The Wisdom of Replacing Three-Sided Fences: A Response to the BGCO Letter Concerning SB 13 (Part 3)

“SB 13, as proposed, unnecessarily and purposely repeals hard-earned pro-life laws that have helped significantly reduce Oklahoma’s abortion rate, including repealing our state’s ban on partial birth abortion, parental notification requirements, the unborn child protection from dismemberment abortion, among numerous other life-saving laws.” —Open Letter from the BGCO to Oklahoma Baptists

non sequitur: a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.

scaffolding-1463583-1279x1608It’s as though we’re afraid to build the skyscraper because that would mean the scaffolding would have to come down. I mean, the scaffolding was expensive and took a lot of work. It’s still shiny and has our name on it. Yes the work was hard, but what has the work ultimately been for?

When a farmer is only able to build a fence around his chicken coup a bit at a time, he knows that in the end three sides won’t do. A three-sided fence may keep the less wile varmints out, but some isn’t the end goal. Babies are more precious than chickens and we’re dealing with sly foxes. Replacing a partial fence with a whole one sounds good to me.

Sometimes Berlin is completely untenable, so you take Normandy. But the point of Normandy remains to get Berlin. Once you can strategically launch a volley at Hitler’s Holocaust, it is certain not to be taken by retreating. There may be legitimate reasons not to push the launch button, civilian casualties and such. If there are such repercussions, please, tell me what they are.

I reckon the greatest fear of many is that this bill would be chopped up by the courts, keeping the repeals and trashing the rest. I don’t believe this is a valid concern. The bill states, “The provisions, words, phrases and clauses of this act are declared to be inseverable.” In other words, this legislation is all or nothing. Appended to this post you’ll find the technicalities worked out by an attorney smarter than I.*

This is a jump you have to make without a safety net, because the safety net itself is a liability. If a bill is passed to kill abortion, conflicting pro-life laws will keep the culture of death on life support.** The nets meant to save lives will then be strangling them. Besides, if we make the jump and death is certain, then the safety net remains in place. Pretty cool, huh?

There’s everything to gain and nothing to lose. Coach, correct my play if I’m wrong, but this isn’t a high risk Hail Mary they can run for a return. We’re already loosing. We’re down by two and we can kick a field goal for the win. Why not kick?

If you are a member or a pastor of an Oklahoma Southern Baptist Church and disagree with the BGCO, consider signing this letter and requesting to join the Facebook group Oklahoma Baptists for SB 13.

* “…[T]here is a fear being stoked by some that a court considering SB 13 could strike down the part of the bill outlawing abortion but uphold the part of the bill repealing what would become obsolete, unnecessary, and redundant provisions regulating abortion (i.e. dismemberment ban, partial-birth abortion ban, etc.). I have previously provided a brief answer to this objection, but here is a more lengthy one.

Regarding federal courts, the bill explicitly provides that the State of Oklahoma will not appear in federal court if sued there (pg. 24, line 24, et seq). The bill makes this statement because of the clause immediately preceding it, which finds, ‘Any federal statute, regulation, executive order or court decision which purports to supersede, stay or overrule this Act is in violation of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma and the Constitution of the United States of America and is therefore void.’ In other words, as applied to this question, any federal court decision that purports to supersede, stay, or overrule any of SB 13 is going to be ignored by Oklahoma. Consequently, it would not matter whether a federal court struck down parts of the bill and not others because any federal action striking down any of it would be deemed void by Oklahoma.

That still leaves unanswered the issue of what state courts could do, so let’s consider that.

The provisions of every Oklahoma act (i.e. bill) are presumed severable ‘unless there is a provision in the act that the act or any portion thereof or the application of the act shall not be severable.’ 75 Okl. St. § 11a. SB 13 has a provision stating, ‘The provisions, words, phrases and clauses of this act are declared to be inseverable.’ (SB13 Introduced, Section 34, Page 25, Lines 3-6). Therefore, the sections of the act that repeal obsolete, unnecessary, and redundant provisions are not severable from the rest of the bill. In other words, the provisions of the entire bill must stand or fall together—they are all or nothing.

Is it possible that an Oklahoma court could ignore the law? Yes, it is. Dealing with courts which have ignored the law is why SB 13 is needed. But if an Oklahoma court did ignore the law, the members of the executive and legislative branches of Oklahoma government could and should refuse to go along with such violation.

But this concern is quite unfounded. In fact, after conducting a search, I could find no instance in the history of Oklahoma cases where a court ever ignored a non-severability clause.” —Bradly Pierce, Attorney

**That’s why SB 195 just made it to the floor. It makes the same repeals, but only if the Supreme Court gives permission. The Supreme Judge has spoken; thus, the lesser magistrates should pursue justice. The state of Oklahoma is currently defying federal law concerning marijuana. Why not babies?

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