Twenty-two Republican Attorneys General wrote a letter to Congress and the Biden administration, contending Washington, D.C. cannot become a state through legislation but only through a Constitutional amendment.
“If this Congress passes and President Biden signs this Act into law, we will use every legal tool at our disposal to defend the United States Constitution and the rights of our states from this unlawful effort to provide statehood to the District of Columbia,” Fox News reported.
“Accordingly, not only does Congress lack the authority to create an entirely new state out of the District, but it also does not have the authority to reduce the size of the District to the equivalent of a few federal buildings and surrounding parks,” the letter concluded.
The letter comes as Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) has introduced H.R. 51 to shrink the district while transitioning the vacated area into a state, dubbed the “State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.”
Republicans regard D.C. statehood as a naked power grab, and many legal scholars are confident the Supreme Court would strike down D.C. statehood as unconstitutional for the reasons these authorities have set forth over the years.
For instance, the Office of Legal Council in 2007 said it was unconstitutional when Democrats attempted to give D.C. voting power in Congress without making it a full state. The Justice Department of former President Carter and former President Reagan believed the conversion of Washington D.C. into a state was unconstitutional, along with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy—a Democrat—who also said in 1963 a similar proposal was unconstitutional.
Moreover, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, when he was sitting on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, opposed such a measure, saying, “It is … fanciful to consider as ‘politically powerless’ a city whose residents include a high proportion of the officers of all three branches of the federal government and their staffs.”
The Heritage Foundation also points to three arguments against H.R. 51:
Our nation’s capital was always meant to be unique. The founders wanted it to be a federal district, existing beyond the confines or influence of any one state.
H.R. 51 would require Congress to ignore the plain command of the 23rd Amendment.
Even those who support D.C. statehood admit district residents enjoy special benefits due to where they live and would enjoy an outsize influence in Congress.
The bill will be considered Wednesday in a House Oversight Committee hearing before a potential House vote the following week. 215 Democrat members have co-sponsored the bill.
The states which joined the letter were South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia, Idaho, Kansas, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
The Biden administration awarded a lucrative defense contract to a Singaporean company that works with Chinese military firms.
On April 6, Singapore-based ST Engineering won a contract alongside defense contractor BAE Systems to build a prototype military ground vehicle for use in Arctic environments. One of ST Engineering’s direct subsidiaries does business with the Chinese military industry, ultimately providing maritime and satellite technology to Chinese authorities. The use of a defense company that collaborates with China raises concerns about industrial espionage and could expose vulnerabilities in the Pentagon, one expert on military acquisition said.
Mark Vandroff, a former Navy officer and member of the Trump administration’s National Security Council, told the Washington Free Beacon the contract could pose an "attractive" way for Beijing to gain inside knowledge on valuable national security technology.
"My big worry is from a cyber and counterintelligence perspective," Vandroff said. "I would worry not only that any collaboration gets back to China, but that [it] also becomes an attractive cyber pathway for [People’s Republic of China] exploitation."
ST Engineering oversees iDirect, a technology company servicing the Pentagon while developing technology for China. iDirect is a major partner in satellite communications with PetroChina, the Beijing-backed energy company with ties to the Chinese military. Satellite systems also designed by iDirect are equipped by China for maritime law enforcement. In 2018, ST Engineering also worked with the Chinese car company BYD Auto to develop AI forklifts, and again in 2019 for autonomous buses, technologies that could have defense applications.
The company’s direct cooperation with Chinese firms has raised concerns on Capitol Hill about ST Engineering’s successful Pentagon contract bid. Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said the federal government is "lagging behind geopolitical reality" of China’s threat to American interests. The Defense Department should be wary of getting involved with firms that also profit from their relationship with the Chinese regime.
"Since 2015, the Pentagon has officially recognized China as a serious threat to our national security. The federal government needs to quit lagging behind geopolitical reality and ignoring its own national security strategy," Banks said. "We need to start treating China like the existential threat it plainly is. The United States shouldn’t be funding Chinese military companies in any way."
Pentagon spokesman John Supple told the Washington Free Beacon that ST Engineering’s contract is now under review.
"We are aware of the claims, and the [Department of Defense] is reviewing the matter," Supple said.
ST Engineering did not respond to a request for comment.
ST Engineering’s operations and Chinese ties have also been linked to pervasive human rights abuses. The company has a partnership with Jiangsu Huatong Power Heavy Industry Co., a construction company with an office in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital. Jiangsu is primarily focused on infrastructure construction, a common task for companies involved in the Uighur genocide in western China. In July 2020, the Trump administration sanctioned fellow construction group Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a paramilitary organization responsible for serious human rights abuses in the region.
Army officials picked the firm to develop crucial military equipment as competition with China and Russia in the Arctic heats up. China hopes to ascend to "polar great power" status by 2030. A strategy document declassified by the Army in March highlighted China’s incursion into the Arctic as a "central problem" for U.S. national security. The Department of the Army did not respond to a request for comment.
Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock has indicated in a letter the agency will be lifting restrictions on the health and safety standards applied to abortion-inducing drugs, allowing for the dispensation of the drugs via telemedicine and through the mail.
Addressing the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Woodcock said a “literature search for studies pertinent to the in-person dispensing requirement” regarding the abortion drug mifepristone “found that the small number of adverse events reported to FDA during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) provide no indication that any program deviation or noncompliance” with the mifepristone Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program “contributed to the reported adverse events.”
Woodcock concluded that, provided the other risk and mitigation strategies for mifepristone are met, in order to avoid the COVID-related risks of having pregnant girls and women present in a doctor’s office just to have an abortion, FDA will “exercise enforcement discretion during the pandemic “with respect to the dispensing of mifepristone through the mail either by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber, or through a mail-order pharmacy.”
Planned Parenthood, which profits from abortions, tweeted in response to the FDA’s lifting of restrictions that mifepristone “is safe, effective, and has been used by 4+ million people since the FDA approved it more than 20 years ago.”
“Removing medically unnecessary barriers to it is a big win for abortion access & keeps patients, providers, and health center staff safer during the pandemic,” the abortion provider added.
Pro-life advocates, however, criticized the decision.
“The Biden Administration makes catastrophic loss of life by mail its legacy in choosing to weaken the minimal health and safety in place to protect women from the deadly consequences of Chemical Abortion Pills,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.
“Sending deadly pills through the mail without any pre-screening or follow-up care is convenient and cost effective for Corporate Abortion, but women will pay the price along with countless preborn infants,” she added.
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said President Joe Biden’s FDA is clearly prioritizing abortion access over the safety of women and girls:
Allowing unsupervised chemical abortions via telemedicine, without requiring timely access to medical care, will put women in grave danger. Data released in 2018 by the FDA shows thousands of adverse events caused by abortion pills, including 768 hospitalizations and 24 deaths since 2000. Chemical abortions should have more medical oversight not less.
In January, the Supreme Court granted a Trump administration request to restore a rule requiring women to have an in-person visit with a medical professional prior to receiving abortion-inducing drugs.
In a 6-3 vote, the Court halted a lower court’s decision to allow the mailing of abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to women who wish to end their pregnancies at home as long as the pandemic continues.
Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, an Obama appointee, had granted a preliminary injunction in July after pro-abortion groups filed a lawsuit.
The Trump administration appealed the ruling, arguing women should see a doctor in person prior to taking the drugs because of safety concerns.
In late April, Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson referred to telemedicine abortion as the “silver lining” of the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman the fact that many states have attempted to include elective abortions among other procedures that should be temporarily banned to preserve scarce medical equipment for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients is “unconscionable.”
The CEO of the nation’s largest abortion provider boasted the launch of Planned Parenthood’s new tele-abortion service in which women seeking an abortion have a virtual meeting with an abortion provider and obtain a prescription for abortion-inducing drugs they take at home.
“It is actually a silver lining in this pandemic, that Planned Parenthood and many other health providers have actually been able to really lean into telehealth infrastructure and provide service,” she said.
Planned Parenthood has been touting an increase in at-home abortions since its tele-abortion services began nationwide, though many pro-life advocates have concerns about the practice.
As referred to by Woodstock in her letter, mifepristone, one of the drugs used in a medication abortion, is not fully approved under the FDA’s risk and mitigation program, though women have been obtaining it illegally from overseas vendors.
“This is a medication that definitely has dangers associated with it,” Dr. Christina Francis, an Indiana-based OB/GYN and chairman of the board of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly last year.
Francis said some immediate complications of mifepristone could be:
… hemorrhage, the immediate possibility of infection, and the possibility of failure, where the pregnancy doesn’t fully pass from the medication and then leading to sometimes the requirement for emergent surgery for that woman because of either ongoing bleeding or the risk of infection.
Francis added that because of the uncertainties associated with the pandemic, many women “are being influenced by fear right now, and this is being perpetuated by the abortion industry.”
Dr. Meera Shah, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, touted to the Associated Press (AP) in April 2020 that her organization’s new telemedicine abortion service is so much in demand that one mother began her drug-induced abortion “at home with her children running around behind her.”
Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explained in his videos about various abortion procedures that mifepristone blocks the action of progesterone, which the mother’s body produces to nourish the pregnancy. When progesterone is blocked, the lining of the mother’s uterus deteriorates, and blood and nourishment are cut off to the developing baby, who then dies inside the mother’s womb.
The drug misoprostol (also called Cytotec) then causes contractions and bleeding to expel the baby from the mother’s uterus.
This series of events occur at home when the drugs are sent via mail.
The Associated Press reported Sunday, about 40 percent of all abortions in the country are drug-induced.
Abortion rights advocates, the report said, are applauding the fact that the pandemic “has demonstrated the value of medical care provided virtually, including the privacy and convenience of abortions taking place in a woman’s home, instead of a clinic.”
More states, however, have pushed legislation to restrict telemedicine abortions. These efforts have often been blocked by judges siding with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana is expected to sign a ban on telemedicine abortions.
Rep. Sharon Greef (R-MT) referred to drug-induced abortions as “the Wild West of the abortion industry,” asserting the drugs should be taken under close supervision of medical professionals, “not as part of a do-it-yourself abortion far from a clinic or hospital.”
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Tuesday on CNN’s “The Lead” that former President Donald Trump “abused the loyalty and trust that his voters placed in him” by saying the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Discussing Boehner’s new book, anchor Jake Tapper said, “In one sentences you say that Donald Trump pushed a quote, ‘bullshit lie that the election was stolen,’ and then you noted he incited the insurrection on January 6 for nothing more than, quote, ‘selfish reasons.’”
Boehner said, “Well, I’m still waiting for evidence to show up. The president was out there every day talking about the election being stolen and filing lawsuits. I’m waiting for the evidence, and sadly no evidence ever showed up. I think the president abused the loyalty and trust that his voters placed in him by not being honest with the American people about the outcome.”
The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Ohio State pro-life law by a 9-7 majority, forbidding abortion if the procedure is sought solely because the child has Down syndrome.
The Sixth Circuit reversed a district court’s decision that granted a preliminary injunction requested by abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood that maintained a woman’s right to intentionally abort her pregnancy is absolute prior to viability, established by Roe v. Wade.
The 9-7 majority ruling on Ohio’s H.B. 214 law was made with nine Republican appointees. Every Trump appointee on this case voted with the majority to uphold the statute. Of the seven dissenters, five are Democrat appointees, and two are moderate Republican appointees.
“In plain terms, H.B. 214 prohibits a doctor from performing an abortion if that doctor knows that the woman’s reason for having the abortion is that she does not want a child with Down syndrome,” wrote Judge Alice Batchelder, who was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and highly regarded by conservatives. Batchelder said:
By prohibiting doctors from knowingly and deliberately eliminating fetuses because of their Down syndrome, the State intended to send an unambiguous moral message to the citizens of Ohio that Down syndrome children, whether born or unborn, are equal in dignity and value to the rest of us.
But the lower court held H.B. 214 is an impermissible infringement on women’s “unfettered right to choose whether to terminate, or continue, a pregnancy pre-viability,” and therefore enjoined the defendants from implementing or enforcing H.B. 214.
“The right to an abortion before viability is not absolute. The State may regulate abortion before viability as long as it does not impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy,” Batchelder responded to the lower court.
Indeed, the State asserts that H.B. 214 protects the integrity and ethics of the medical profession by preventing doctors from becoming witting participants in Down-syndrome-selective abortions.
Note that Batchelder even quotes Roe v. Wade, saying it rejected the position “that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses.”
And the United States Supreme Court in Casey added that such an absolute rule was “incompatible with the recognition that there is a substantial state interest in potential life throughout pregnancy.”
Batchelder also writes the concept of whether an unborn child is viable is irrelevant to the Down syndrome community, the family medical profession, and the integrity of the medical profession’s interests, because “The strength of these interests is the same throughout pregnancy, from the first day to the last.”
She explains the current version of the Supreme Court “undue burden test” holds that if a law creates a “substantial obstacle” to a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion, then it poses an undue burden on her protected right, is invalid, and must be struck down.
Because the statute merely prevents a doctor from performing the abortion if the doctor knows the baby has Downs and that the mother wants an abortion for that specific reason, Batchelder reasons:
The possibility that a woman, when speaking with the doctor who would perform her abortion, might decide to change her reason (or lie about her reason) on sober second thought is not a separate burden on a woman’s ability to choose or obtain an abortion.
We hold that the restrictions imposed, or burdens created, by H.B. 214 do not create a substantial obstacle to a woman’s ability to choose or obtain an abortion. Moreover, those restrictions are reasonably related to, and further, Ohio’s legitimate interests. Therefore, H.B. 214 is valid in all conceivable cases and the plaintiffs cannot succeed on the merits of their claim.
The cases are Preterm-Cleveland v. McCloud, No. 18-3329 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
I’ve only been saying this for a year… Via MSN: The photos of Clearwater Beach, Fla., went viral last spring: people crowded on the sand, seemingly unconcerned about the deadly new contagion coursing across the world. Local officials, accused of fueling a public health crisis, quickly shut 35 miles of county beaches and left them […]
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan as COVID-19 cases spike in the “Great Lake State.” Psaki said that the governor has “shown some serious grit” in the face of the pandemic and threats to her personal safety in the past year. The press secretary highlighted Whitmer’s push for…
Voters in battleground states blame President Joe Biden for the historic crisis at the border, according to a new survey on illegal immigration. The survey from Heritage Action for America showed that 56 percent of residents in 16 battleground congressional districts in 15 states blame the current crisis on Biden’s reversal of many of former…
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said something so brazenly racist when speaking of white, red-state Americans during her Monday media briefing that she should have been fired immediately. That of course won’t happen. Nonwhite and white leftists alike are free to say whatever they’d like about the deplorable white Americans who they hold in…