Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Thank You, Judicial Branch”¦

Judgewapner

On Tuesday, an Oklahoma judge struck down the ludicrous and archaic law ultra sound abortion law. From the Joke:

A judge Tuesday struck down a controversial state abortion law requiring ultrasounds on grounds one legislator called a technicality.

Oklahoma County District Judge Vicki Robertson ruled the law unconstitutional, finding it violated a requirement that legislation deal with a single subject…

The most controversial aspect of the law was a requirement that an abortion doctor or medical technician give a pregnant woman an ultrasound at least an hour before the procedure and display the images of the unborn baby where the woman could see them.

The law required the doctor or technician also to describe what the woman was seeing, including if the fetus’ heart was beating.

Wow.  Maybe the whole “single subject” deal is a legitimate excuse to strike down the law, or maybe Judge Vicki Robertson is one those mysterious (and mythical) “activist” judges we are always hearing about. Regardless, who the hell cares? The judicial system has worked! We now have one less cruel, meaningless, archaic bill on the books. Hooray!

Anyway, I know we’ve mentioned this before, but for a legislature that allegedly wants to keep government interference out of our lives and medical decisions, they sure did a good job of passing laws that put the government right in the middle of one of the most personal and difficult medical decisions imaginable. Normally, you would call a group like that “Hypocrites.” But here in Oklahoma, we call just it the Republican controlled Legislature.

It will be interesting to see how the legislature reacts to this “defeat” in the next legislative session. The judge’s decision is already being challenged, so they may not have to do anything.    Maybe if the appeal works they’ll then do something productive like make insurance companies provide coverage for autism.  I doubt it, though.  They’ll probably just force physicians to recite passages from Leviticus before performing physical examinations or just ban erotic nurse fantasies form hospitals. Whatever they do, it won’t surprise me.

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Comments

  1. I’m a card carrying Democrat but it seems like all you guys want to do lately is bash conservatives.

  2. I fail to see how pointing out hypocrisy is bashing conservatives. Pointing out hypocrisy is for both conservatives and liberals. I could post a list of 20 hypocrites on both sides of the table. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

  3. A progressive, urban social blog is going to be hard on social conservatives, less so on economic free-market types.

    However, Patrick, this law probably would hav epassed in the old Democratic legislature if it could have gotten reported out of committee. A majority of Democrats voted for the bill and overrode The Late Governor Henry to make it law.

    Maybe we need to ask the question WWJtD?

    WHAT WOULD JIM TRABER DO?

  4. Conservatism itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but legislating their beliefs as it seems our politicians are hell bent on doing deserves pointing out and “bashing”. Freedom of religion is a great thing so long as it is their religion.

    As for Jim Traber, he is amidst a journey that is going to lead him down a path to a heart attack or an ironic scandal. You can’t bad mouth Nick Collison and get away with it.

  5. someone recently told me that they should have to take 2 laws off of the books for every 1 that they add on. i think i’d agree with that.

    i’m a pro-life guy, but the idea that a doctor be forced to do all of that is insane, and is a gross overstepping of boundaries into medical practices and private decisions.

  6. It’s a fair question to ask whether the Legislature will be passing a lot more of these grandstanding, chest thumping “we’re pertectin’ LIFE!” kinds of bills next spring to deflect attention from the fact that the state can’t pay it’s bills. It’s also a fair question to ask how much it costs the (broke) state to to go to court to defend these laws that were passed with the knowledge they were unconstitutional.

  7. Kudos to you Ogle’s for not avoiding what is probably A#1 conservative bedrock issue. Now sit back and watch the fur fly!

  8. We bash conservatives? Well, we’re a website that pokes fun of all things Oklahoma. Find me a liberal to bash. I guess I could go after Dan Boren, the one Democrat we send to D.C., but once again, I’d be bashing a conservative.

  9. Laws like this that our republican controlled legislature pass make me wonder why I live in Oklahoma, even though I’ve lived here all my life.

    From Randy Terrill to Sally Kern, I am definitely NOT represented by my representatives.

    Thankfully we have Gov. Henry to veto some of the idiocy and The Lost Ogle to ridicule it!

  10. I have known Judge Robertson for a long time and I can assure you that she does her best to be fair and impartial. A few years ago, she approved the Republican re-districting plan and the Dems called her a “political hack”. So, she must be doing something right, she’s pissed off both sides.

    Also, in a case like this, it doesn’t technically cost the state anything to keep this controversy alive. The attorney general is required by law to defend the state any time a statute is challenged. And, since he’s running for governor, you can expect to see that happen.

  11. Soonerken — I forgot that Judge Robertson was a Keating appointee to the bench. Well, well, well . . .

  12. You don’t think the time and resources it takes the state’s attorneys to defend an unconstitutional law (and now appeal this ruling) costs the state anything?

  13. Well, what I meant was there are no outside lawyers involved like in the tobacco and chicken shit cases. They are using staff attorneys in the ag’s office so technically, it costs their salaries, etc. but they’re already on the payroll.

  14. Bear in mind also that the state paid $67,000 to a special attorney (an expert in these types of cases, not a state employee) to come in and defend this lawsuit. Ummm, yeah…I’d say it’s costing the state.

  15. Notice that Robertson didn’t address the issue of the requiring of an unnecessary medical examination to satisfying a government regulation (I thought Repubs wanted LESS regulation). All Robertson did was rule on a parliamentary procedure. It’s a win, but it’s not the win we needed; we needed Robertson to rule that the law was itself an unconstitutional violation of Ninth Amendment rights.

    The Self-Righteous Party will be back with another bill in February 2010.

    Exodus 21:22, in a roundabout way, says that the loss of a fetus is a property issue, not a death. Genesis 2:7 pretty clearly indicates that life begins at birth. Those who state that the Bible pro-Life is bearing false witness against the Bible, which by most of their ‘beliefs’ is a Hell-worthy and unforgivable transgression.

  16. My problem with the typical “right to life” position is absolutely their hypocrisy. Most social conservatives are against abortion, but FOR the death penalty and the right to bear arms and defend one’s self and one’s property with use of those arms. Most of them are for assisted suicide too. I have a grudging respect for the staunch Catholic Church’s “docrine of life” which AT LEAST is consistent, no human ending of life–any life–period. There is a line past which “potential life” becomes “real life”, but I don’t know, and nobody knows where that line REALLY is. Whose “rights” are we protecting with these laws? The rights of the “potential lives” should not impose on the rights of the “actually alive, lives”.

    But yeah, maybe I just hate Oklahoma…(sarcasm)

  17. Soonerken, Actually the A.G.’s office outsourced some of the legal work in the chicken waste case to private law firms. Still, I believe that’s a righteous case that will hopefully net good results for our lakes and rivers. On the other hand, the litigation that will follow Judge Robertson’s decision is a tax on the A.G.’s office that those over-worked folks don’t need.

  18. I personally believe that abortion as a cop out for irresponsible sexual behavior is wrong. I can accept the typical exceptions. I think it is a good thing to work to minimize the number of abortions that occur. There are legitimate, legal, non-terrorist ways to do that. Just as there are for people that feel that they should be freely given to anyone that wants one.

    Notice and admit, this law did nothing to reduce the availability of abortions to those that seek it. It did mandate an additional medical procedure to “educate” the person seeking the abortion. If it was the AMA saying the doctor should, for the health of the patient, conduct an ultrasound, no problem (forcing the patient to see it is a bit Clockwork Orange and not important for a medical diagnosis). The legislature has no business mandating medical procedure except in extreme cases of public health (immunizations, epidemic, etc.). I have a huge problem with that. This is an individual health and not a public health issue.

    Ad so this bill is ridiculous. I find it ironic that the judge ruled it unconstitutional on a technicality when the bill itself was aimed at a technicality in the current judicial abortion law.

  19. @Hmm…OK

    Please tell me where you read that we hate ok? I believe you were the first person on this page to use that word. Ctl+F = win.

  20. Making fun of the stupid shit that happens here isn’t the same as hating Oklahoma. I’ve lived here my whole life, and I love this state. I don’t like the current bent towards irrational conservativism, but I still think there’s more to love than hate here.

  21. Bless their hearts

    They found a way to write a pro-life law so it was constitutional (according to the Oklahoma constitution, you can’t just pile a bunch of crap together and call it a law) and they knew it would be thrown out in court, so they can now run on:

    1) More PRO-LIFE
    2) Activist judges (you know, those who have READ the constitution)
    3) “See, we’re pro-life, we passed that bill” yet we still manage to keep it as a wedge issue.

    They done gone, if well, God forbid, they were trying to shoot the law in the foot from the git-go.

    What a bunch of shit.

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