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#SCStateHouse: Democrats Roll GOP On Abortion Bill

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One again, “Republican-controlled” government in South Carolina has been exposed as nothing more than a myth.

The “reddest state in America?”  Perhaps they’re referring to South Carolinians’ necks – because they sure as hell aren’t talking about their elected representatives.

As if the ongoing debates over the budget and school choice weren’t enough to prove that Democrats are in control at the S.C. State House (literally) … the “GOP-controlled” State Senate took up a bill on Thursday aimed at banning nearly 6,000 abortions a year in the Palmetto State.

The bill, H. 3548, was amended multiple times as it moved through the legislature, but it would have represented a major step forward in affirming what this news site has long referred to as the “indispensable liberty.”

You know … life.

“Would have …”

Led by Marlon Kimpson of Charleston, S.C., Senate Democrats – including party-switching Senate leaders Hugh Leatherman and Luke Rankin – pulled off a successful filibuster of the bill.  In fact Leatherman and Rankin cast critical procedural votes to allow Kimpson to continue his filibuster – joining the chamber’s eighteen Democrats in blocking the will of the GOP “majority.”

Had just one of them voted with their party, Kimpson’s filibuster would have been shut down and the pro-life legislation would have passed.

That didn’t happen, though.

The issue spilled over into the 2018 gubernatorial race, too, with former S.C. House minority leader James Smith appearing in the chamber shortly after midnight to support Kimpson’s filibuster.

“As governor I will veto this facially unconstitutional legislation,” Smith said.

Now he won’t have to worry about that …

Abandoned by their “leaders,” the GOP had no choice but to give up.  At around 1:00 a.m. EDT on Friday morning “Republicans” finally surrendered – voting to send the bill back to committee (i.e. killing it for the year).

Democrats rejoiced at their (latest) victory … while “Republicans” were left to ponder (once again) how their chamber is being controlled by a party that occupies less than 40 percent of the seats.

While Kimpson has drawn the lion’s share of criticism from GOP partisans in the aftermath of the abortion debate, we’re not going there.

While we disagree vehemently with Kimpson on this particular issue – we have to respect him for standing his ground.  Like him or not, he used the procedural tools available to him – and if we’re going to praise filibusters of legislation we oppose (i.e. state senator Tom Davis and his three-year battle against the gas tax) it would be hypocritical of us to attack Kimpson for using the same tactics.

Rules are rules …

Of course it is quite telling that the “Republican-controlled” Senate found the votes to sit Davis down on a massive tax hike … but couldn’t find the votes to sit Kimpson down.

Again, “Republican rule” people.

It just ain’t what it’s cracked up to be …

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Banner: Travis Bell Photography


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