One of the strangest rulings I’ve ever seen at the Federal appeals court level just occurred in Texas.
The Fifth Circuit Court decided it needed to review the constitutionality of a Texas law blatantly designed to circumvent Roe v Wade and tacitly close all but seven of Texas’ few remaining family planning clinics still offering abortion services. So far, so good.
But then the court decided that while it considers that important question, it will allow the law to go into effect. The result will be the closure of those clinics. Even if this court or a higher court overturns the state law — as seems inevitable barring an overturning of Roe v Wade — the clinics will be gone.
The normal expectation when the court is considering the constitutionality of a law that changes existing behaviors or rules or standards is to hold the law in abeyance while the appeal is resolved. But not in the case of these knuckle-draggers from the Old South.
I am literally flabbergasted. As the AP wire story on the ruling said:
Allowing to go forward the rules on hospital-level upgrades — including mandatory operating rooms and air filtration systems — would shutter more than a dozen clinics across Texas. It means only abortion facilities will remain open in the Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas.
None will be left along the Texas-Mexico border or outside any of the state’s largest urban areas.
In other words, foes of a woman’s right to choose will have won even if the law is ultimately overturned. The panel of the 5th Circuit that issued that ruling should be impeached, not for this ruling so much as for demonstrating a complete and callous disregard for the consequences of its rulings.