Iowa Passes Law Diametrically Opposed to Roe v. Wade

Click here for, inter alia, our traditional Short Quizzes followed by Suggested Answers.

This month, there is enough time for 3 quizzes.

Traditionally, the quizzes provide “thought piece” suggestions regarding what to look for in a focus book, or what to be aware of in reading it.

So I have tried to judge the 6 most important constitutional issues facing America at the moment, so that we can judge how well “The Quartet” did in creating the American Constitution. My list (which is NOT NECESSARILY in my order of importance, but rather in order of how quickly it would be able to concoct Quizzes and Reference Materials which address them appropriately) --

(1) School desegregation and charter schools.
(2) Abortion.
(3) Gun/knife control (NB: Britain is now banning knives but what about motor vehicles?).
(4) Campaign finance.
(5) Ruling by Executive Order and the Senate’s Filibuster Rule Which, Until The Last Decade Or So, Was Used SOLELY To Perpetuate Segregation.
(6) FISA and Authoritarian Rule by Our Intelligence Services.

I will try to address two of these topics in each of the 3 Short Quizzes.

Anyone who believes there should be an addition to this list is invited to post her/his views post haste.

BTW, consideration of these issues, primarily in terms of U.S. Supreme Court opinions, should afford ample opportunity to consider other dimensions of our consideration of “The Quartet” such as “original intent” vs. “legislating from the bench.”

Respectfully submitted 4/12/2018,

John Karls
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Iowa Passes Law Diametrically Opposed to Roe v. Wade

Post by johnkarls »

Usually vindication requires more than a month!!!

On 4/12/2018, Yours Truly posted on the face of this “Participant Comments” section of our bulletin board his assessment of the “6 most important constitutional issues facing America at the moment” -- saying an attempt would be made to address 2 of the issues in each of the 3 short quizzes with an admonition that “Anyone who believes there should be an addition to this list is invited to post her/his views post haste.”

And the “blow back” regarding the inclusion of abortion on the “Top 6” list was unbelievable!!! [It is addressed in Part II of the First Short Quiz.]

The “blow back” was based on the assumption that Roe v. Wade is “settled law”!!!

So what happened last Friday, a mere 22 days after the publication of the “Top 6” issues???

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into Iowa law the so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill!!!

Roe v. Wade had decreed that every woman has an UNRESTRICTED Constitutional Right to an abortion during the first two trimesters.

[While saying that states could place restrictions on abortion during the third trimester. BTW, Pennsylvania was one of the many states that had NOT enacted any third-trimester restrictions, but notorious Dr. Kermit Gosnell began waiting until AFTER BIRTH to snip the spinal cords of newborns, for which he was convicted of murder in 2013.]

The two reasons for selecting abortion for the “Top 6” constitutional issues???

First, abortion opponents have been instrumental in packing the courts with Roman Catholics who, presumably, would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Indeed, one of the biggest issues in the 2005 confirmation battle of Roman Catholic John Roberts for Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court was whether it was proper to consider that his wife had been a “moving force” behind “Feminists for Life,” one of the largest Roman Catholic Anti-Abortion Organizations in America. [She did not resign as their Legal Counsel until 2007.]

The current U.S. Supreme Court has a majority of 5 Roman Catholic justices -- John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.

Indeed, the Supreme Court had a majority of 6 Roman Catholic justices until last year when Neil Gorsuch (who is Episcopalian) replaced Antonin Scalia.

It would be ironic if Sonia Sotomayor voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in a 5-4 decision in which the 5 Roman Catholics aligned against the non-Catholic minority (in addition to Episcopalian Neil Gorsuch, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan are all Jewish).

Ironic because President Barack Obama, who was a supporter of Roe v. Wade, wanted his first appointment to the Supreme Court to be a Latino (he got a “twofer” by appointing a Latina), obviously found it difficult to identify a qualified Latino/Latina who was NOT Roman Catholic.

BTW, until 1916 when Louis Brandeis joined the U.S. Supreme Court, it had never had a justice who was NOT a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (“WASP”) male.

The second reason for selecting abortion for the “Top 6” constitutional issues???

As mentioned above, Roe v. Wade held that there was an UNRESTICTED Constitutional Right to abortion during the first two trimesters.

However, there has been a movement to pass laws banning abortion after 20 weeks based on medical evidence (which abortion-rights groups dispute) that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks.

Indeed, not only have quite a few states considered such legislation, but on 1/29/2018 the U.S. Senate voted 51-46 for Lindsay Graham’s “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” which had already passed the House of Representatives last October (it was reported that President Trump would have signed it).

However, 51 votes fell short of the 60-vote requirement of Senate rules for passage.

The vindication after only 22 days???

Last Friday, the State of Iowa enacted a “fetal heartbeat” bill banning abortion (except in the case of rape, incest or fetal anomaly) after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.

Which generally occurs at the end of the FIRST trimester!!!

A direct challenge to Roe v. Wade which holds that there is an UNRESTRICTED Constitutional Right to abortion until the end of the SECOND trimester!!!

Even the “pain capable” legislative movement based on 20 weeks would have been a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. [Each trimester in the normal 9-month gestation period is 13 weeks, so 20 weeks would have been well within the 26-week UNRESTRICTED Constitutional Right decreed by Roe v. Wade.]

[A copy of the Des Moines Register article about Friday’s enactment of the “Fetal Heartbeat” Bill follows below.]

Litigation Prospects

Planned Parenthood has vowed to contest the Iowa bill judicially.

Which would seem to put the litigation on a collision course with Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

But Iowa is in the Eighth Circuit.

And it is possible that the Eighth Circuit might simply (despite zillions of pages of opinions) cite Roe v. Wade and hold the Iowa law unconstitutional.

Whereupon the U.S. Supreme Court could simply refuse to hear the appeal from the Eighth Circuit.

[We have often remarked about how “political” the Supreme Court is in avoiding decisions that the justices believe the Mainstream Media would not accept. Always citing how they will never declare unconstitutional America’s foremost de facto affirmative-action program -- college athletic scholarships!!!]

So does anyone have time to “chase the rabbit” of the religious background of the judges on the Eighth Circuit???

[It is respectfully suggested that it probably isn’t worth “getting into the weeds” on this issue of the Eighth Circuit make-up since the case will probably be heard by a 3-judge panel from among the 11 active judges on the Eighth Circuit, and then an assumption has to be made about which side would prevail in order to make a guess whether the losing party would request a re-hearing “en banc” by all 11 justices before Petitioning for Certiorari (requesting the Supremes to accept an appeal).]

But does anyone think for a moment that the Iowa “Fetal Heartbeat” Bill dying in the Eighth Circuit with the Supreme Court refusing to hear an appeal -- will discourage abortion opponents from going on trying to overturn Roe v. Wade???


The nation's strictest abortion ban is now law. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signs 'fetal heartbeat' bill

Brianne Pfannenstiel and William Petroski, The Des Moines Register Published 1:15 p.m. CT May 4, 2018 | Updated 7:22 p.m. CT May 4, 2018

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday signed into law the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation, surrounded by toddler-toting supporters.

As Reynolds inked the bill, backers' cheers nearly drowned out the echoing chorus of “My body, my choice” shouted by protesters just outside the door.

“I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred,” Reynolds said from her formal office before signing a bill that will outlaw nearly all abortions in the state. “And as governor, I have pledged to do everything in my power to protect it. And that’s what I’m doing today.”

Senate File 359 will take effect July 1, though Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa said they plan to quickly challenge the law.

Under the legislation, physicians will be barred from performing most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Experts said that heartbeat can be heard about six weeks into a pregnancy — often before a woman realizes she’s pregnant.

Reynolds’ signature comes the same day lawmakers in South Carolina failed to advance a similarly restrictive bill out of their Republican-controlled Legislature amid Democrat-led filibusters.

More: Here's how nearby states compare on abortion restrictions.

Long road to law

The change has been a priority for Iowa’s anti-abortion advocates since Republicans gained control of the Legislature and the governor’s office two years ago.

But its passage was far from certain.

There were efforts last year to advance a so-called “heartbeat ban,” but without the votes to finalize the bill, Republicans instead approved a 20-week abortion ban.

That had stood among the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. But some Iowa Republican lawmakers entered the 2018 legislative session hoping to go even further.

Timeline: How Iowa's 'fetal heartbeat' bill became law this session

The Iowa Senate approved legislation earlier this year instituting a fetal heartbeat ban, but action stalled in the House, where many Republicans felt the existing 20-week ban was sufficient.

In the final days of the legislative session, a small group of Republican senators threatened to withhold their votes on critical, session-ending budget bills until the House called the abortion bill to a vote.

House leaders brokered a deal to create new exceptions to the ban in some cases of rape, incest and fetal anomaly.

More: What are the exceptions to Iowa's anti-abortion legislation?

The measure came to the floor and passed with the bare minimum number of votes — 51 to 46 — late Tuesday night.

Six Republicans voted against the ban, siding with Democrats who fought the measure through nine hours of heated and emotional debate.

After its passage, the Senate immediately took up the legislation and passed it on a 29-17 vote at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Reynolds’ office received the bill Thursday morning and, after declining to say whether she would sign it, announced mid-day Friday she would give it her signature.

About 100 people — lobbyists, legislators, faith leaders and children — were present Friday to applaud Reynolds’ signature.

Reynolds used dozens of pens in the process, handed them out afterward to those who helped make the bill a reality.

The first went to Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Dubuque, who helped guide the bill through the Iowa House of Representatives.

“It’s very emotional,” Lundgren said. “You look at these little girls that I was holding, and they wouldn’t have been here had their parents chosen a different path for them. These are human beings.”

More: Here's what some Iowa women are saying about the 'fetal heartbeat' bill

But even as she and her supporters celebrated, Reynolds acknowledged the opposition outside the closed office doors.

“I understand that not everyone will agree with this decision,” she said. “But if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn’t a beating heart indicate life?”

A couple dozen women gathered in protest, some holding wire coat hangers intended to represent the lengths to which some women would go to terminate a pregnancy before abortion became legal and available.

They chanted Iowa’s state motto, “Our liberties we prize, our rights we will maintain,” as supporters exited the closed-door bill-signing ceremony.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood gathered for a rally on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Iowa Capitol grounds in Des Moines. The rally called for Gov. Kim Reynolds to veto SF 359, the six-week abortion ban. Bryon Houlgrave/The Register

Jennifer Weatherby, 32, the creative director at the RAYGUN store in Des Moines’ East Village, was among the chanting protesters.

“I am extremely sympathetic of the resistance to this bill,” she said. “It puts women in danger. We know that abortion bans don’t end abortion. This just ends safe abortion.”

Hope to overturn Roe v. Wade

Iowa Republican lawmakers said they believe the time is right to pass legislation that could advance to the U.S. Supreme Court and pose a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that found women have a constitutionally protected right to abortion.

The Supreme Court has declined to hear similar cases in recent years. But as states continue to pass legislation restricting abortions, and President Donald Trump appoints more conservative federal judges, abortion opponents are increasingly optimistic.

“I understand and I anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court, and that courts may even put on hold a law until it reaches the Supreme Court,” Reynolds said. “However, this is bigger than just a law. This is about life. And I’m not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in.”

More: Republicans hope a challenge to Iowa's fetal heartbeat bill will overturn Roe v. Wade. How would that work?

The Iowa attorney general’s office, led by Democrat Tom Miller, is responsible for defending state laws in court. Miller has not yet said whether he would recuse himself from the case.

Reynolds, asked whether she is comfortable with Miller defending the case, said “we will determine that once the suit is filed.”

“But there are also individuals who are pro-life who are interested in also being a part of this and participating in the next step,” she said. “So we have also had people who have reached out to us.”

The bill’s opponents pledged to continue fighting.

“Decisions about whether to end a pregnancy, choose adoption or raise a child are best made by a woman, her doctor and her family," said ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer. “… And so the ACLU of Iowa stands with Iowa women to protect their fundamental right to control their bodies and their lives.”

How did your legislator vote?

Republicans voting “Yes” (51)
Terry C. Baxter, Hancock Co.; Michael Bergan, Winneshiek Co.; Brian Best, Carroll Co.; Jacob Bossman, Woodbury Co.; Gary Carlson, Muscatine Co.; Peter Cownie, Polk Co.; Dave Deyoe, Story Co.; Cecil Dolecheck, Ringgold Co.; Dean Fisher, Tama Co.; Joel Fry, Clarke Co.; Tedd Gassman, Winnebago Co.; Pat Grassley, Butler Co.; Stan Gustafson, Madison Co.; Chris Hagenow, Polk Co.; Kristi Hager, Allamakee Co.; Mary Ann Hanusa, Pottawattamie Co.; Greg Heartsill, Marion Co.; David E. Heaton, Henry Co.; Jake Highfill, Polk Co.; Ashley Hinson, Linn Co.; Steven Holt, Crawford Co.; Chuck Holz, Plymouth Co.; Daniel A. Huseman, Cherokee Co.; Jon A. Jacobsen, Pottawattamie Co.; Megan Jones, Clay Co.; Bobby Kaufmann, Cedar Co.; David Kerr, Louisa Co.; Jarad J. Klein, Washington Co.; Kevin Koester, Polk Co.; John Landon, Polk Co.; Shannon Lundgren, Dubuque Co.; Gary Mohr, Scott Co.; Norlin Mommsen, Clinton Co.; Tom Moore, Cass Co.; Zach Nunn, Polk Co.; Ross Paustian, Scott Co.; Dawn E. Pettengill, Benton Co.; Ken Rizer, Linn Co.; Walt Rogers, Black Hawk Co.; Sandy Salmon, Black Hawk Co.; Mike Sexton, Calhoun Co.; Larry Sheets, Appanoose Co.; David Sieck, Mills Co.; Rob Taylor, Dallas Co.; Linda L. Upmeyer, Cerro Gordo Co.; Guy Vander Linden, Mahaska Co.; Ralph C. Watts, Dallas Co.; Skyler Wheeler, Sioux Co.; John H. Wills, Dickinson Co.; Matt W. Windschitl, Harrison Co.; Gary Worthan, Buena Vista Co.

Republicans voting “No” (6)
Chip Baltimore, Boone Co.; Jane Bloomingdale, Worth Co.; Lee Hein, Jones Co.; Dave Maxwell, Poweshiek Co.; Andy McKean, Jones Co.; Louie Zumbach, Linn Co.

Republicans absent (2)
Rob Bacon, Story Co.; Clel Baudler, Adair Co.

Democrats voting “Yes” (0)

Democrats voting “No” (40)
Ako Abdul-Samad, Polk Co.; Marti Anderson, Polk Co.; Bruce Bearinger, Fayette Co.; Liz Bennett, Linn Co.; Wes Breckenridge, Jasper Co.; Timi Brown-Powers, Black Hawk Co.; Dennis M. Cohoon, Des Moines Co.; Abby Finkenauer, Dubuque Co.; John Forbes, Polk Co.; Mary Gaskill, Wapello Co.; Chris Hall, Woodbury Co.; Lisa Heddens, Story Co.; Bruce L. Hunter, Polk Co.; Charles Isenhart, Dubuque Co.; Dave Jacoby, Johnson Co.; Timothy Kacena, Woodbury Co.; Jerry A. Kearns, Lee Co.; Bob Kressig, Black Hawk Co.; Monica Kurth, Scott Co.; Vicki S. Lensing, Johnson Co.; Mary Mascher, Johnson Co.; Charlie McConkey, Pottawattamie Co.; Brian Meyer, Polk Co.; Helen Miller, Webster Co.; Phil Miller, Jefferson Co.; Amy Nielsen, Johnson Co.; Jo Oldson, Polk Co.; Rick Olson, Polk Co.; Scott Ourth, Warren Co.; Todd Prichard, Floyd Co.; Kirsten Running-Marquardt, Linn Co.; Mark Smith, Marshall Co.; Ras Smith, Black Hawk Co.; Art Staed, Linn Co.; Sharon S. Steckman, Cerro Gordo Co.; Todd E. Taylor, Linn Co.; Phyllis Thede, Scott Co.; Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Story Co.; Cindy Winckler, Scott Co.; Mary Lynn Wolfe, Clinton Co.

Democrats absent (1)
Ruth Ann Gaines, Polk Co.

How did your senator vote?

Republicans voting “Yes” (28)
Jerry Behn, Boone Co.; Rick Bertrand, Woodbury Co.; Michael Breitbach, Clayton Co.; Waylon Brown, Mitchell Co.; Jim Carlin, Woodbury Co.; Jake Chapman, Dallas Co.; Mark Chelgren, Wapello Co.; Mark Costello, Mills Co.; Dan Dawson, Pottawattamie Co.; Jeff Edler, Marshall Co.; Randy Feenstra, Sioux Co.; Julian B. Garrett, Warren Co.; Thomas A. Greene, Des Moines Co.; Dennis Guth, Hancock Co.; Craig Johnson, Buchanan Co.; Tim L. Kapucian, Benton Co.; Tim Kraayenbrink, Webster Co.; Mark S. Lofgren, Muscatine Co.; Ken Rozenboom, Mahaska Co.; Charles Schneider, Dallas Co.; Jason Schultz, Crawford Co.; Mark Segebart, Crawford Co.; Tom Shipley, Adams Co.; Amy Sinclair, Wayne Co.; Roby Smith, Scott Co.; Annette Sweeney, Hardin Co.; Jack Whitver, Polk Co.; Brad Zaun, Polk Co.

Republicans voting “No” (0)

Republicans absent (1)
Dan Zumbach, Delaware Co.

Democrats voting “Yes” (0)

Democrats voting “No” (17)
Joe Bolkcom, Johnson Co.; Nate Boulton, Polk Co.; Tod R. Bowman, Jackson Co.; Jeff Danielson, Black Hawk Co.; William A. Dotzler Jr., Black Hawk Co.; Robert E. Dvorsky, Johnson Co.; Rita Hart, Clinton Co.; Robert Hogg, Linn Co.; Wally E. Horn, Linn Co.; Pam Jochum, Dubuque Co.; Kevin Kinney, Johnson Co.; Jim Lykam, Scott Co.; Liz Mathis, Linn Co.; Matt McCoy, Polk Co.; Janet Petersen, Polk Co.; Herman C. Quirmbach, Story Co.; Amanda Ragan, Cerro Gordo Co.

Democrats absent (3)
Chaz Allen, Jasper Co.; Tony Bisignano, Polk Co.; Rich Taylor, Henry Co.

Independents voting “Yes” (1)
David Johnson, Osceola Co.

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