Mar 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks abortion ban Texas added to coronavirus rules

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

A federal judge Monday temporarily blocked a provision of Texas' coronavirus response that prohibited most abortions, the Statesman reports.

The big picture: Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order on March 22 banning elective procedures in the state as a means to save medical supplies like masks and gowns for coronavirus cases. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said one day later that the order applied to abortions unless the woman's life was at risk.

  • U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel argued that the prohibitions amounted to a ban on abortion and violated women's rights.
  • "Regarding a woman’s right to a pre-fetal-viability abortion, the Supreme Court has spoken clearly. There can be no outright ban on such a procedure," Yeakel wrote.
  • The temporary order will remain in place until April 13, when Yeakel will host a hearing to determine the legality of the provision. 

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse even as curfews set in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) slammed the New York Police Department late Tuesday following reports of police kettling in protesters on Manhattan Bridge.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.