moving forward
August 19, 2019

The fourth highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives now supports opening an impeachment inquiry.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the assistant speaker of the House, on Monday announced he is in favor of "moving forward" with an impeachment inquiry, in a statement saying, "This is not a position I've reached lightly."

Luján went on to say that he was "alarmed" that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report stated that President Trump's campaign welcomed Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as the report's outlining of instances of potential obstruction. Mueller did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and made no determination about whether Trump criminally obstructed justice.

Luján is currently running for Senate to replace Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Politico's Burgess Everett notes that he had been facing criticism in his Democratic primary on the issue of impeachment. Luján is the highest-ranking Democrat in the House to back an impeachment inquiry, Politico reports, and the 127th House Democrat to do so.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has continuously resisted calls for an impeachment inquiry, saying in July, "We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed — not one day sooner," NBC News reports. Even so, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said that an impeachment inquiry is "in effect" already ongoing. Brendan Morrow

May 16, 2019

Missouri is the latest state to advance legislation restricting abortion access.

The Missouri Senate on Thursday passed a bill banning abortion at eight weeks, The Associated Press reports. The bill provides exceptions in cases of medical emergencies, but not in cases of rape or incest. The legislation was passed in a 24-10 vote, and it now needs approval in the House, where Republicans have the majority.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has indicated he will sign the bill into law, saying it will make Missouri "one of the strongest pro-life states in the country." If the bill is passed, doctors who perform abortions after 8 weeks would face between five and 15 years in prison.

This comes after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law the nation's most restrictive abortion law, which outlaws nearly all abortions except in cases of a "serious health risk" or if the "unborn child has a lethal anomaly."

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) last week also signed a bill into law banning most abortions after doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat, which typically occurs at about six weeks. These bills are expected to face legal challenges, and Ivey said upon signing the Alabama law that while it may be "unenforceable" in the "short term," it presents the Supreme Court with an "opportunity" to "revisit" Roe v. Wade. Brendan Morrow

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