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The DC: Supreme Court declines to hear Planned Parenthood case, and... 🤫 Do "hush money" payments violate campaign finance laws?

by Countable | 12.10.18

Welcome to Tuesday, donkeys, elephants, and donkey-headed elephants...

The Supreme Court won't consider state efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. SCOTUS' newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, cast the deciding vote.

The case was brought by Republican-led states that were seeking to block Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's reproductive health services. (Federal law already prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving funds for abortion-related services.)

Three of the court's conservatives – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch – dissented, arguing SCOTUS should enter this legal fight.

“These cases are not about abortion rights. They are about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act,” said Justice Thomas. “Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty.”

Should states be allowed to block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood?

On the Radar

  • President Trump argued Monday that any payments to buy the silence of women about alleged affairs weren't illegal campaign contributions - as federal prosecutors contend - but rather a "simple private transaction." Trump's tweets sought to counter assertions made by his former attorney Michael Cohen in legal filings Friday. The president averred the payments were only being scrutinized because Democrats have been unable to find evidence of collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia. Do you think Trump violated campaign finance laws?

Under the Radar

  • A nine-year-old Coloradoan has successfully convinced the town of Severance to overturn its archaic ban on snowball fights. The no-snowball law was part of an 1920 ordinance that forbids the throwing of “missiles” or stones at people, animals, trees, or property. “The children of Severance want the opportunity to have a snowball fight like the rest of the world,” Dane Best argued, according to local newspaper The Greeley Tribune. “The law was created many years ago. Today’s kids need a reason to play outside.” The town agreed. Do you support towns banning snowball fights?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.

The House of Representatives: In

The Senate: In

  • Voting on the confirmation of Justin Muzinich to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

What You're Saying

Here's how you're answering Should Indian Tribes Have More Freedom to Develop Energy on Their Lands?

(Follow Linda's comment here.)

(Follow Virginia's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Before bills and nominations are brought up for a passage vote in Congress, they typically have to be considered and approved by relevant committees.

We take a thorough look at the hearings Congressional committees will be holding this week in our Committee Watch, but here are a few we're watching extra closely:

  • On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to conduct oversight of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 10am
  • On Wednesday, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold an oversight hearing titled “Missing and Murdered: Confronting the Silent Crisis in Indian Country”. 2:30pm
  • On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing to adopt several classified and unclassified committee reports9am

What are you watching this week? Let us know what to cover here.

Enjoy Countable while collecting Kibbles 'n Bits as you celebrate National App Day and Holiday Food Drive for Needy Animals Day,

—Josh Herman

Talk to Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(41)
  • KansasTamale
    12/11/2018
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    Thank goodness. Planned Parenthood is how many women get healthcare. I’m happily surprised at the Supreme Court.

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  • Betty
    12/11/2018
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    Protect Planned Parenthood’s health services to women, female gynecological health services and birth control are utilized by many low income women. The services are a very important for women’s health. Continue funding these services and stop attacks on women’s health.

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  • Revohlution
    12/11/2018
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    The day men’s body autonomy no longer belongs to them is the day our rights as women can be questioned. How about castrating all male sex offenders? How about forced vasectomy for all men who’s wives don’t want kids? Sterilize them at the age of 40 so they can’t have kids with a higher risk of medical conditions? Nobody would ever expect a man to have to deal with laws regarding what he can do with his body. This is how it should be with women as well. We are equals. Men hold the power no longer. Wives who believe they must “submit unto their husbands” do not speak for women as a whole. Religion and politics do NOT belong together, they are separate matters. Furthermore, Brett Kavanaugh should have never gotten the SCOTUS seat to begin with, it’s evident that he cares nothing about the wellbeing of women, being the rapist he is.

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  • Chris
    12/11/2018
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    Yes, hush money payments six weeks before the election violate campaign finance law. That’s why Trump has lied about it, come up with half s dozen cover stories, and blamed it on Cohen. The larger question is, when will our Republican legislators stop playing the fool and pay attention?

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  • Dave
    12/11/2018
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    Another Republican-led states seeking to block Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's reproductive health services to women. Is it just me that see the republican hate women and their health issues. It is easy to be a man, they don't carry a child for 9 months, recovered from giving birth, breastfeed and care for the child or have laws about their bodies, but they are willing to tell you how to live and what you can do with your body! Women need to start telling republicans, religious groups and anyone else to stuff it.

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  • Colleen
    12/11/2018
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    A woman has a right to take care of HER body parts. If she wants to get her tubes tied or even have her uterus removed, it is her choice. She should not have the right to kill another human being. why should my tax dollars pay for something that I consider murder? Birth control should be free and covered under medicaid. Abortion should not be considered a form of birth control. There is no way that planned parent hood would not use state money for abortions. They would find a way around it. Unfortunately, I live in a state where the governor thinks it’t perfectly fine to kill a full term baby minutes before birth. This governor and his minions do not care about the unborn, so we will have to pay for it

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  • kbondee
    12/11/2018
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    I do not advocate for funds given by the Medicaid program ever be used for abortive procedures but if funding goes strictly toward sex education and unplanned family prevention ( sex education, birth control contraceptives, condoms, STI testing and HIV treatment and prevention) then I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision.

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  • David
    12/11/2018
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    President Obama had to pay a fine for $2.4 million in campaign finance violations. If Trump’s $200 thousand in payments can actually be proven to be violations (hard to prove) then a fine scaled down from Obama’s $2.4 million seems fair. Also, Congress has a tax payer funded multimillion dollar hush money account to pay off their sexual “mistakes” with other people — if Trump’s payouts are campaign finance violations then certainly Congress’ payouts are too!

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  • J
    12/11/2018
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    Of course hush money is a campaign contribution. If it were a simple transaction, why didn’t he pay his bills sooner? Oh yes, he doesn’t pay his bills until he has to, like when he’s running a campaign.

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  • SirRobert
    12/11/2018
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    This is exactly why Kavanaugh should not have been confirmed! When Trump is thrown out of office all of his appointments should lose their positions as well!

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  • Lesia
    12/11/2018
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    Yes paying hush money at any time is an attempt to cover something up. People who use it need to be investigated and held accountable. And Planned Parenthood provides care for poor women across America and they don’t use state or federal funds for abortions so all u good Christians feel free to mi d your own business.

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  • JayinNC
    12/14/2018
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    Yes and trump should be made to pay as a felon

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  • Ray
    12/11/2018
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    Hush campaign money is a felony, period.

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  • Wallace
    12/12/2018
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    “Hush money “ payments violate the very spirit of campaign finance laws. In Trump’s case he may have bought the Presidency!!!!! Of course they are illegal!!!!!

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  • Leda
    12/12/2018
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    Must protect and fund Planned Parenthood, it’s about comprehensive women’s health, prevention, education.

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  • J. scott
    12/11/2018
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    Good it’s total nonsense anyway.

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  • Smith1189
    12/11/2018
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    I am displeased with the decision to not have the SCOTUS hear the argument for defunding “planned parenthood!” It should be completely abolished!

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  • Courtney
    12/11/2018
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    Thank goodness.

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  • Caren
    12/11/2018
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    Plain and simple—defund Planned Parenthood! If hush money is wrong for Republicans then it is just as wrong for Democrats! That’s what the basis of this question is posed by Countable. Hillary Clinton has a long trail of criminal activity and no doubt a lot of hush money. She and Comey should have jail cells prepared for them!

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  • Jerome
    12/11/2018
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    Planned parenthood operates its “ wellness” services on the back of abortions and selling of fetal tissue . Many other organizations could perform these services. Unfortunately, defunding planned parenthood would not stop taxpayer funded abortions. Many states use Obamacare money to pay for them. See obamacareabortion.com

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