The American Lung Association is bringing a clean-air case to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear a case this October on climate issues. Specifically, the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This rule is designed to force "upwind" states to take responsibility for the pollution they emit that lands in other states. It makes sense, right?

From: Trinity ConsultantsU.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of dismantling the rule in favor of dirty power plant operators. I mean, I'm sure they aren't personally dirty but they do represent the interests of fossil fuel advocates who don't want to be held liable for pollution. 

The promise of action of climate change has been up in the air for a while, and Obama has finally taken a firm stand (even if it was just as firmly ignored by most TV networks). But almost immediately following his speech the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the climate rule that was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that forces "upwind" states to enact tougher regulations on polluters whose emissions drag down air quality in "downwind" states. Seems reasonable, right? Grist reports that the Court of Appeals took the side of high-pollution power plant owners whose general argument was, "Not my problem."

It's called the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and losing it would cost the nation dearly in 2014.

  • 13,000 - 34,000 pollution related deaths
  • 1.8 million sick days
  • 400,000 asthma attacks
  • $280 billion lost in benefits


Choppy waters ahead

The Supreme Court, and many other higher courts have been so pro-business in recent years that its actions have come under the scrutiny of Elizabeth Warren. To boot, since Justice Roberts' appointment to Chief Justice, the Supreme Court has become less and less open to environmental action. Just look at the blows environmentalists took in 2009!

Threatening to put the lives of thousands of people at greater risk in the name of a few less climate regulations is irresponsible. We haven't been shy about calling out big business on their efforts to overwhelm the American people. Check out our other posts on big business and climate change!

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Categories: Environment Big Business

Howard Dean's Take on the Past 24 Hours @ SCOTUS

Yesterday's historic Supreme Court decision was a blessing for thousands of gay men and women in the country -- but for folks in Virginia, Ohio, and 35 other states, real change could be a long ways off.

Equal marriage is now back in the hands of the states. And too many of those states are controlled by right-wing nut jobs like Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who argued that gay marriage inevitably leads to polygamy.

Extremists like Cuccinelli are holding our whole country back. That's why DFA launched our Purple to Blue project -- to start moving us forward again, one state at a time.

Organizers are already in Virginia, winning primaries with strong, progressive candidates. They need your support of $4 or more today to carry the fight into November.

It's not just about LGBT rights. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act, giving Republican governors the freedom to suppress voters and gerrymander districts with abandon. Later that same day, the country was captivated by Texas as one courageous female state senator almost singlehandedly turned back the biggest attack on women's rights yet.

These battles are being fought in all fifty states, and the attacks won't stop until we retake control of state capitols across the country. That's why DFA's commitment to a fifty-state strategy is so important -- and why your support is so critical.

We've already won our first wave of primaries in Virginia -- your donation of $4 or more right now will fuel our campaign as as we head toward November.

Thank you for all you do,


Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Founder, Democracy for America

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Categories: LGBT Women Voting Rights

What you didn't see: DOMA being struck down already saved this family

10:00am: DOMA is struck down

10:30am: A New York City immigration judge stopped the deportation proceedings that would split up Steven and Sean, a gay couple who were married in New York.


Steven is from Colombia, and when he married his partner Sean in New York last year, they also joined the fight against DOMA. The case to keep Steven in the US, and with his partner was saved when the law was considered unconstitutional.

From The DOMA Project:

This morning our intern, Gabe, ran the 77-page ruling and delivered it the Immigration Court five blocks from our office. It was still warm from the printer.

The ruling was delivered, and the immigration judge stopped the proceedings.

Sean and Steven may be the very first binational couple effected by the repeal of DOMA

Even with DOMA repealed, the fight still needs to be taken to the states. Add your voice, and pledge to elect pro-equality legislators!  

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Categories: LGBT

Texas Republicans fight dirty to restrict access to abortion

When Governor Perry originally called for a special session of the state legislature, it wasn't about abortion. Instead, it was about redistricting. A special session does play by different rules though, and GOP lawmakers went on the attack. 

From: ThinkProgressTimeline, and just what happened:

  • Perry calls for a special session after the Texas redistricting proposal is shot down by Washington for racial discrimination.
  • With two weeks remaining in the session, anti-abortion legislation is proposed.
  • Democrats are locked out of the amendment process
    • This even makes it difficult to add an exception for rape and incest. No, really, Texas lawmakers are actually clueless about the issue.
  • Facing defeat, House Democrats in Texas sought to use parliamentary moves to delay the bill, pointing out flaws in paperwork and even showing up late to debates.
  • The House passes the bill, and now Senate Democrats are moving to filibuster.

What's in the bill:

  • New rules on how abortion providers can run clinics, which would ultimately close down 37 out of 42 clinics across the state, leaving much of the state without coverage.
    • Chiefly that abortion providers must have privileges at a local hospital - something many hospitals restrict for religious reasons or to avoid protests and controversy
      • No, it's not an accident that this tactic is exploited
  • A ban after 20 weeks, which is a move seen in 8 other states (notably, North Dakota put in a ban after 12 weeks - a move currently facing the courts)

Just how uninformed are Texas lawmakers?

To find out, just check out this quote:
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, faced pointed questioning from Democrats opposing the bill. She opposed amendments to makes exceptions for victims of rape or incest and to rely on the latest, peer-reviewed medical studies for making legal decisions. 
"The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development," Laubenberg said in rejecting new exceptions to the measure. "What I would like to do is raise the standard. You have clinics that are out there already at that standard of care and all I'm asking is that we raise the others to that level." (Source)

No, really, the bill's sponsor believes that rape kits are a form of abortion. 

The GOP's War on Women only seems to be getting started. The moves in Texas come right off the heels of the explosive Senate debate in Wisconsin, and the extreme bill just passed by the House of Representatives

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