The Private-suit Enforcement Mechanism
Where will this end? According to Reuters "Texas's strict new abortion ban hands over the power of enforcement to private citizens - and offers them cash payments to do so - a unique construction that makes the law harder to block in court."
The law sets up what critics have called a "vigilante" system in which any Texas resident can sue an abortion provider or anyone who aids and abets someone seeking to obtain an abortion.
Read: "Historian suggests Fugitive Slave Act (1850) closest historical analogy to Texas abortion law." It is interesting that the United States Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality in 1859. What a stain on US law.
Women's reproductive rights are the first target. However, this is not likely to be the only use for that vigilante law format*. Consider the minority, conservative agenda:
Could a school, business, or government be sued by individuals for designating non-gender (transgender) bathrooms? Could an individual be sued by vigilante enforcers for using a bathroom that is appropriate to their presentation?
Could a business be sued by individuals for mandating mask be worn, or requiring proof of vaccination?
Could a medical provider be sued for providing counseling to a transgender teen that would be counter to the state's thought police? Could clinics that provide gender confirmation surgery (GRS) or facial feminization surgery (FFS), be sued by individuals?
Could a BLOG writer be sued for advocating transgender rights and freedom of gender expression?
According to Julia Kaye at the the ACLU: “You could imagine a state banning certain statements in online forums and authorizing anyone who sees the post to sue the person who posted it. The sky is the limit in terms of attacks on constitutional rights.”
Do not forget that Donald Trump's now politically stacked Supreme Court is likely to uphold the conservative agenda as we just saw last week.
I propose a day where all bloggers express their outrage and call attention to outrageous nature of this vigilante enforcement mechanism. The Republican state legislatures must be sent a clear message. No matter where you stand on woman's reproductive rights, this clear and eminent danger to the constitution and legal precedent is real.
This is our "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…” moment.(MARTIN NIEMÖLLER)
I hope today's post generates many comments - Please!
*NY Times - We Are Becoming a Nation of Vigilantes - Since the beginning of the year (2021) Tennessee has authorized students and teachers to sue schools that allow transgender students to use the restrooms that match their gender identity.