, 16 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
@PPFA gripes about the Trump administration's revival of programmatic restrictions for grant recipients of Title X Family Planning funds. No matter how America's abortion superstore howls, the rule is entirely constitutional.
#spendingclause #pursestrings #howfederalfundingworks
@BarackObama liked to taunt, "elections have consequences." One such consequence is that we now have the most anti-abortion-acting President that we have had since the decision in Roe vs. Wade reversed the nation's 170-year history of abortion prohibition.
Notice, I didn't say we now have the most anti-abortion President. I didn't say we now have the most pro-life President. I said the most anti-abortion-acting President.
By their fruits you shall know them.

And the fruits of @POTUS's first term, thus far, include restoration of the Mexico City Policy, appointing #SCOTUS Justices whose methodology on constitutional questions is least likely to expand, sustain, or affirm Roe v. Wade,
and now @realDonaldTrump has reinstated a rule that ensures that federal funds intended for family planning programs are not diverted to abortion referral services or to fund abortions.

The #proabortion/#prochoice community calls this the "#gagrule."
Under the restrictions, Title X recipients cannot provide referrals for abortions or perform abortions in facilities benefitting from Title X grant funds.

Notice that the restriction DOES NOT STOP @PPFA or any smaller abortion store from continuing to perform abortions.
Nor does the rule prevent @PPFA from referring women for abortions.

What is required is an organizational, physical, and fiscal separation so that Congress and the American People can be assured that federal funds are not misused.
All that the rule does is to impose the previously mentioned programmatic requirement that those services -- performing abortions and referring for abortions -- are separated out from facilities where federally funded, Title X, family planning services are provided.
The basic principle underlying the re-imposition of the rule is that, when Congress exercises its authority under the #SpendingClause, it may attach to its expenditures such restrictions and conditions as it pleases, so long as the restrictions comport with the Constitution.
That latter question -- does the "Gag Rule" comport with the Constitution -- is one that has been asked of the #SCOTUS. And it is a question that has been answered by the #SCOTUS.

The case deciding the question was #RustvSullivan.
In #Rust, constitutional professor @Tribelaw argued against the constitutionality of the #gagrule. The Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice #Rehnquist, held that the rule didn't violate Title X recipients' Free Speech rights or a woman's right to choose.
In the intervening three decades of #SCOTUS decisions, there haven't been any significant changes in methodology or doctrine at the Court such as would make it reasonable to claim that #RustvSullivan no longer controls this issue.
In the legal world, attorneys and judges talk about "precedent" because we are in the habit of seeking to have the benefit of prior decisions, or attempting to demonstrate why a prior decision is not relevant.
Among cases claimed by an attorney to be precedential, the crown jewel of precedents is one that an attorney asserts is "on all fours."

A precedent that is on all fours is indistinguishable in all respects from the matter then pending before a court. legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/on+all+fours
So, while @POTUS has taken his share of knocks in the lower courts, it is, virtually, inconceivable that a trial court would conclude that the re-imposed rule violates the First Amendment or the right of a woman to choose. #RustvSullivan forecloses any argument to the contrary.
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