A federal judge blocked a pro-life law Tuesday that would have banned almost all abortions in Arkansas, calling the law an “imminent threat” to women seeking abortions.
Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction blocking authorities from enforcing the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act until she issues a final ruling, according to the Washington Post. The law was set to go into effect July 28.
The Department of Justice argued in court filings Thursday that transgender legislation passed in West Virginia and Arkansas is unconstitutional.
The DOJ filed statements of interest supporting lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against West Virginia’s House Bill 3293 and Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act.
The West Virginia bill bans biological males at public schools from participating in women’s sports in middle school, high school, and college. The SAFE Act prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors.
Arkansas became the latest state to pass a series of voting reforms this week, sending multiple bills to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.
The bills, overwhelmingly passed by the state’s Republican legislature, focus on in-person and absentee voting, while a third transfers additional authority to county election commissioners instead of local clerks. Hutchinson has not publicly said whether he plans to sign them.
The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1715 Tuesday, which prohibits clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters and requires them to report how many absentee ballot applications they receive each day. It also requires a voter’s signature to match their signature from when they first registered to vote, and forbids county clerks from providing a ballot if they do not match.
Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill Monday that would have made the state the first in the nation to restrict gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors.
Hutchison suggested the bill was well intended but called it a “vast government overreach.”
Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.
The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) signed a bill into law on Thursday that banned so-called “transgender” athletes from competing in sports for women and girls, as reported by ABC News.
Hutchinson’s office released a statement addressing the new law, declaring that “this law simply says that female athletes should not have to compete in a sport against a student of the male sex when the sport is designed for women’s competition…I agree with the intention of this law. This will help promote and maintain fairness in women’s sporting events.”
A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.
The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former press secretary to President Donald Trump, announced Monday that she will run for governor of Arkansas.
Sanders, an Arkansas native and daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, announced her decision in a recorded message, discussing her time in the Trump administration and criticizing the “radical left.”