Sunday, January 14, 2007

the undemocratic, dogmatic branch

Which branch am I referring to? Why its the Utah State Legislature of course. Its members routinely give the metaphoric finger (because swearing and fingering in reality would be "rude" and "sinful") to Utahns by adopting unneeded legislation and ignoring the people's priorities.
Utahns want lawmakers to spend a projected $1.6 billion surplus first on public education. A tax cut is lower on their list of priorities. Much lower.
But legislators are poised to give Utahns a tax cut ranging from $100 million to $300 million anyway - whether they want it or not.

And that's not all. Utahns don't want school vouchers, but screw 'em we will do it anyway.

But wait, there's more:
If someone directly challenges Roe v. Wade . . .
And if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses more than 30 years of legal precedent . . .
State Rep. Paul Ray wants Utah to be ready.
Ray's bill is modeled on similar legislation South Dakota voters rejected earlier this year. That law was meant to test the 1973 Supreme Court decision that granted women the right to legally end a pregnancy. But South Dakota's bill did not include exceptions for incest, rape and the health of the mother.
"I would have issues if we didn't consider those exceptions," said Ray.

So now the legislature will most certainly pass a litmus test bill on a theoretical problem. Why not wait until Roe is overturned and then pass the bill? Someone in Utah just might get an abortion in under some freak scenerio I guess. While there are 4 solid anti-abortion votes on the high court, it is fairly uncertain that Justice Anthony Kennedy could be convinced to reverse on Roe. Rather, the anti-abortion plurality will have more success if they keep finding areas to chip away at ones ability to have an abortion...although there aren't too many exceptions left to find. There already are 24-hour waiting periods, parental consent for minors (from both parents with a judicial escape clause if the girl claims Daddy is the father), the prohibition on dilation and extraction procedures (so called "partial birth abortions") unless the health/life of the mother is in jeopardy, forbidding people from traveling state lines to have an abortion in another state were the laws are laxer, unfunding clinics, making it dangerous and unprofitable to become a doctor performing such procedures etc. [the last few are extra-legal ones that occur]

And really is this an urgent problem? Are the number of abortions skyrocketing in Utah despite the 75% anti-Roe gut reaction of LDS-dominated Utah? No
Abortions in Utah

Abortions remained fairly flat even as Utah's population grew by 300,000.
Abortions by year:
* 2000: 3,279
* 2001: 3,372
* 2002: 3,300
* 2003: 3,338
* 2004: 3,379
* 2005: 3,279
* 2000: 2.25 million
* 2005: 2.55 million

Why won't the legislature work on making our K-12 schools better, our college more affordable, better health coverage for the poor, etc. Why not do things that will actually improve the lives of Utahns rather than posture for lower taxes for the rich and a fake abortion bill?

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