Dustin McDaniel continues to do Jason Rapert's dirty work | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dustin McDaniel continues to do Jason Rapert's dirty work

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

The state of Arkansas has filed its appeal of Judge Susan Webber Wright's finding that the 2013 law prohibiting most abortions after 12 weeks' gestation is unconstitutional. You wonder how McDaniel and his staff sleep at night filing this kind of balderdash. It's a result of McDaniel's Faustian bargain with the Republican legislative majority to preserve his office budget by agreeing to defend to the death whatever claptrap Rapert and the religionists can pass through the legislature. Lots, it turns out. This one passed over Gov. Mike Beebe's override by the narrowest margin in the House.

Here's the slim reed on which McDaniel's office rests its defense of plainly unconstitutional legislation: It doesn't PROHIBIT abortions after 12 weeks, see. It allows a handful of exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother (mighty generous) and medical emergencies. Thus, with a straight face, the state argues that the bill merely "regulates," rather than "prohibits" pre-viability abortion. Said the learned state counsel:

Act 301 does not have the purpose or the effect of placing a “substantial obstacle” in the path of a woman seeking an  abortion before the fetus attains viability.

That's dishonest. Dishonest well past Rapert's low standard for removal of public officials whose decisions he doesn't like. Rapert thinks all abortion is murder. He wants to stop it all. He started with an even more draconian bill, then moderated a bit and threw in a few clauses for attorney fig leaves. The law that passed will eliminate the vast majority of pre-viability abortions. Obstacle? What obstacle?

McDaniel should be ashamed.

McDaniel and Rapert also owe the state some straight answers on how much this defense of an unconstitutional law has cost and where, exactly, in the state budget this money has been allocated, not to mention winning plaintiffs' legal fees.

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