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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Texas Senate Bill 5 - The Anti Women's Rights Bill Is Dead and The Voting Rights Act is Why

Photo Credit - Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte
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"I was proud to Stand With Wendy tonight. If Senate Bill 5 becomes law, it will roll back women's rights,"  Van de Putte wrote.
It started with a Tweet by the President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards
"BREAKING: Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has agreed that #SB5 is dead." 
With such, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) was successful in her second filibuster to stop in its' tracks, legislation which would roll back rights for Texans Citizens. 

Photo Credit - Independent Underground News & Talk
In 2011, Davis effectively halted a bill seeking to reduce Texas State Education benefit beginning her quest to filibuster a school finance deal which would have resulted in a budget shortfall, on the floor of the Texas Senate at 10:44 p.m. When the Texas Senate has a fiscal matters in legislation, the bill it must pass by midnight in order to balance its budget prior to the end of a Special Session. 
During 2011 filibuster, Senator Davis expressed outrage that lawmakers failed considering alternative measures to lessen the cuts to education with considering a repealing Texas tax exemption on high-cost natural gas production or utilizing more of the Rainy Day Fund.
"It’s not that we don’t have solutions," Davis said. "It’s that we’ve chosen not to use those solutions.” 

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Parts of the Voting Rights Act section 5, declared unconstitutional illegal on June 25th by a 5-4 member U.S. Supreme Court Conservative majority, saved twice filibustering Texas Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) seat in 2012. 

From the Huffington Post - 'Wendy Davis' Texas Senate Seat Was Saved By Voting Rights Act' - June 26, 2013

"Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who captivated the country with her attempted 13-hour filibuster of a sweeping anti-abortion bill, likely would have lost her seat in 2012 to redistricting if not for the Voting Rights Act that was gutted Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.  
MSNBC's Zachary Roth reported earlier this month that Republican leaders in Texas tried to slice up Davis' Fort Worth district in 2011 and move thousands of black and Hispanic voters into neighboring districts. But Davis challenged the move in federal court under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act -- a part of the law rendered inoperable by the Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the law.  
Section 5 allows the federal government to prevent states with a history of racial discrimination from making election changes that could affect the voting rights of minorities. Davis told MSNBC that under Texas' new districting plan, minority voters “were being separated very purposely from each other -- and therefore from the power to ever express their preference at the ballot box again.” 
Davis and the U.S. Justice Department won the case in August 2012, a few months before elections, and Texas was forced to drop its redistricting plan. Davis was narrowly reelected to her state Senate seat in November." 
Photo Credit - Independent Underground News & Talk
Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) deserves equal praise with the defeat of Texas Senate Bill 5. Senator Van de Putte, after attended a memorial service for her father on June 25th, rushed back to the Texas Senate Chamber to debate SB 5. Upon not being recognized to speak by chair after Senator Davis continued filibuster was stopped, Senator Van de Putte took up the cause.

From the Huffington Post - 'Leticia Van De Putte, Texas Legislator, Slams Male Colleagues During Abortion Filibuster' - June 25, 2013 from reporter Mollie Reilly

"As Republican lawmakers suspended Texas state senator Wendy Davis' marathon filibuster of a contentious abortion bill late Tuesday night, a Democratic lawmaker called out her male colleagues for silencing the legislature's female representatives.

"Did the President hear me or did the President hear me and refuse to recognize me?" state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte asked.

"At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” she asked as the chamber erupted in cheers.

Earlier in the evening, De Putte, whose father died in a car accident last week, helped run out the clock after Republicans suspended the filibuster on the grounds that Davis' discussion of mandatory ultrasound testing was not related to the abortion bill.

“Since I was not able to be here on the floor because of my father’s funeral, I ask that you tell me the three points of order so that I may understand even in the most basic way the debate about to begin,” she said.

Texas citizens won June 25th in the effort to protect Women's Rights, Yet, what's ironic and truly sad that without the Voting Rights Act, filibustering Senator Wendy Davis, might not have been in the Texas Senate at all.

Qualifying another reason why Congress needs to act, reinstating Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act. 

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