Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa speaks out about unimaginable grief

first_imgFebruary 11, 2020 /Sports News – National Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa speaks out about unimaginable grief Beau Lund FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailAxelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has opened up about her grief in the wake of her family’s unimaginable loss. In an Instagram post Monday, Vanessa Bryant wrote that she’s been “reluctant to put my feelings into words” but wanted to share her experiences in case anybody in a similar situation could relate. Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. Kobe Bryant was 41 years old; Gianna, whom loved ones called “Gigi,” was 13. “My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time,” Vanessa Bryant wrote. “It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live.”Vanessa Bryant, 37, married the NBA star in 2001, when she was 18 years old and he was 22. Together they had four daughters: Natalia, 17, Gigi, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Gigi, by all accounts, was following in her father’s footsteps, and had aspirations to play basketball professionally. In the days after the crash, Vanessa Bryant thanked the public for their outpouring of support, and wrote that she’s taken comfort in “knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved.” Still, the dichotomy of raising three children while in mourning has been difficult, she added. “I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri,” she wrote. “God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.” A public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will be held on the morning of Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The date reflects the basketball jersey numbers worn by Kobe (24) and Gianna (2).Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.center_img Written bylast_img read more


first_imgWe hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? IS IT TRUE that the Honorable Vanderburgh County Circuit Court Judge for Vanderburgh County David D. Kiely is running unopposed for re-election?  …we feel that he should be unopposed because he has done an outstanding job as the Circuit Court Judge for Vanderburgh County?  …we recommend that you give him a complimentary vote on election day?IS IT TRUE that the following Vanderburgh County Superior Court Judges are also running for re-election as unopposed candidates?  …they are the Honorable-Margaret Lloyd (Chief Judge), Honorable-Brett Neimeier, Honorable Robert J. Tornatta, and the Honorable Wayne S. Trockman? …although they are running unopposed for re-election we urge you to give them a complimentary vote by pulling their lever because they are doing a great job for the citizens of this community?IS IT TRUE that word at the Civic Center is that the State Board Of Accounts (SBOA) has informed members of the Winnecke Administration that a new State Law has been passed that gives Governmental entities six (6) months to find a remedy to correct the problems of overdrawn city accounts?  …we also been told that if a Governmental entity doesn’t find a remedy for correcting an overdrawn account funds problem that the elected officials of that governmental entity could be punished by impeachment?IS IT TRUE we wonder how the City Of Evansville can balance the current city budget when account balances haven’t been balanced in 10 to 11 months?  …we also wonder how our city officials are going to create an accurate city budget for 2019 if the 2018 city budget is completely out of balance?IS IT TRUE we are monitoring the State Board Of Account (SBOA) website because we expect that within one (1) week to a month they will be posting the results of the most recent audit they did on the City of Evansville?  …soon as they do we will post it on our site for the world to see?  …we have been told that this audit shall be an extremely interesting read?IS IT TRUE the revelation that Evansville City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr., CPA hasn’t paid the $369,000 in Victory Theater bills for 2017 has really got the attention of many people except for members of the Evansville City Council?  ..we wonder why City Council members haven’t directly comforted City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr, CPA on why he took $369,000 from the 2018 city budget to pay for the operating expenses of the Victory Theater for 2017?  …we wonder why City Council hasn’t publically questioned City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr., CPA how he’s going to find the money to pay for the Victory Theater bills for 2018? IS IT  TRUE we hear that several new candidates vying for a seat on the Evansville City Council in the upcoming 2019 election wonder why the Victory Theater transaction hasn’t inspired members of the Evansville City Council to look into and see if any other questionable financial transactions that have been made by the City of Evansville during the 2018 City budget year?IS IT TRUE the bottom line is that members of City Council are the stewards of the public trust and should start acting like it? …it’s time that the taxpayers of Evansville demand that a public dialogue begin between City Council members, City Controller Russ Lloyd, Jr., CPA and Mayor Winnecke concerning the real financial status of the Evansville? …if they don’t we are told that members of the Evansville City Council and Mayor Winnecke can expect that this will be a major re-election issue in 2019? IS IT TRUE the Redevelopment Commission and the Vanderburgh County Commissioners recently passed a new road and trails project ordinance that enhances the North Burkhardt Road TIF area?  …that some of the new roads and trail projects are located within the City limits of Evansville and the Evansville City Council must also approve these projects in order for this ordinance to pass?  …if approved the proposed $15 Million dollars project will allow both the City and County to widen roads to make them safer, install new handicap accessible sidewalks, create a better quality of life for the people living in that area, will provide more green space and create a new pathways to the Deaconess Sports Park and improve additional public transportation offerings to North Green River Road, Kansas Road, Oak Hill Road, Boonville New Harmony Road, Heckel Road areas?IS IT TRUE that the Evansville City Council recently passed the above TIF enhancement ordinance on first reading and scheduled to vote on the final reading on Monday, October 8? ….we are told that a couple of Vanderburgh County Council members oppose the above TIP projects ordinance for unexplained reasons? …we look forward to hearing their reasons why? …this looks like a developing story?IS IT TRUE we are hearing that the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor race is heating up?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that Judge Brett Kavanaugh FBI investigation will clear him of any wrongdoing?If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected]: City-County Observer Comment Policy.  Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site. We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

A poet’s own epitaphs

first_imgIn late August, the world lost poet Seamus Heaney, who died in his native Ireland at age 74. Harvard also lost this modest, tender, ebullient man who first arrived to teach in 1979, setting off a series of academic appointments that officially ended in 2006.In the midst of them, Heaney won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.His death was marked Thursday by a service of remembrances and readings sponsored by the Department of English. Heaney’s appointments were there, first as a visiting professor, then as the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory (1985-1997), and then as the Ralph Waldo Emerson Poet in Residence (1998-2006).It was a chilly, rainy late afternoon — Irish weather — and the pews at Memorial Church were nearly full. Present were those “who loved Seamus on and off the page,” said Peter Sacks, Harvard’s John P. Marquand Professor of English.The eulogies were many, but nearly all were delivered by Heaney himself, in verse read by admirers who delivered the word-borne tremor, surprise, and power for which his work is known. He is “the person we loved,” said Sacks, “and love.”“His poetry and his friendship were his greatest gifts,” said English Professor Nicholas Watson, who offered the memorial’s welcoming remarks.In the audience were the poet’s widow, Marie, along with the three Heaney children, Christopher, Michael, and Catherine Ann.The first poem read was “The Master,” which hints at Heaney’s modesty, hard work, and the prosaic tools he used to craft his timeless words:a page at a time, and it was nothingArcane, just the old rulesWe all had inscribed on our slates.Last read was a selection from “Lightenings,” Heaney’s oblique elegy for his own father, whose death was both plain and powerful. The poem reflects the earthbound view of a poet who grew up proudly next to a farmyard, where life and death make their routine and resonant passages. “And after the commanded journey, what?” the poem asks. “Just old truth dawning: there is no next-time-round.”Close friend Helen Vendler, Harvard’s A. Kingsley Porter University Professor, read that last poem, and the one before it, too, a selection from “Clearances,” the last of a series of elegies Heaney wrote for his mother. “He discovered,” Vendler said, that “an absence can be brighter than a presence.”Deep planted and long gone, my coevalChestnut from a jam jar in a hole,Its heft and hush become a bright nowhere,A soul ramifying and forever Silent, beyond silence listened for.Heaney hewed to the reality of the deaths around him, and absorbed them into his poetry. But at the memorial service, the joyful man was present too — the one who climbed trees in Harvard Yard, who stood on chairs to recite poetry, who reveled in friends, and who, of an evening, would slip outside his lodgings at Adams House to enjoy a good cigar in solitude.“Mourning does not easily become this poetry,” Watson told those assembled. “You will find it impossible not to rejoice.”Starting in 1981, Heaney stayed at Adams as an associate during his Harvard teaching visits, where he happily made house in a plain and monkish room. “I think he liked the spare simplicity,” said former House Master Robert Kiely, whose remembrances of Heaney provided the memorial’s sole extended narrative. Such rooms, he said, “were only a step up from the founding fathers” of Puritan Harvard.When Heaney’s wife visited, she would bring flowers for the single table. Kiely said the spare room “made them feel like newlyweds.”Death and loss and transient life and what he called the ecstasy of childhood’s “illiterate solitude” all played a role in Heaney’s verse. Marriage did too, as a way to revive in poetry “the discarded myth of love lasting forever,” said Elaine Scarry, the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and General Theory of Value. In one of her courses, she devotes a week to what the culture at large might see as counterintuitive: “love poems to a married woman” from her husband.She read “The Clothes Shrine,” a poem to the “whole new sweetness” of early marriage. It is also a testament to Heaney’s lifelong genius for seeing the moving in the mundane.It was a whole new sweetnessIn the early days to findLight white muslin blousesOn a see-through nylon lineDrip-drying in the bathroomPoet Jorie Graham, Harvard’s present-day Boylston Professor of Oratory and Rhetoric, touched on the same celebration of married love. She read “The Underground.” “Honeymooning,” one line reads, “mooning around, late for the Proms.” The poem begins:There we were in the vaulted tunnel running,You in your going-away coat speeding aheadAnd me, me then like a fleet god gainingUpon you before you turned to a reedThe readings included a ninth century poem in Old Irish and a selection from “Beowulf” in Old English, complete in both cases with Heaney’s translations. Hearing the ancient languages the poet was tuned to was like hearing the magic of lost music.But it was Kiely’s Adams House reminiscences that brought the gathered crowd back to much of the reason why there was a memorial service at Harvard: because Heaney loved the place, for both the solitude and the society it gave him.Kiely remembered the St. Patrick’s Day tea every year at his Apthorp House residence. It was an excuse for Heaney to invite over friends who could play the pennywhistle and for him to stand on chairs to recite poetry, “not because of the attention he was getting,” said Kiely, “but because of the attention poetry was getting.”Heaney loved words, wordplay, play, and music. So he would have loved the piano, violin, and voice pieces interspersed with the readings. Included was the premiere of “Kinship, IV,” written for the occasion by pianist, conductor, and composer Matthew Aucoin ’12 and sung by soprano Sol Kim-Bentley, an English Department faculty assistant. (In two other musical interludes, Keir GoGwilt ’13 was the violinist.)Heaney loved telling a good story. Kiely remembered this one:One night the poet was driving through the Irish countryside when a patrolman stopped him for speeding. Heaney fumbled for his license and could not find it. Impatient, the policeman shone his flashlight inside the car.“Do you have any way of proving who you are?”On the front seat, Heaney found an envelope addressed to him and handed it over. The patrolman looked at it and asked, “The poet?”He got a nod. “Drive on,” said the patrolman.“I love that story,” said Kiely. “Only in Ireland.”last_img read more

Joshua Johnston Follows in Mom Patti LuPone’s Acting Footsteps in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

first_imgLike mother, like son! Joshua Johnston, son of two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone, is currently performing at the Pearl Theatre in The Acting Company’s repertory productions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Hamlet. LuPone, who is a founding member of the celebrated theater company, must surely be the proudest mama in all the land to see her son continuing the family tradition. The productions, directed by Tony winner John Rando (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) and Acting Company artistic director Ian Belknap (Hamlet), recently celebrated their official openings, which LuPone wouldn’t have missed for the world. Check out photographer Bruce Glikas’ snapshot of Johnston and the company on opening night. Congratulations, Joshua! Patti LuPone View Commentscenter_img Star Fileslast_img read more

The Bodyguard & More Set for Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2016-17 Season

first_imgDeborah Cox We wanna dance with somebody! The Bodyguard will make its long-awaited U.S. premiere as part of Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2016-17 season. Directed by Thea Sharrock, with choreography by Karen Bruce, the tuner will kick off its previously reported national tour at the buzzy venue, headlined by Deborah Cox.Based on the hit movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, and adapted by Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), The Bodyguard had its world premiere in London’s West End in 2012, where it is slated to return this summer. The show features classic hits including “Queen of the Night,” “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time,” “Saving All My Love,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “Run to You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “I Will Always Love You.” The Paper Mill incarnation will run November 25 through January 1, 2017.Other productions that will bow at the buzzy New Jersey theater include The Producers (September 28 through October 23), A Comedy of Tenors (February 1, 2017 through February 26), Million Dollar Quartet ((March 29 through April 23) and Mary Poppins (May 24 through June 25). View Commentslast_img read more

Deer Park Police Car Crash Wounds 2 Boys

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Suffolk County police officer crashed his patrol car into two boys, wounding them, after another car crashed into the police cruiser in Deer Park on Sunday evening.A Second Precinct Police Officer was driving northbound on Deer Park Avenue when his vehicle was struck by a southbound Toyota Camry that made a left turn in front of him at the corner of Lake Avenue at 6:40 p.m., police said.The patrol car then veered onto the sidewalk, where it struck two boys—cousins ages 8 and 12, both from Hicksville—who were with an adult waiting to cross the street to go to a nearby pizzeria, police said.The younger boy was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition with a soft tissue injury. The older boy was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he was listed in stable condition with an isolated ankle injury. The adult was not injured.The police officer suffered a non-life-threatening concussion. The driver of the Toyota was not injured.First Precinct detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this crash to call them at 631-854-8152.last_img read more

Mobile banking tops internet banking: Malauzai

first_imgConsumers said they prefer mobile banking over Internet banking, and Android device users login to mobile banking more frequently than iPhone users, according to Malauzai Software’s February Monkey Insights report.The report from the Austin, Texas-based mobile and Internet banking provider highlighted key trends based on data from 350-plus banks and credit unions. It also covered seven million logins from more than 400,000 active Internet and mobile banking users. continue reading » 37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

The Most Important Abortion Case You Never Heard About

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Nina Martin ProPublicaEveryone considers Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion, to be the most important ruling ever on the issue by the Supreme Court. But this year, a lesser-known progeny of Roe occupies center stage in potentially the most momentous abortion case confronting the justices in a generation. After Roe established abortion rights, Planned Parenthood v. Casey reined them in, creating a new legal standard that gave states greater leeway to regulate the procedure. Many conservative legislatures took advantage to enact a series of increasingly tough laws that reproductive rights advocates argue have made it more difficult — and sometimes impossible — for women to obtain abortions. One of those states was Texas, which in 2013 enacted H.B. 2, an omnibus bill whose multiple provisions include restrictions, known as TRAP laws, targeting abortion providers. Now the Supreme Court is being asked to decide the constitutionality of two of these laws — one requiring clinics to meet the same building codes as other types of outpatient surgical centers, the other requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles — that have already shut down more than half of the state’s 41 clinics and could close 8 more. When the court holds oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt this week, the signs that protesters wave and the chants they chant will likely focus on Roe, but the outcome of the case will hinge on how justices interpret PP v. Casey. Abortion rights advocates contend the Texas rules are “sham” laws that pretend to protect women’s health while erecting so many hurdles — what PP v. Casey calls an “undue burden” — that abortion becomes “an abstract right that doesn’t have any meaning,” in the words of Stephanie Toti, a Center for Reproductive Rights attorney representing the clinics. Abortion foes insist that TRAP laws have a genuine medical purpose. They want the court to abandon the “undue burden” standard and allow lawmakers to pass abortion regulations as long as they have a “rational basis,” without having to prove that the laws actually benefit women. If the court goes along, it could have a sweeping impact on access to abortion across the country, but especially in conservative states in the South and Midwest, triggering not just a new wave of TRAP laws but other types of restrictions as well. PP v. Casey was decided in 1992, a time of many political parallels to today. Here is the background to the most important abortion decision you may never have heard about.The Rise of Incrementalism In the period immediately following Roe, abortion opponents mobilized and pushed for a federal constitutional amendment declaring that a fetus was a “person” entitled to “equal protection” under the 14th Amendment. But those efforts stalled. Abortion opponents began arguing for a new, pragmatic strategy known as “incrementalism.” Instead of attempting to overturn Roe outright, “you would argue that certain abortion restrictions and regulations were compatible with Roe,” said Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University and author of “After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate”. The idea was “to chip away at abortion rights until Roe was so incoherent and so full of holes that courts would finally get rid of it.” The approach required “an accurate understanding of political power, an assessment of what is politically achievable, [and] recognition of the imperfect world in which we live,” Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel for Americans United for Life, a key of architect of anti-abortion strategies, wrote in a law review article around that time. That translated into retail politics on the state level, the election of anti-abortion candidates, the passage of model legislation and the defense of those new laws in court. The approach was extremely effective: By the late 1980s, states had enacted dozens of restrictions. Moreover, the political makeup of the Supreme Court had turned more conservative, and the court’s jurisprudence on abortion had become splintered and, to some, confused. Forsythe, though, could read the tea leaves: The justices seemed ready to show “greater deference to state abortion laws — quite a contrast from the Roe decision.” The Pennsylvania LawThe battles over the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act were a prime example of incrementalism in action. A version of the law passed in 1982 was largely struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court four years later. But instead of giving up on the law, legislators amended it; the version signed by Gov. Robert Casey Sr. in 1989 included a 24-hour waiting period, informed consent rules for women seeking abortions, parental consent rules for minors and a requirement that married women notify their husbands before terminating a pregnancy. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers challenged these rules, too. But this time, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld all the provisions except spousal notification. Planned Parenthood appealed the case to the high court. Another Nasty Fight for the Supreme CourtConsider the events of 1991–1992. A presidential election loomed; the first war in Iraq was over; racial unrest after the acquittal of four white police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King left Los Angeles in flames. Massive job layoffs led to widespread economic resentment, and a blunt-talking billionaire emerged out of nowhere to become a populist hero and presidential spoiler (this one’s name was Ross Perot). On the abortion front, groups such as Operation Rescue were using aggressive, sometimes violent tactics to block access to abortion clinics. Then, in June 1991, an ailing Justice Thurgood Marshall resigned, touching off an epically ugly Supreme Court fight (although the one to replace Justice Antonin Scalia could make it seem like a model of decorum). Clarence Thomas’s confirmation in October 1991 meant Republican appointees now clearly held the fate of abortion rights in their hands. “Our concern was that when the [Pennsylvania] case went before the Supreme Court, the majority would use this opportunity to go much further [than the Third Circuit appeals court] and say that any law that was rational, including the complete banning of abortion, would be constitutional,” said Kathryn Kolbert, the lead ACLU attorney challenging the Pennsylvania law, who is now director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. That was what many abortion opponents were urging: Indeed, they had been lobbying for the “rational basis” standard since Roe. Figuring that they were going to lose anyway, Kolbert and her allies embarked on what author and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has called “one of the most audacious litigation strategies in Supreme Court history.” Instead of dragging the case out, they opted to “lose fast”: to push the case onto an exceptionally fast track in the hope it would be decided in the middle of the 1992 elections. And instead of making it a fight about Pennsylvania’s incremental law, they cast it as the ultimate showdown over Roe. This would let them take political advantage of the backlash that would ensue if abortion rights were gutted. According to Toobin, the conservative chief justice, William Rehnquist, resented this “transparent” ploy, but the court’s two liberal justices, Roe‘s author Harry Blackmun and John Paul Stevens, supported it and Rehnquist’s hand was forced. The case was argued on the last possible day of the 1991–92 term.Justice Kennedy’s CompromiseA central question facing the justices was whether the state could comply with Roe v. Wade while requiring women to go through additional hoops before getting an abortion. Oral arguments left both sides convinced that abortion rights were in peril; when Blackmun’s papers became public years later, they showed that Rehnquist had drafted an opinion overruling Roe. But then the trio of Republican-appointed moderates — Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter — had second thoughts. Instead of joining Rehnquist, they made a secret deal to thwart him. The PP v. Casey decision, announced in June 1992, was stunning. By a 5–4 vote, the court reaffirmed Roe‘s “essential holding” that the right to abortion was protected by the Constitution. Not only that, the opinion embraced women’s equality as central to the abortion right in a way that Roe had not. With abortion, the liberty of the woman is at stake “in a sense unique to the human condition and so unique to the law,” the decision read. “Her suffering is too intimate and personal for the State to insist … upon its own vision of the woman’s role, however dominant that vision has been in the course of our history and of our culture.” The structure of the ruling was also highly unusual: It was a “plurality” opinion by the three moderates — Kennedy, O’Connor and Souter — with the court’s two liberals agreeing with some parts and disagreeing with others. Kolbert notes that the plurality’s emphasis on “stare decisis,” the principle that courts must follow precedent, was a sign that the justices had understood “the challenge to the institutional integrity of the court was real.” Justice Kennedy in particular “did not want the court to be perceived as changing course” on abortion, Kolbert said, simply because the majority’s ideological balance had shifted. But abortion foes like Paul Linton, later special counsel to the Thomas More Society, noted that a “moral ambiguity” about abortion pervaded the joint opinion, as well as “the nagging sense” that the three justices thought Roe had been wrongly decided but upheld it anyway: “That … does not promote respect for the judiciary, especially in a case where the stakes were so high.” Abortion opponents felt especially betrayed by Kennedy, a dismay that has only grown deeper over the years, as he has authored landmark opinions on gay rights and marriage equality. That’s one reason conservative expectations for the Texas abortion case are much more cautious today than they were for Casey. Kennedy “doesn’t have any clearly defined principles that allow you to predict what he’s going to do in any case, in any area,” said Lynn Wardle, a law professor at Brigham Young University who has written often about same-sex marriage and abortion. “The best test for being able to predict what he will do is to lick your finger and hold it out to the wind.” A Clouded Victory for Abortion RightsEven as PP v. Casey upheld the right to abortion, the plurality opinion took Roe v. Wade apart, starting with its foundation, the trimester framework. Under Roe, states were almost completely banned from regulating abortion during the first trimester. They had more flexibility to pass laws protecting a woman’s health in the second trimester, and they could prohibit most abortions in the third. In contrast, Casey declared, “[T]he State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.” Instead of the trimester approach, Casey established viability — the point at which the fetus can survive outside the womb — as the new dividing line for determining whether an abortion law was valid or not. (When Roe was decided, fetuses weren’t considered viable until 28 weeks, or the third trimester; by 1992, medical advances had pushed the line to around 24 weeks.) Before viability, Casey said, states could only try to persuade a woman not to have an abortion; laws that made it difficult or impossible for her to act on her decision did not pass muster. After viability, though, states could restrict abortions pretty much however they liked. More significantly, Casey also rejected Roe‘s “strict scrutiny” test for evaluating abortion restrictions — a test that had stymied most state efforts to regulate the procedure — replacing it with the looser “undue burden” standard, which Justice O’Connor had proposed in dissents to earlier abortion rulings. An undue burden was defined as any law that had “the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.” Importantly for the pending Texas abortion case, this reasoning applied to medical rules as well as other restrictions: Although “the State may enact regulations to further the health or safety of a woman seeking an abortion,” the court held, “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden.” Still, the court reiterated, just because a law had “the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion” wasn’t enough to invalidate it. Under the new standard, the Pennsylvania rules aimed at giving women more information and time to reflect on their decisions were valid. Only the spousal notification provision was deemed to be an undue burden and thus unconstitutional: “A state may not give to a man the kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their children.”Scalia’s Dissent: “Hopelessly Unworkable”Casey prompted one of Antonin Scalia’s most famous and blistering dissents: The plurality’s reasoning, he fumed, was “really more than one should have to bear.” Much as he disliked Roe, at least the trimester framework laid down clear guidelines, he wrote. In contrast, Casey‘s “undue burden” standard was “created largely out of whole cloth,” “inherently manipulable,” and “hopelessly unworkable,” giving individual judges much more power to inject their own private beliefs into the abortion debate. “Its authors believe they are bringing to an end a troublesome era in the history of our Nation and of our Court,” Scalia scoffed. But he said the abortion wars would only be stoked by “this jurisprudence of confusion” — a view that would help frame the conversation about Casey for the next two decades. More recently, abortion rights advocates have fought back, arguing that Casey‘s reputation as “squishy law” is undeserved and part of a long effort to delegitimitize the undue burden standard, much as critics have sought to undermine Roe. “Excuse me for simplifying, but there’s a there there,” said Reva Siegel, a Yale Law professor who has written extensively on abortion and gender equity. One reason Casey may be so misunderstood: It gave each side half a loaf, so neither embraced it, even though it reflected how most ordinary people felt. The decision “speaks to an America divided by conflict over abortion,” Siegel said. “It’s summoning each side to engage respectfully with the other.”Reshaping the Debate: “Partial Birth” The 18 months or so immediately following Casey “were probably a low point in the history of the pro-life movement,” said Michael New, a conservative pundit and visiting assistant professor at Ave Maria University who has written often about abortion. At first most new restrictions introduced in the states were modeled closely on the Pennsylvania law. Then abortion opponents hit upon the mid–1990s version of last year’s Planned Parenthood videos: the rare but gruesome technique for third-trimester abortions that they dubbed “partial-birth abortion.”A flurry of bans on the procedure re-energized the incrementalists, providing new opportunities “to slowly convince [average] Americans that they’re just as uncomfortable about abortion as pro-life folks are,” Jack Balkin, a professor of constitutional law at Yale University, told PBS’ Frontline in 2005. That meant more chances to challenge not just Roe, but also Casey. Said Forsythe, of Americans United for Life: “The procedure served to humanize the unborn and produced a sea change in American public opinion on the issue.” Ultimately, it was the sea change on the Supreme Court during the administration of George W. Bush that mattered most. In 2007, the court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion; Kennedy wrote the majority opinion using language suggesting he might be open to tighter abortion restrictions despite the undue burden standard, especially in areas of “medical uncertainty.” Abortion, he said, was “a decision … fraught with emotional consequence,” one in which women would “struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound” if they really understood what this particular procedure involved. Conservative strategists saw the ruling as a victory not just against partial-birth abortion but against Casey. How Big a Burden?It took the huge Tea Party wave of 2010 for abortion opponents to gain the political clout to push through laws like Texas’ H.B. 2. Since 2011, states in the South and Midwest have passed more than 300 abortion restrictions — TRAP laws, rules for how medication abortions may be performed, bans on abortion after 20 weeks (and sometimes earlier), longer waiting periods and greater impediments to teenagers seeking abortions without parental approval. The central question raised by many of these laws goes directly to the 24-year-old ruling in Casey: How undue must a restriction become before it renders the right to abortion meaningless?Even before Scalia’s death, the outcome of the Texas case was anyone’s guess; his demise makes it even more uncertain. The biggest question has always been whether Kennedy, the last remaining PP v. Casey co-author on the Supreme Court, will see that decision as an important part of his legacy that he wants to defend, or whether he will be inclined to give states more leeway to restrict the abortion right.As Casey itself shows, all kinds of court alliances and plurality rulings are possible.What is clear: The Texas case, whatever its outcome, probably won’t settle the abortion issue any more than Casey did.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.(Featured photo credit: Duncan Lock/Wikimedia Commons)last_img read more

Slavonian kulen and Varaždinsko zelje received EU protection of origin and geographical origin

first_imgA meeting of the Committee for Quality Policy of Agricultural and Food Products at the European Commission was held in Brussels yesterday, where a discussion was held on the proposal of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) on entering the name “Varaždin Cabbage” in the Register of Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications. and the proposal of the Implementing Regulation of the Commission (EU) on the entry of the name “Slavonian kulen” / “Slavonian kulin” in the Register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications.Regarding the name “Varaždinsko zelje”, the proposal of the Regulation proposes to enter the name in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, and for seeds and cabbage products produced outside the defined geographical area, the use of variety names is allowed without time limit. Varaždinsko 2 and Varaždinsko 3, with a clear indication of the country of origin, without any reference to Croatia. “I am proud of everyone who participated in this process, and above all of our manufacturers. There were objections to our requests to protect the names of these products, but with an argumentative approach we fought for our beliefs. Once again, I congratulate the manufacturers and wish them a lot of success in promoting their products in both domestic and other markets.Said Minister Tomislav Tolusic.Regarding the name “Slavonski kulen” / “Slavonski kulin”, the proposal of the Decree proposes the entry of the name in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, and the Slovenian company Celjske mesnine dd is allowed to use the name “Slavonski kulen” to mark products that do not comply with the product specification “Slavonski kulen” / “Slavonski kulin” (ZOZP) for a period of five years from the date of entry into force of the Regulation.The proposals for regulations are unanimously adopted, and will have legal force only after their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.last_img read more

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