Democrats in Congress Aim to Repeal Pro-Life Hyde Amendment

Last month the LA Times reported that Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress intend to repeal the Hyde Amendment next year.

The Hyde Amendment is a provision in the federal budget that prevents Americans from being forced to fund abortion procedures with their tax dollars. It contains exceptions for cases of rape or incest or when the mother’s life or physical health are in jeopardy.

Every year since 1976 Congress has attached some version of the Hyde Amendment to the federal budget to prevent taxpayer-funded abortion.

Public opinion polling has shown again and again that Americans don’t want to pay for abortions with their tax dollars. In spite of that, the Hyde Amendment has come under attack from pro-abortion groups and politicians in recent years.

For example:

For years the Hyde Amendment was viewed as a reasonable compromise between pro-life and pro-abortion politicians, but it’s clear that pro-abortion groups no longer see it that way.

Abortion advocates often have said, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.”

Without the Hyde Amendment, even if you don’t like abortion and don’t have an abortion, you could still be forced to pay for an abortion with your taxes.

A.G.’s Office Defends Pro-Life Laws in Court

On Wednesday attorneys with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s offices made arguments in favor of three pro-life laws in court, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The arguments were made via teleconference before a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The laws in question are:

  • Act 493 of 2019, prohibiting abortion after the eighteenth week of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
  • Act 619 of 2019, prohibiting abortion of an unborn baby solely because the child has Down Syndrome.
  • Act 700 of 2019, requiring abortion doctors to be board certified or board eligible OB/GYNs.

These laws passed with overwhelming support from state lawmakers in 2019.

However, after the measures passed, abortionists at Little Rock Family Planning Services filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU to have the laws overturned.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker in Little Rock issued an injunction blocking the state from enforcing the laws.

Following that decision, Attorney General Rutledge’s office appealed to the Eighth Circuit to vacate Judge Baker’s injunction.

The three judges now presiding over the case are Judge James Loken of Minneapolis; Judge Bobby Shepherd of El Dorado, Arkansas; and Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo, North Dakota.

Judge Erickson has served on the Eighth Circuit since President Trump nominated him in 2017. President George H. W. Bush nominated Judge Loken for the Eighth Circuit in 1990, and President George W. Bush nominated Judge Shepherd in 2006.

In April Judges Erickson and Shepherd ruled that Arkansas could restrict surgical abortion amid the COVID-19 pandemic; Judge Loken dissented in that decision. In light of that, it’s possible these judges will let Arkansas’ three pro-life laws stand.

As I’ve said many times, I don’t know of any attorney general’s office in America who is doing more to fight for the right to life than Arkansas’.

This team has tirelessly defended good laws like these. Arkansas has won some major, pro-life victories, and I am confident that more victories are ahead.

Lawsuit Shows Importance of Lower Courts, Government Offices

U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky (above) is presiding over the case.

With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, all eyes turn to the U.S. Supreme Court and the race for the presidency this November.

Every time a seat on the nation’s high court is vacated, Americans are reminded of a simple fact: Elections really do have consequences.

That’s especially true of presidential elections, because the president is responsible for nominating federal judges and appointing men and women to lead government agencies.

There’s no denying that the U.S. Supreme Court has tremendous power. But the truth is the nation’s district courts and appeals courts arguably are just as important — if not more so.

For example, right now the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Kroger store in Conway, Arkansas over alleged religious discrimination.

According a complaint the EEOC filed last week, the Kroger store disciplined — and eventually fired — two employees who declined to wear a rainbow insignia on their store aprons.

The rainbow insignia is widely understood to be a symbol of gay pride, and the two employees both profess to be Christians who object to homosexual behavior.

The U.S. government’s lawsuit against the store argues that discipling and firing the employees ultimately amounts to religious discrimination under federal law.

The case is currently before U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky.

President Trump nominated Judge Rudofsky in July of 2019, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him last November.

Judge Rudofsky no doubt will give the case a very fair hearing.

It’s difficult to imagine the Obama Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission taking up a case like this one a few years ago.

From 2013 – 2016, the Obama Administration issued directive after directive promoting a pro-LGBT agenda — often at the expense of religious liberty.

The Trump Administration’s EEOC is standing up for religious liberty in this lawsuit, and one of President Trump’s judicial nominees is presiding over the case.

This lawsuit may never land before the U.S. Supreme Court, but it still could impact how businesses in America treat their employees’ religious beliefs and how future courts handle religious discrimination cases.

Cases like these often don’t get the attention they deserve, but they can affect Americans for years to come.