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Laws are laws until judges or legislators reject them. For political purposes, a law that does not survive legal challenges can still be considered a victory, as long as it remains in place during an election.
Some of the biggest political issues in Texas are pending in court.
The United States Supreme Court heard arguments on Friday over the constitutionality of federal vaccine mandates, a fight between the federal government on one side and Texas and other states on the other.
The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans is now the forum for legal action regarding the state’s new ban on abortions after a fetal pulse is detected, typically about six weeks after the onset of ‘pregnancy. It is one of the most restrictive laws in the land and its fate will ultimately depend on a ruling by the Supreme Court, which reconsiders its 49-year-old ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Texas election season is well underway, even with two major legislative issues – new political maps and newly restrictive election and election laws – making their way to court. Courts have delayed elections in the past when the redistribution cards weren’t to their liking, but time is running out: early voting in the Texas primary begins on February 14. And the state’s new voting and election law practices, also tangled up in the courts, will remain in place until and unless the courts decide otherwise.
In each of these cases, supporters of the new laws, or federal vaccine orders, will get what they want unless the courts decide otherwise. Opponents of these laws, seeking federal leniency, will all have to wait.
Everything could balance out in the long run, but vaccines, abortions and voting in an election a few weeks from now are short-term concerns for many. The winning side could change when these cases are over, but until then the assumption is that the governments that changed the rules knew what they were doing.
When it comes to elections, this is a relatively new development. Texas has been cited repeatedly by the courts for “intentional discrimination” in redistribution. A lawsuit filed in October alleges the new maps provide new examples.
But Texas is no longer required, as it was until 2013, to have changes to its cards and voting laws approved by federal courts or the US Department of Justice before putting them into effect. force.
States make laws all the time, but voting laws are a special case. The Federal Voting Rights Act was drafted to prevent states with a history of discrimination – states like this – from overhauling and fine-tuning their bad behavior to stay ahead of equal rights legislation. . They had to get permission before their changes could take effect.
But after this 2013 Supreme Court ruling, instead of waiting for “preclearance,” states can enforce their new laws until the courts stop them. An electoral or electoral law which turns out to be illegal after the judgment of the prosecution remains in force until such judgment is rendered.
In the meantime, the elections are taking place under the new law, which is presumed to be constitutional and non-discriminatory.
Abortion laws and warrants for vaccines or masks can also be urgent. For now, Texas’ new abortion restrictions remain in place while courts challenge them. Anyone seeking an abortion – or helping someone to have an abortion – is subject to the restrictions of the new law. Even if the courts end up overturning Texas law, a person seeking an abortion must now follow it.
The same goes for federal vaccine mandates. Unless the courts temporarily suspend these orders, they will remain in effect for now.
It’s clear what voting, constituency, abortion, and vaccine laws are in effect here in the first month of 2022 – what Texans are allowed to do in the current election, if they can get any results. abortions and whether they are required to follow government vaccine mandates.
But it can be temporary.