Could California use language in Texas’s new abortion law to ban offensive weapons? | KTAB
AUSTIN (Nexstar) – After the US Supreme Court ruled Friday to keep Texas’s restrictive abortion law in place, other states are already planning to mirror the law, but not for abortion.
The way Texas law (Senate Bill 8) is written allows individuals to sue anyone who aids or instigates an abortion after heart activity is detected in the womb for at least $ 10,000. The result has been a chilling effect on almost all abortions in Texas so far, as clinics are too afraid to face legal challenges at all.
Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom promised to use part of this clause to effectively ban the sale of assault weapons.
At oral hearings last month, judges, including Conservative Judge Brent Kavanaugh, expressed concern about other states using this mechanism.
“Second amendment rights, the free exercise of religious and speaking rights, could be targeted by other states,” said Kavanaugh during the arguments.
It was also quoted in the disagreement by Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Friday. “The court is paving the way for states to repeat and perfect the plans of Texas in the future, in order to specifically exercise all rights recognized by this court with which they disagree,” was her dissenting opinion in part.
“Skeptics on both the left and right have been concerned as SB 8 is creating mechanisms to circumvent federal courts and federal review of those laws and developing this novel kind of bounty-hunting approach that isolates state officials from enforcement responsibilities,” said the director of the Texas Politics Project, Jim Henson stated.
Newsom’s announcement on social media is only the first to do so. In a statement, Newsom said it had directed its employees to work with lawmakers on bill that would “create a right of action that would allow individuals to bring injunctive relief and statutory damages claims of at least $ 10,000 per violation … against anyone who manufactures, distributes or “sells an assault weapon or a ghost rifle set.”
However, constitutional law experts like Josh Blackman are calling Newsom’s testimony a political show.
“As things stand, California is already regulating guns pretty heavily. You are able to do so because the courts decided these measures. So I’m not really sure what the private enforcement actually turns out to be, ”Blackman said. “I can’t see California taking power from the attorney general. They will not withdraw their own authority to prosecute various acts. “
Blackman said he doesn’t expect other states to use the same construct for other matters until the Supreme Court rules the Mississippi Dobbs case, which will determine the fate of Roe vs. Wade, this spring.
“This private enforcement mechanism is kind of a stopgap measure. It’s a temporary measure until the court gets to the heart of the matter, which is Roe v Wade. When the court Roe v. Wade confirms that I think we will see a lot more similar laws, ”said Blackman.
If Roe vs. Wade is tilted, states automatically have a lot more leeway with abortion restrictions.
Henson also pointed out that while SB 8 is what sparked these talks, non-partisan rearmament goes back much further.
“What we see now is both cause and effect. This is not new in terms of the intensity of these struggles and the real willingness of the partisans to ignore both institutional norms and a political culture that has always looked to institutions to mitigate the margins of these conflicts, “Henson said.
“Checks and balances and the separation of powers should help to alleviate some of these impulses. But they kind of do, but they seem to depend on there being less polarization. So I think that in the long run we will see an ongoing ideological conflict with this type of approach, ”Henson explained.