Analysis: New laws reflect Republican lawmakers’ focus on their right flank

Analysis: New laws reflect Republican lawmakers’ focus on their right flank

Editor’s note: If you’d like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey’s column, click here . If you would like to listen to the column, just click on the play button below. Texans woke up Wednesday in a state where it’s legal to carry a gun if you are neither licensed nor trained and where enforcement of anti-abortion laws has been crowdsourced to citizen bounty hunters who can get up to $10,000 for turning in anyone they catch helping someone obtain an abortion. Under the guise of “election integrity,” the Texas Legislature has also backed outlawing some of the voting practices that made voting easier in Harris County and other parts of Texas in 2020 during the pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott is hot to sign that legislation, having called two special sessions to get it to his desk, while participating in a kind of national race with other Republican governors to show their constituents that they’re changing the voting rules after Americans fired Donald Trump last year. The gun bill passed during the regular legislative session took effect on the first day of this month, a victory for Second Amendment advocates who thought the state’s gun laws, though more liberal than many states, were still too restrictive. The state’s new ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy also became law this week, though opponents of that legislation have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to suspend it while litigation is underway. In the current special session, lawmakers chased […]

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