June brought us a wave of crushing setbacks with few reprieves, but where do people of faith stand with SCOTUS overall? Surprisingly, legal minds are taking the position that the pro-life movement may have actually gained ground, despite the appearance of major setback on decisions like June Medical Services v. Russo, Louisiana’s admitting privileges rule.
David Fowler, an attorney and the president of our affiliated organization in Tennessee opined that Chief Justice John Roberts may actually be creating a road map to overturning Roe v. Wade. “Chief Justice Roberts did not join in the majority opinion written by Justice Breyer and which Justices Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan signed on. Roberts agreed only in the judgment, not the analysis,” Fowler said. Significant difference…
The electoral college quietly won a unanimous vote of confidence from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, as all nine justices concurred together that states can require their electors to cast votes for the candidate(s) chosen by the state’s popular vote. This decision ends the prospect of “faithless electors” – rogue political operatives who want to cause chaos and undermine the Electoral College.
This is an important win for the integrity of elections in the United States.
In perhaps what will go down in history as Louisiana’s strangest legislative year, the 1st Special Session wrapped up on June 30, 2020. The session encompassed 30 days and was called by the Legislature instead of the usual call by the Governor. This allowed the Legislators to set the agenda of the session and was evident in the items proposed by the Republican leadership of the House and Senate. Major items covered included:
Fiscal – the state operating budget and related budgetary matters
Lawsuit reform – a major goal of the special session aimed at the high cost of auto insurance in the state. A bill (HB 57) by Speaker Clay Schexnayder is pending on the Governor’s desk. A similar bill from the regular session was vetoed by the Governor.
Gambling – HB 64 by Rep. Stefanski creates a taxing structure for internet gambling on fantasy sports. This is the final piece necessary for this new form of gambling to be allowed in Louisiana. This bill is pending on the Governor’s desk. The Legislature has also sent a bill (SB 5) by Sen. Ronnie Johns to give a tax break to casinos and other gambling venues the purpose of which is to entice more gamblers into their establishments. This bill is also pending on the Governor’s desk.
Religious liberty – A House Resolution (HR 6) by Rep. McCormick requests the governor to ensure that the religious liberties and rights to assemble without restriction of La. citizens are protected at all times, including during states of emergency. (Resolutions do not require the Governor’s signature.)
Other items – the Legislature passed a bipartisan resolution (SCR 7) by Sen. Cleo Fields to create a multi-disciplinary task force to study law enforcement serving and protecting the citizens of Louisiana in a fair and unbiased manner. And a bill by Sen. Mizell (SB 10) seeks to improve access to the internet in rural areas of our state is pending on the Governor’s desk. A similar bill from the regular session was vetoed by the Governor.
What a crazy Legislative year! Add to that the fact that a large percentage of the legislators started their legislative careers as freshmen this year. It remains to be seen as to whether or not there will be additional special sessions this year. Otherwise, all will be back at the Capitol on April 12, 2021 -- with or without masks! Of course, LFF will be there and as always, we invite you to join us either by joining our 60 Second Brigade or allowing us to introduce you to the Legislative process on site at the Capitol.
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
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