June 25, 2015

Abbott sues Obama again, loses again — #Obamacare #bigotry #SCOTUS

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who as the state's attorney general, non-jokingly described his work day as waking up and suing Obama, has made a history of losing more such cases than he's won.

Add in another direct loss, and an indirect one.

The indirect loss was over the "state" language and funding of exchanges in Obamacare. Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the original 5-4 majority in rejecting a suit by four Virginia wingnuts.

Texas was not part of this suit, but Abbott is perhaps even a bigger Obamacare hater than his predecessor, Rick Perry, so he still felt the need to release a statement:

“The Supreme Court abandoned the Constitution to resuscitate a failing healthcare law. Today’s action underscores why it is now more important than ever to ensure we elect a President who will repeal Obamacare and enact real healthcare reforms.”
So much for some pundits wishing that tea partier types would drop this charade.

And, Greg, you want real health care reform? So do I. It's called a national health system.

Other than the lies about O-care failing, let's move on to a case Abbott directly lost.

Because, it does involve bigotry.

It involved whether or not discriminatory intent had to be proven in order to sue over fair housing claims, specifically whether discrimination suits could be launched over disparate impacts.

The case started with the city of Dallas and its' essentially segregation-producing distribution of housing vouchers. Now, Dallas, and Texas big cities, are in general not alone in doing this.

When the Fifth Circuit ruled disparate impacts were grounds for suit and sent the case back to district court, then the state of Texas, led by then-AG Abbott, jumped in.

And today, lost in the Supreme Court, as Kennedy authored a 5-4 majority that was by no means a given. "Surprisingly," Abbott has no press release about this.

That said, Kennedy, as the author of the opinion, made clear that "disparate impacts" weren't unlimited, including requiring the naming of specific policies causing such impact. Kennedy in general seemed to be using his opinion to offer hints to local housing authorities and others to make a best effort to self-check, and get community feedback, before going too far down the road of awards of new housing vouchers or projects in the first place. More thoughts on the case here.

But, given that disparate impacts have been allowed elsewhere, this was the correct ruling. And, his knee-jerk opposition is why Abbott is Texas' chief money waster.

And yes, given the link I posted about the fair housing case, it is fair to accuse Abbott of bigotry on this, given previous federal court rulings elsewhere on disparate impact issues.

Don't wave your Latina/ Mexican-American wife in my face, either.

This is a big issue. It is a tool to make sure people getting public housing assistance aren't ... "redlined," whether that's conscious intent or not. In light of Ferguson and Baltimore, this may not have immediate impact, but in decades ahead, it may be another part of reducing racial tension in metropolitan areas.

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