorism.

If the recall election is about life, shouldn’t it be about women’s lives, either their health, their autonomy, or their right not to put their lives in jeopardy to obtain health care services? 

Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Republicans Can’t Help But Play Politics With the Judiciary

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Republicans have a good grip on the courts and are fighting hard to keep it that way.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

Linda Greenhouse has another don’t-miss column in the New York Times on how the GOP outsourced the judicial nomination process to the National Rifle Association.

Meanwhile, Dahlia Lithwick has this smart piece on how we know the U.S. Supreme Court is the biggest election issue this year: The Republicans refuse to talk about it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to fill in the blanks left by “abstinence-centric” sex education and talk to their young patients about issues including sexual consent and gender identity.

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Good news from Alaska, where the state’s supreme court struck down its parental notification law.

Bad news from Virginia, though, where the supreme court struck down Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 felons.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) will leave behind one of the most politicized state supreme courts in modern history.

Turns out all those health gadgets and apps leave their users vulnerable to inadvertently disclosing private health data.

Julie Rovner breaks down the strategies anti-choice advocates are considering after their Supreme Court loss in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.   

Finally, Becca Andrews at Mother Jones writes that Texas intends to keep passing abortion restrictions based on junk science, despite its loss in Whole Woman’s Health.

News Politics

Former Klan Leader on Senate Run: My Views Are Now the ‘GOP Mainstream’

Teddy Wilson

David Duke has been a fervent support of the Trump campaign, and has posted dozens of messages in support of Trump on Twitter. Duke has often used the hashtag #TrumpWasRight.

David Duke, convicted felon, white supremacist, and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, announced Friday that he will run for U.S. Senate in Louisiana, Roll Call reported.

Duke said that after a “great outpouring of overwhelming support,” he will campaign for the open Senate seat vacated by former Republican Sen. David Vitter, who lost a bid for Louisiana governor in a runoff election.

Duke’s announcement comes the day after Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination in the midst of growing tensions over race relations across the country. Trump has been criticized during the campaign for his rhetoric, which, his critics say, mainstreams white nationalism and provokes anxiety and fear among students of color.

His statements about crime and immigration, particularly about immigrants from Mexico and predominantly Muslim countries, have been interpreted by outlets such as the New York Times as speaking to some white supporters’ “deeper and more elaborate bigotry.”

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Duke said in his campaign announcement that he was the first candidate to promote the policy of “America first,” echoing a line from Trump’s nomination acceptance speech on Thursday night.

“The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First,” Trump said Thursday night. “As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect.”

Duke said his platform has become “the GOP mainstream” and claimed credit for propelling Republicans to control of Congress in 2010. He said he is “overjoyed to see Donald Trump … embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years.”

Trump in February declined to disavow the support of a white supremacist group and Duke, saying he knew “nothing about David Duke” and knew “nothing about white supremacists.” He later clarified that he rejected their support, and blamed his initial failure to disavow Duke on a “bad earpiece.”

Trump’s candidacy has also brought to light brought many incidents of anti-Semitism, much of which has been directed at journalists and commentators covering the presidential campaign.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote in the National Review that Trump’s nomination has “drawn anti-Semites from the woodwork,” and that the Republican nominee has been willing to “channel the support of anti-Semites to his own ends.”

Duke took to Twitter after Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday to express his support for the Republican nominee’s vision for America.

“Great Trump Speech, America First! Stop Wars! Defeat the Corrupt elites! Protect our Borders!, Fair Trade! Couldn’t have said it better!” Duke tweeted.

Duke has been a fervent Trump supporter, and has posted dozens of messages in support of Trump on Twitter. Duke has often used the hashtag #TrumpWasRight.

Duke was elected to the Louisiana house in 1989, serving one term. Duke was the Republican nominee for governor in 1991, and was defeated by Democrat Edwin Edwards.

Duke, who plead guilty in 2002 to mail fraud and tax fraud, has served a year in federal prison.