Given Crenshaw's opposition to having private lives intruded upon by government agents, you might imagine that he'd be furious about a recent Texas law that will allow ordinary citizens to police the private conduct of Texans. Nope.
Dan Crenshaw Wants Freedom Of Choice For Vax, Not Abortion
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
July 10, 2021

A few days ago, in response to President Biden's announcement of a door-knocking campaign to encourage unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated against COVID-19, Dan Crenshaw, the eyepatch-wearing congressman and future presidential candidate from Texas, wrote on Twitter:

Given Crenshaw's clearly stated opposition to having private lives intruded upon by government agents, you might imagine that he'd be furious about a law recently passed in his home state that will allow ordinary citizens to police the private conduct of Texans. Shockingly, you'd be wrong -- Crenshaw has raised no objection to the statute:

People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system.

The provision passed the Texas State Legislature this spring as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy....

Ordinarily, enforcement would be up to government officials, and if clinics wanted to challenge the law’s constitutionality, they would sue those officials in making their case. But the law in Texas prohibits officials from enforcing it. Instead, it takes the opposite approach, effectively deputizing ordinary citizens — including from outside Texas — to sue clinics and others who violate the law. It awards them at least $10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful....

The result is a law that is extremely difficult to challenge before it takes effect on Sept. 1, because it is hard to know whom to sue to block it, and lawyers for clinics are now wrestling with what to do about it. Six-week bans in other states have all been blocked as they make their way through the court system.

If you're on the right, a person who knocks on your door and politely asks you if you want something that could save your life is a jackbooted Gestapo member -- but someone who sues you from ten states away because you had an abortion is a True Patriot upholding Freedom.

Amanda Marcotte has some thoughts about this law.

I agree with all this, but I also think it's the Dominionist Billionaire Empowerment Act. John Seago of Texas Right to Life insists that lawsuits won't be easy to file.

Mr. Seago said he did not think there would be a flood of suits. State judges will still expect claimants to build a case, and identifying targets — a specific abortion that was performed later than the fetal heartbeat was detected — would not be easy, he said.

“There’s still quite a lot of hoops to jump through for a claimant to prevail,” he said.

Who'll have the resources to conduct investigations, marshal evidence, and build cases? Evangelical plutocrats will. When abortion opponents pick out their prime targets, billionaires will be behind the attacks.

And none of this will upset Dan Crenshaw, because his ideal America is one in which personal autonomy stops where right-wingers want it to stop.

Published with permission of No More Mr. Nice Blog

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