Fun fact: just because someone has a wheelchair, doesn’t mean they can’t walk. A lot of people benefit from a wheelchair because they can’t balance well or it is too painful to walk. So if you see a person briefly stand out of their wheelchair, or take a few steps, or even if you see them with a wheelchair sometimes but not always, it doesn’t mean they’re faking, and you shouldn’t call them out on it.
Here’s a state-by-state list of upcoming reproductive rights events. If you see one missing, please let me know. I’m happy to add to the list!
Joe Biden eating ice cream. You’re welcome.
Some information that might be useful to you for the upcoming 2nd special session of the Texas Legislature.
Even Hillary Clinton recognizes Wendy Davis’s awesomeness!
Make sure you continue to contact media and public figures about the Texas 2nd special session, which begins Monday!
Historically, special sessions are only called in order to address emergency issues that hadn’t arisen during a regular session. If, for example, a natural disaster, hit Texas and legislators needed to allocate funds for local disaster relief efforts, a special session might be called. Unlike in other states, only the governor can call a special session. Gov. Perry’s insistence on calling repeated special sessions to address anti-abortion legislation clearly doesn’t reflect an emergent issue in Texas. Instead, it’s a way to circumvent the 2/3 vote rule in a regular session of either the House or Senate. Normally, a bill has to receive votes from 2/3 of the body in order to pass. In a special session, legislators have the ability to suspend the rules, meaning that only a simple majority has to vote for the bill in order for it to pass. Legislators testified on the House and Senate floor this week that they had never seen such blatant disregard for House and Senate tradition — something that might seem insignificant to an observer, but really changes the entire game. Technically, there is no rule in either the House or Senate rules that mandates that a special session be called for emergency purposes only, but it has been the “Senate tradition” or “House tradition” that these sessions are called only in response to emergent situations, or to reconcile a bill that absolutely must pass before the start of the next regular session. For example, budgets are often hotly debated and sometimes no resolution is reached by the end of a regular session. In that case, there is a valid justification for calling a special session — the state can’t function without that piece of legislation.
I know so many of you are interested in the next special session here in Texas next week, and I also know not many of you really understand the specifics of Texas state politics. (Don’t worry, not many people even in Texas do.)
Alexis Kostun has written a great introduction to the logistics of a special session, as well as providing a bit more context to Texas politics in general. Did you know the state legislature only meets for five months every two years? And did you hear about that one time eleven Texas Democrats left the state to avoid a quorum? Read about all that and more in the link above!
GO READ THIS IMMEDIATELY.
Where have I been all day? Over on Twitter and FB compiling links, videos, and tweets relating to the Citizens’ Filibuster last night in Austin TX. Want to know more? Check out my round-up post!
Your record for longest amount of consecutive days without dying has reached a personal best. Well done, you.