The plaintiffs based their case on a state constitutional requirement that statutes not violate the law. Abortion was legal at the time the Georgia General Assembly passed the anti-abortion bill. The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t remove federal abortion protections until three years later, in June 2022, with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling that effectively repealed Roe v. Wade.
In defending the Georgia law, the state argued that it doesn’t matter if the law was not constitutional when it passed as it is now in line with the law.
The case now returns to Fulton Superior Court where Judge Robert McBurney, who will consider other constitutional arguments the plaintiffs made last year. The timing of his decision remains unclear and will likely lead to more appeals.
Had the state Supreme Court agreed with McBurney’s initial ruling that the law was passed improperly, it would have voided the state’s new abortion limits. As a result, abortion would have been allowed in Georgia up to roughly 20 weeks of pregnancy.
CAMPAIGN MESSAGING. In the throes of his reelection battle last year, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., often highlighted his efforts to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 per month. Now President Joe Biden is appealing to Georgians with a similar message.
In a new ad launched Tuesday, Biden’s campaign features Teresa Acosta, a Dunwoody small business owner whose son has diabetes.
“Joe Biden doesn’t just talk about lowering costs for families like mine. He’s getting it done,” she said in the 30-second spot.
Republicans have criticized Democrats for capping prescription drug prices, saying the provisions in the sweeping climate and health care law contain too much wasteful spending. Warnock spearheaded the push to include the insulin cap.
The Biden ad is part of a $25 million, 16-week campaign that targets voters in Georgia and other battleground states. The spot will run in Atlanta and air during popular shows “Dancing With the Stars,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and local news telecasts.
LISTEN UP. In the latest episode of the Politically Georgia podcast, we spoke to Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis about what the three plea agreements in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies could mean for the rest of the defendants going forward, especially with the 2024 elections rapidly approaching.
We also get an update on the never-ending race for U.S. House speaker in Washington, D.C., and look at the dysfunction plaguing several levels of the GOP around the country at a time when Georgia Republicans enjoy relative stability.
Listen at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
MR. SPEAKER? Republican members of the U.S. House are gathering this morning for what will likely be a series of votes to determine the party’s next speaker nominee. The winner will be the third GOP speaker nominee this month and face the same hurdles that doomed the others: finding the 217 votes needed to win the gavel.
Georgia’s Austin Scott, R-Tifton, is one of eight candidates, all males. Unlike some rivals who boast support from members of their state delegations, Scott has not received public support from any of the eight other Georgia Republicans in the House.
The only Georgia lawmaker to publicly endorse a candidate is Rep. Buddy Carter of Pooler, who is backing GOP Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota. Emmer is considered the front-runner, although with such a crowded field it is likely to take several ballots to determine a winner.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, said Monday afternoon she had not decided who she would back because she was waiting to hear from the candidates during an evening speaker forum. Politico later reported that Greene grilled candidates on their support for continued investigations of members of the Biden administration, such as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“I want to know, which one of you have the balls to hold them accountable?” Greene asked, according to Politico.
MTG TELLS ALL. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s first book launches in about a month, and she is previewing its contents to help drum up interest.
On the topic of Jan. 6, the Rome Republican frames the rioters as peaceful Trump protesters. She says they were egged on by Antifa and undercover agents, a claim refuted by the FBI. She also describes her GOP colleagues’ actions that day as heroic, “while the Democrats reacted in weakness and cowardice.”
In another passage, Greene writes that Republicans from swing districts are standing in the way of a conservative agenda. She calls out Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Dan Newhouse of Washington and David Valadao of California as lawmakers she believes would be hesitant to support her proposal to wipe Trump’s impeachments from the public record.
She omits mention of questions about whether Congress has the legal authority to do so.
Greene plans a book tour after the Nov. 21 launch. She intends to sign copies at Trump campaign rallies around the nation. The former president gave remarks included in the book’s introduction, such as “Her America First credentials are forged in steel, and with fighters like her, we will Make America Great Again.”
WILLIS’ FUTURE. A recent social media post from former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin raised an interesting question: What’s next for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis?
Willis has already announced her plans to run for reelection to her current post in 2024. But beyond winning a second term as DA, Willis’ ambitions remain anyone’s guess. Her national profile would make her a blockbuster fundraiser for higher office, but there’s no telling when the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies might end.
“Move over world! I am ready to support Fulton DA for re-election,” Franklin wrote. “Or support her for whatever position she seeks.”
The top comment on Franklin’s post said, “We’ve got to think bigger! Let’s move her across the street on the hill, under the Gold Dome. First African American and first woman governor.”
Georgia, of course, will have a wide open governor’s race in 2026, as the incumbent, Brian Kemp, is term-limited.
TODAY IN WASHINGTON:
- President Joe Biden awards the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Later, he and first lady Jill Biden will greet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner upon their arrival to the White House.
- U.S. House Republicans conduct a series of secret-ballot votes to whittle eight candidates for speaker to a final choice.
- The U.S. Senate is back in session but no votes are scheduled.
Credit: Jenni Girtman for the AJC
Credit: Jenni Girtman for the AJC
MUSLIM GEORGIANS. Politico Magazine has a lengthy feature interview this week with state Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes, the first-term Democrat from Lawrenceville, about her role in the Muslim-American community in the wake of the war between Israel and Hamas.
Islam Parkes told reporter Alexander Burns the current environment mirrors the period after the September 11 attacks for Muslim Americans.
“Emotions are very raw right now. Listening to my community and how they're feeling in this moment: They feel otherized, they feel left behind. I'm listening to parents who are worried about their kids that are potentially going to be bullied. People worried about losing their jobs. Folks are in fear of their safety."
- Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes, D-Lawrenceville, in Politico
LOVE SHACK. The White House will be movin’ and groovin’ Wednesday night. Iconic Athens new wave group the B-52s will provide the entertainment as President Joe Biden hosts Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for a formal dinner at his “funky little shack.”
The AJC’s Rodney Ho reports three original members of the band — Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson — are scheduled to perform. Guitarist Ricky Wilson died of AIDS-related illness in 1985. Keith Strickland, the band’s original drummer who switched to guitar after Wilson’s death, is now retired from touring.
The group formed in 1976, taking its name from the slang for the bouffant hairdos the female band members wore. Their signature song, the aforementioned “Love Shack,” is Jolter Tia Mitchell’s karaoke go-to to bring the house down.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Albanese is “an avowed 1980′s music fan.”
DOG OF THE DAY. We’re featuring a few of the still-adoptable dogs we met at first lady Marty Kemp’s pet adoption day over the weekend. Today, it’s Lasko.
This sweet Labrador-bulldog mix had one of the saddest backstories we heard, having been abandoned after a previous owner tried to neuter him on their own. After two weeks at Auburn University’s veterinary hospital and a lot of TLC from Hearts & Homes Rescue in Nashville, Georgia, Lasko is now a tail-wagging friend to all. If Lasko looks like your new best pal, you can reach out to Hearts & Homes directly.
Send us your dogs of any political persuasion and location, and cats on a cat-by-cat basis, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM us at @MurphyAJC.
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