Supreme Court set to hear critical Louisiana abortion case

first_imgDNY59/iStock(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Four years after striking down a Texas law it said created an “undue burden” on abortion access, the Supreme Court is poised to take up a similar challenge.June Medical Services v. Russo (previously v. Gee) is a challenge from Louisiana abortion providers to a 2014 state law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges with a nearby hospital. Hospital admitting privileges are an agreement between a doctor and a hospital that allows a patient to go that hospital if they need urgent care.It may not sound like an arduous requirement, but the plaintiff argues that the stipulation, if enforced, would effectively eliminate abortion access throughout the state.Currently, according to attorneys from the Center for Reproductive Rights arguing for June Medical, there are two abortion providers with admitting privileges in Louisiana. But attorneys say that if the law were enforced, there would likely be only one left.“These kinds of laws are completely constructed as a way to making it even more difficult or impossible for abortion clinics to operate in these jurisdictions,” Kimberly Mutcherson, co-dean and law professor at Rutgers Law School, told ABC News.The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments for this case on Wednesday.This law may sound familiar.In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that a virtually identical law in Texas was unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, saying the law created an “undue burden” on abortion access.Politicians enacted that law with the stated intention of improving patients’ health benefits, but evidence cited in the subsequent Supreme Court case showed that since abortion is considered a safe, non-surgical procedure that very rarely requires hospital treatment, hospital admitting privileges did not improve outcomes — but, rather, caused abortion clinics to close as doctors could not obtain those privileges.“In our view, the record contains sufficient evidence that the admitting-privileges requirement led to the closure of half of Texas’ clinics, or thereabouts,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the 2016 opinion. “Those closures meant fewer doctors, longer waiting times, and increased crowding.”In fact, abortion providers say, the infrequent rate at which abortion providers send patients to hospitals makes it difficult for those physicians to gain admitting privileges, because hospitals have little incentive to enter into agreements that are rarely utilized. Additionally, hospitals face a disincentive to offer privileges because the stigma of abortion could expose them to criticism and protests. Finally, say advocates, the necessity of such agreements is itself questionable, as hospitals, by nature, accept patients who show up, with or without a doctor agreement.The Louisiana attorney general in a February statement rejected the idea that providers have difficulty obtaining admitting privileges and claimed that their law “does not force clinic closures.”In the Texas case, which also involved another stipulation requiring facilities where abortions are provided to meet the requirements of an ambulatory surgical center, the Supreme Court created a precedent that laws like Texas’ that “do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion cannot survive judicial inspection,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in a concurring opinion, referencing a lower court case.“We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a ‘working arrangement’ with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interests in protecting women’s health,” Breyer wrote.Louisiana state Sen. Katrina Jackson, a Democrat who proposed the Louisiana law, has repeatedly referred to it as “a women’s health piece of legislation.” ABC News could not reach Jackson for comment.So why are admitting privileges back at the Supreme Court?The Louisiana law, Act 620, was signed in 2014, a year after Texas’ was signed. In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled Texas’ law unconstitutional. In April 2017, a district court struck down Louisiana’s, referring to the Supreme Court opinion.But the state appealed that decision, and in September 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals surprisingly reversed the opinion, approving Louisiana’s law.“The lawyer in me was flabbergasted, because the Fifth Circuit did things that even law students know appeals courts aren’t supposed to do,” TJ Tu, a co-counsel on the case for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told ABC News. “The Fifth Circuit did not faithfully apply Supreme Court precedent, and just as bad, the Fifth Circuit completely disregarded the trial court’s factual findings.”The Fifth Circuit refused to rehear the case in January 2019, and in February 2019, the Supreme Court stepped in, putting a temporary hold on Louisiana’s Act 620. In October 2019, the Supreme Court announced they were picking up the case.Tu argued the Supreme Court “had to take on this case” because the Fifth Circuit’s ruling was “mind-boggling.”“Even if the Supreme Court didn’t want to wade into the abortion debate this year, the Fifth Circuit really left the court in a difficult position with very limited options, because the Supreme Court had to take the case to make clear that its precedents should be the law of the land,” Tu told ABC News.A last-minute twist in the case.In May 2019, after years of litigation, the state of Louisiana threw in a new twist. In a request to the Supreme Court, the state argued that abortion providers and clinics should not be legally allowed to even challenge the law in the first place.The state is questioning what’s called “third-party standing,” which means that a third party — like an abortion provider — is allowed to argue on behalf of the person actually impacted — a patient.While Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that declared abortion a protected right, included an individual patient challenging the law, every major abortion case since then has been presented by providers and clinics like Whole Woman’s Health, Planned Parenthood or June Medical Services.“There is little evidence that their patients’ interests actually align with Plaintiffs’ position that the burdens of such protections exceed their value,” the state wrote in the petition. “On the contrary, undisputed record evidence (including of Plaintiffs’ poor safety record, inadequate credentialing practices, and questionable efforts to undermine the law at issue) shows Plaintiffs are directly adverse to their patients’ interests. It is hard to imagine a worse case for third-party standing.”Should the Supreme Court make a ruling on this portion of the case, it could have major implications for all future abortion litigation. Abortion-rights advocates say it may be difficult to find individuals to challenge abortion laws given the limited time one has to get an abortion and the risks of being targeted by anti-abortion advocates.A changed court since 2016.The Louisiana admitting privileges law may look similar to Texas’ law, but the look of the Supreme Court has changed since 2016.In the Whole Woman’s Health case, Breyer with the majority was joined by the more liberal-leaning justices — Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. But to get the majority, they needed one more vote, and they got that from Justice Anthony Kennedy, who during his tenure represented the swing vote on abortion cases.But following Kennedy’s retirement in 2018 and the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, their replacements — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — are seen as more conservative. As a result, the Supreme Court no longer has an abortion swing vote, although many observers believe that Chief Justice John Roberts could take on that role.Tu, for his part, believes that Roberts at least will be moved by the idea of not overturning past precedent.Mutcherson, from Rutgers, however, found it “ominous” that the new court took on the case.“To re-litigate that … so close to when it was had in Whole Woman’s Health doesn’t suggest that the goal is just to reinforce what they said in that case,” she told ABC News. “It suggests that they want to either weaken Whole Woman’s Health or weaken Roe.”What are the actual stakes of this case?An amicus or “friend of the court” brief filed in January on behalf of 207 members of Congress — all but two of whom are Republicans — asked the Supreme Court to consider using this case to reconsider or overrule Roe v. Wade, stating that the 1973 decision is “haphazard.”Notwithstanding this brief, however, abortion-rights advocates say that June Medical Services v. Russo does not challenge Roe.“Roe v. Wade is not directly on the chopping block in our case. But people really shouldn’t take much comfort in that,” Tu told ABC News, arguing that should Louisiana’s admitting privileges law be allowed to stand, the right to an abortion there would effectively be taken away, making Roe “a theoretical right” in Louisiana rather than a real one.Mutcherson said she is “significantly worried” this Supreme Court would say this kind of law is acceptable, which, she said, would also reinforce the idea that abortion is unsafe — which statistics show it is not.“Without overturning Roe at all,” she said, the Supreme Court approving laws like this would “make abortion access in this country even more fraught,” especially for vulnerable populations like women of color, poor and undocumented women.Tu believes the most likely outcome is for the Supreme Court to avoid the third-party question, and he is hopeful the justices will stand behind the precedent they set in 2016 with Whole Woman’s Health.“The stakes are nevertheless extraordinarily high for women in states like Louisiana, where effectively, abortion access will be eradicated,” he said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Two years on, 48-hour limit is being ignored

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Two years on, 48-hour limit is being ignoredOn 9 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The Working Time directive has proved largely ineffectual since it was introduced more than two years ago, according to new research.A survey by the CIPD reveals that 60 per cent of people who worked more than 48 hours a week when they were first interviewed in July 1998 were still doing so.The findings showed that about a third of those questioned were now working within the 48-hour limit, but only 2 per cent of people surveyed had their hours reduced as a direct result of the regulations.But the research did reveal that although most employees interviewed still worked beyond the regulations’ limit, those in paid work have reduced their working week by about six hours on average – from 58 hours in July 1998 to 52.Mike Emmott, adviser on employee relations for the CIPD, said, “I don’t think many people have reduced their hours as a result of the regulations and that was always to be expected. “Managers and people with senior responsibility will work longer hours because it is in their own interests, they need to be seen to be performing and they will get the rewards. “On the other hand, people who do not feel they earn enough will work longer hours because they are on a low hourly rate. They will continue to work long hours as long as their income depends on it.”Emmott thought the Working Time Regulations had helped to raise the issue of sustained long-hours working, but he said there would have to be a change in the work culture in the UK before real progress was made. Paul Sellers, policy officer for the TUC, said one of the main reasons so many people were still working beyond the 48-hour limit was because of the opt-out clause that allowed employees to voluntarily extend their hours.He said, “When the opt-out comes up for renewal, the Government should not seek to extend it. The opt-out is allowing people to be persuaded to work long hours. “On the other side of the coin, long hours are not associated with high productivity. It is well known that productivity falls off the longer you work. People should be working smarter hours, not longer hours.”By Ben Willmott Comments are closed. last_img read more

Bathymetry and acoustic facies beneath the former Larsen-a and Prince Gustav ice shelves, NW Weddell Sea

first_imgWe present preliminary results of the first detailed surveys of the former Larsen-A Ice Shelf, LarsenInlet aiid southern Prince Gustav Channel. where disintegration of small ice shelvcs in the past ten years has exposed the seafloor. Glacial troughs in the Larsen-A area, Larsen Inlet and Prince Gustav Channel reach900-1 100 m in depth and have hunitnocky floors. Farther south-cast, the continental shelf is shallower(400-500 m in) and its surface is fluted to smooth, with the density of iceberg furrowing increasing towards theshelf edge. Acoustic profiles show a drape of transparent sediment 4-8 m thick in Princc Gustav Channel,thinning southwards. In cores, this drape corresponds to diatom-bearing marine and glacial-marine mud. In theLarsen-A area aiid Larsen Inlet, acoustically opaque sediment includes proximal ice shelfglaciomarine gravellyaiid sandy muds. aiid firm to stiff diamicts probably deposited subglacially. These arc overlain by thin (up to1.3 in) glacioniariiie muds, locally with distinctivc diatom ooze laminae.last_img read more

Propagation and vertical structure of the tidal flow in Nares Strait

first_imgThe southward freshwater flux though Nares Strait is an important component of the Arctic’s freshwater budget. On short time scales, flow through the strait is dominated by the tides, and tidal dynamics may be important for the magnitude of the freshwater flux over longer periods. Here we build upon our existing knowledge of the tides in the region by exploring their propagation and vertical structure using data from four bottom mounted ADCPs deployed in Nares Strait between 2003 and 2006. We observe that propagating barotropic semi‐diurnal tidal waves interact to create a standing wave pattern, explaining the abnormally large tidal amplitudes that are observed in this region. In the along‐strait direction, semi‐diurnal tidal currents exhibit strong variations with depth. In contrast, the diurnal tides propagate northward through the strait as progressive waves, and the tidal currents are broadly depth invariant. Proximity of Nares Strait to the semi‐diurnal critical latitude, and the topographical restriction imposed by the steep side‐wall of Ellesmere Island are primary drivers behind the observed vertical variability. In the upper part of the water column, baroclinic activity increases the tidal current amplitude by up to 25%. In the across‐strait direction, a two layer structure exists in both the diurnal and semi‐diurnal tidal flow, with an apparent phase lag of approximately a quarter of a tidal cycle across the strait for the semi‐diurnal tide. Our results suggest that strong vertical motion exists against the side‐walls of Nares Strait, as the across‐strait flow interacts with the steeply sloping bathymetry.last_img read more

USA: Secretary of the Navy Announces Names of Two LCS

first_img View post tag: Naval Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the next two Freedom-class littoral combat ships (LCS) to be built in Alabama will be named the USS Jackson and the USS Montgomery.These two ships are part of a dual block buy of LCS class ships announced by Mabus in December 2010.  By procuring both versions of the LCS — Lockheed Martin’s semiplaning monohull and General Dynamic’s aluminum trimaran — the Navy can stabilize the LCS program and the industrial base with an award of 20 ships; increase ship procurement rate to support operational requirements; sustain competition through the program; and enhance foreign military sales opportunities.  Both designs meet the Navy’s LCS requirement.  However, the diversity provided by two designs provides operational flexibility.The selection of Jackson, designated LCS 6, honors the great state capitol Jackson, Miss.  This is the first ship to bear the city’s name.The selection of Montgomery, the capitol of Alabama, designated LCS 8, honors Montgomery, Ala.  This is the second ship to bear the city’s name.Jackson and Montgomery will be designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal waters.  A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.Jackson and Montgomery will be 419 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 103 feet, displace approximately 3,000 tons, and will make speed in excess of 40 knots.Construction of Jackson and Montgomery will be by Austal Shipbuilding in Mobile, Ala.(defense)[mappress]Source: defense,March 28, 2011; Industry news March 28, 2011 USA: Secretary of the Navy Announces Names of Two LCS View post tag: Secretary View post tag: usa View post tag: LCS Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: Secretary of the Navy Announces Names of Two LCS View post tag: names View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Announces View post tag: Navy View post tag: two Share this articlelast_img read more

Non-loaf carriers rise

first_imgDespite the volume and value growth of branded bread in the UK last year, alternatives such as wraps, croissants, bagels and chapattis are becoming increasingly popular as sandwich carriers, according to Tesco.Commenting on recent data from Kantar Worldpanel (December 2009), Tesco bakery spokeperson Andy Simpson, said that, with so many different bread varieties from around the world now available to consumers, “these are drawing sales from traditional loaves, rolls and baps, which have reigned supreme in bakeries for hundreds of years”.The data showed volume sales of croissants had increased by 33% in 2009, chapattis and tortillas saw growth of 18%, naan bread rose by 13% and sales of bagels increased by 11% in volume.last_img read more

Members Of Lettuce, Thievery Corp, Galactic, TAB & More Perform All-Improv Show [Full Audio]

first_imgLast Friday, May 20th, the Everyone Orchestra returned to Gypsy Sally’s in Washington, DC for yet another stellar performance in the nation’s capital. Matt Butler is joined by an outstanding lineup for this tour, featuring Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff on guitar (Lettuce), Jeff Franca on percussion (Thievery Corporation), Rob Mercurio on bass (Galactic), Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet and vocals (Trey Anastasio Band), Natalie Cressman on trombone and vocals (Trey Anastasio Band), Cris Jacobs, whose birthday it was, on guitar and vocals (The Bridge), and Johnny Kimock on drums (Mike Gordon, K I M O C K).Those that are familiar with Everyone Orchestra know that they bring a 100% improv show, with Butler conducting the band and audience. It means attendees never know just what they are in for. There’s no trying to predict what the band will open or close with, who they’ll cover, or whether there will be a bust out. We just sit back and enjoy the ride. From purely an entertainment standpoint, these shows are some of the most interesting and exciting to watch.The next stop for this crew is Summer Camp Music Festival, but for now you can check out their entire DC show from taper Will Urquhart, below.last_img read more

New director of I Tatti

first_imgHarvard Provost Steven E. Hyman announced today (Dec. 16) that Lino Pertile will become director of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy, beginning next summer.Pertile will succeed Joseph Connors, professor of history of art and architecture and I Tatti’s sixth director, who has run the center since 2002. After a sabbatical year, Connors will resume teaching, concentrating on Harvard College courses in Italian art.Pertile said of the announcement: “In the 50 years since Bernard Berenson left it to Harvard, Villa I Tatti has had a unique role in the fostering of Renaissance studies, and I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to join this remarkable institution. I look forward with great enthusiasm to carrying on the outstanding work of Joe Connors and the previous directors.”“I am delighted that Lino has accepted the directorship of Villa I Tatti,” said Hyman. “His academic stature, deep knowledge of the Villa, of Italy more broadly, and experience in creating an inclusive scholarly community all make him ideally suited to take the reins of the center and burnish its status as a global leader in Renaissance studies.” He continued, “I look forward to working with Lino in strengthening the ties between Harvard and I Tatti, and developing the center in the years to come.”Pertile, the Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is a renowned scholar on Italian literature, with a particular focus on the medieval and Renaissance periods. He has taught numerous courses at Harvard College, including, since 1998, the popular “Dante’s Divine Comedy and Its World.”Pertile’s commitment to undergraduate teaching and advising earned him the award of Harvard College Professor in 2005. Since 2000, Pertile has served as master of Eliot House along with his wife, Anna Bensted. Pertile and Bensted are widely credited with creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Eliot.Connors said of the announcement: “Lino’s distinguished career as a scholar of Dante and Petrarch — spanning the Italian and Anglo-Saxon worlds of learning — is the true embodiment of what Villa I Tatti is all about, and I couldn’t be more pleased with his appointment. The future of I Tatti under Lino’s leadership looks very bright indeed.”Connors took over I Tatti after serving as chair of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. From 1988 to 1992 he served as director of the American Academy in Rome.“Joseph Connors leaves a superb foundation on which Lino Pertile will continue to build,” said Hyman. “Joe’s model stewardship has transformed the Villa — academically and physically — and he leaves behind a robust center of which Harvard can be proud. We are deeply grateful for his leadership.”Villa I Tatti was founded in 1961 around the house and library of the art critic and connoisseur Bernard Berenson (Class of 1887). It covers 75 acres near Florence, employs a staff of 50, and consists of a fellowship program in Renaissance studies and the Biblioteca Berenson, a research library with distinguished collections in art history, history, literature, and early music, as well as an extensive photographic collection. I Tatti is also known for its historic garden and working farm, and a notable collection of early Italian and Asian art.last_img read more

Obesity roots may start before kindergarten

first_img Read Full Story A new report suggests that children who are overweight or obese by the time they enter kindergarten have a high likelihood of staying that way as they grow older. Looking at more than 7,700 children over a nine-year-period, the Emory University study found that children who started kindergarten overweight had about four times the risk of becoming obese by eighth grade as their normal-weight peers.In an editorial accompanying the study in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-author Steven Gortmaker, director of the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center (HPRC) and professor of the practice of health sociology at the School, said that the findings point to the importance of instituting “wide-reaching, cost-effective policy and programmatic changes aimed at improving nutrition and physical activity among broad populations of children if we are to reduce early childhood weight gain and the risk of incident obesity throughout childhood.”On the bright side, Gortmaker told the New York Times, a number of studies have shown that it is possible to stop or reverse excess weight gain in children. And young children can move from overweight to normal weight by losing just a few pounds, whereas for adults to do so could mean having to lose a significant amount of weight—20 to 30 pounds or even 40 to 50 pounds, according to Gortmaker.last_img read more

Danger of guns in homes

first_img Read Full Story Parents with guns in the house should assume their children are aware of the firearms – and possibly have even touched them, according to David Hemenway, professor of health policy and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).“Just like parents don’t think kids know where the Christmas presents are hidden, the same is true for guns,” he said in a January 28, 2014 interview on ParentMap.com. In studies in which pediatricians asked parents about their children’s knowledge of and experience with guns in the home, most parents didn’t think their kids knew there were guns at home. One-third of the boys, however, reported they had already played with the hidden weapons.last_img read more