Texas Republicans Want to Be Creepy Totalitarians Just Like Their Blue State Counterparts

3 September 2021 0 By Bambam

Just as Republicans were starting to successfully cast themselves as an alternative to blue state COVID totalitarianism, Republicans in Texas decide to dabble in a bit of creepy statism themselves.  I am going to stay away from the abortion issues involved (a policy that has served me well for decades on this blog), but I do want to address the enforcement mechanisms in the law.  From Zero Hedge:

One provision that makes the law unique is the fact that private citizens will be allowed to sue providers and anyone involved in “facilitating coverage”, which could mean people who drive others to the abortion clinic could be found liable in court to losses of at least $10,000. The ACLU says this provision “actively encourages private citizens to act as bounty hunters”.

It is good to see the ACLU weighing in on the bad aspects of this enforcement mechanism, though it is telling we have never heard a peep out of them when this same private bounty hunting enforcement mechanism has been used in numerous California laws aimed at leftish goals (eg the dysfunctional ADA lawsuit mess and sue your boss laws, both of which substitute private bounty-hunting litigation for what normally would be state regulatory enforcement actions).

At least in the California laws, the litigant had to actually be a somewhat interested party (eg disabled or an employee of the firm).  Texas has unleashed the equivalent of Cuban block captains on their citizens.

This is a terrible precedent.  Conservatives who are really passionate about abortion may not be able to see it, but I can easily imagine this applied to all sorts of awful rules.  How about lawsuits for $10,000 for any parent that drives a kid to school that is not wearing a mask?  How about a $5,000 lawsuit by any citizen against someone who idles their car too long and thus destroys the planet?   Conservatives are handing the Left a gift with this enforcement precedent and we could all be suffering under it soon.