The Law As Ass

One of Dickens’ characters, Mr. Bumble, as I recall, said something to the effect that if the law established some ridiculous provision then the law was “a ass.”

Usually, the law isn’t quite that bad, but that was before Texas passed its recent anti-abortion legislation. Regardless of one’s position on abortion, this legislation is worse than an abortion of rights or a miscarriage of justice [both of which it is], and the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to stop its implementation suggests that those justices in the High Court’s majority are also asses – in legal terms.

Apparently, in order to avoid making the state of Texas the enforcement body, the law enables anyone to file a civil lawsuit in any jurisdiction against anyone who performs an abortion of any fetus from Texas where the heartbeat can be detected [usually around six weeks] as well as against anyone who enables/assists in obtaining such an abortion. The statute also mandates a judgement/payment to the plaintiff of up to $10,000 and possibly more.

The historic legal requirement for obtaining damages is that someone has suffered an injury of some sort, yet under the Texas law anyone can file such a lawsuit, even if they cannot prove that they personally suffered such an injury. The “beauty” of this approach is that even if the complainant/plaintiff receives no damages, the defendant is saddled with enormous legal costs and bills, while the plaintiff and the Republican legislators who passed the legislation get off scot-free.

Furthermore, the language around what constitutes an enabler is vague enough that anyone who transports a woman seeking an abortion to where an abortion takes place might well be subject to the legislation. That could conceivably even involve airlines or other transportation.

The Texas Right to Life movement is already reputedly establishing a hot line to receive tips about women seeking abortions. Perhaps, in that light, the organization should change its name to the “Texas Taliban.”

The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t just strike down the law as a gross infringement on personal privacy suggests worse may be yet to come.

So… three cheers, or rather raspberries, for all those legal asses.

4 thoughts on “The Law As Ass”

  1. John Mai says:

    Am I the only one who finds not just this law in it’s current form, but the broader implications completely horrifying?

    1. Tom says:

      Come on, since the USA loves individualism and does not understand the concept of nationalism this is all moving in the right (if not conservative) direction.

      I did not forsee how badly Biden had “messed up”. Not only has he allowed the Taliban to take over Afghanistan but he even gave them Texass. Mind you a Taliban Republic of Texas will find it easier to secede from the US so all is well.

      The flag design will be difficult – hmm; how to combine the Texas state flag with the Perso-Arabic script? No problem; lots of WHITE space, to the right in the Texas flag, open to inscription.

      1. John Mai says:

        …It’s just there now exists in my country a hotline that citizens can call to report on each other. Set into place by a governmental body. I suddenly feel like a foreigner in the place I was born.

        1. Tim says:

          Is that an anonymous whistle-blower style system? If not, does the agency have to verify the caller’s details?

          I ask this as in my small English village, there has been mischief-making where people have reported issues to the highways or council on neighbours using someone else’s name. The agencies investigate as they have to but do not verify, which they should do.

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