Paul: No Flood Insurance Until Senate Votes On Life Beginning At Conception

Harry Reid earned gentle praise from his GOP counterpart Tuesday for running a good, bipartisan operation these past several weeks. But the Senate may not be able to clear its entire near-term agenda before the Independence day recess because Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won’t allow a measure extending the FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program for five years to move forward until he gets a vote on legislation declaring that human life begins at conception.

Two points:
-Since when has the Senate ever been concerned over amendments that don’t have to do with the bill? It seems like a common practice
-My respect for Sen. Paul grows every day.

From what I hear, this amendment could effectively end Roe v. Wade :thumbsup:

Great amendment! :thumbsup:

There are only two things that could effectively end Roe v. Wade: a reversal by the Supreme Court or a Constitutional amendment of which his legislation is neither.

Technically, Congress has the power to remove a topic (like abortion) from the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. If Congress did this, it would over turn Roe and return it to the states (not perfect, but a start). Sen. Paul’s dad, Dr. Ron Paul, has actually proposed legislation doing this a few times. The latest I think was called the We the People Act.

Pro-life must run in the family

Congress does not have the authority to do that. Only an amendment to the US Constitution can do that, which is what Ron Paul has been proposing for years. And he doesn’t want the amendment to outlaw abortion, only for it to turn the matter over to the states.

If a law were passed and it was made so that the courts could not rule on it it would take awae citizens’ right to sue the government over unjust and totalitarian laws. It doesn’t work that way.

Not exactly. As has been discussed before, Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The argument here is that Congress can limit what the USSC may consider. There’s an interesting discussion here about it, and how it has been routinely used. Indeed, it seems that “[o]ver a score of bills were introduced in the NinetySeventh Congress to deprive the Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction either to hear cases involving such issues as abortion rights and voluntary prayer in the public schools or to order school busing to achieve racial balance.”

However, such power does not necessarily mean it would be effective or even responsible. Apparently Robert Bork does not think this a good option. This site quotes him extensively about the issue.

Note that the above mention is only for appellate jurisdiction, not original jurisdiction. When the government is party to a suit, the USSC has original jurisdiction, and that cannot be hampered by Congress.

However, there is a concept called sovereign immunity, which says that the government can only be sued when it allows itself to be sued. See this site for more information. Apparently this area is so fuzzy it isn’t clear to legal scholars at Cornell (see the link):
The issues are complex, and the line of Supreme Court decisions in this area is confusing and contradictory.

So regardless of jurisdiction, the government can make itself immune to lawsuits “over unjust and totalitarian laws.”

Thank you Rand Paul.
At least, he’s not all talk when it comes to being pro-life.

I get emails from Rand all the time. Roe vs Wade effectively gave Congress the right to define where life begins but Congress has not acted on it for 39 years. Let the debates begin.

Roe may contain within itself the means for overthrowing it without either a Constitutional amendment or another vote by the Court.

A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a “person” within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well known facts of fetal development.* If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses**, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument*.

Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.

In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, whether she be a resident of the State or a nonresident who seeks medical consultation and treatment there, and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes “compelling.”

With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability.

The codification into law (of the medical fact) that life begins at conception does not resolve the issue of whether the fetus is a person under the Fourteenth Amendment but it would go a long way in that direction.

The Court dissembled on the “difficult question of when life begins.” That really is not in dispute and the resolution of that question further weakens Roe.

The Court also made a distinction between the mother’s life and the “potentiality” of the human life of the fetus. If this fiction is erased by declaring that life - and not merely the potentiality of life - exists at conception then the “compelling” point (the point at which States may begin to restrict abortion rights in favor of the fetus) also goes to the moment of conception. This, again, presents serious problems for the law.

All in all, there is much more to Senator Paul’s legislation than is perhaps immediately apparent.


Rand’s father has been pushing the “Life at Conception” bill for years now. Congress does not want to pass it, Republicans included.

Actually I’m apposed to federal flood insurance.

I’m sure flood insurance is an ample trade off for the end of abortion :slight_smile:

I think its poor form to play politics with the lives of babies. What does flood insurance have to do with when life begins and how does putting property protection at risk help the unborn?

This simply drags the whole debate into realm of the surreal, but hey, obstruction for the sake of obstruction gets you votes…

Apparently you are new to how government works.

I think I can see why. It would be an interesting debate, no less. If they can agree to, say 1 month after conception, priests and bishops, of course, would be all over those who vote for the bill. Yet this would be an important first step and an improvement in what they have now.

Unfortunately, that’s the only way things are done in Congress. 100 Senators = 100 opinions and usually lead to about 100 separate items (or pork, as McCain likes to call it). And then they vote against it but reap the benefits.

Apparently, I am conscious that ‘the way things work’ is not some omnipotent, irresistible force to which we must all submit.

I heard flood insurance was continued, did Paul get the bill he wanted?



You think that the Democrats are going to cave on a person’s right to kill their unborn children?

For sure. Rand Paul could have improved his chances, though, by switching parties. Reid isn’t listening to Republicans any more than McConnell listens to Democrats.

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