Friday morning news: July 5, 2019

Rep. Amash declares independence from GOP » Michigan Congressman Justin Amash announced Thursday—quote— “I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party.” 

He said July 4th seemed like the perfect day to make the announcement. 

AMASH: To stand up and say enough is enough with the party system. People are going to Washington, they’re going to Lansing, and they’re doing things based on partisan affiliation, and they’re not doing things on the basis of principle or what’s best for everyone in their community. 

Amash made headlines back in May, becoming the only Republican to join calls for impeachment hearings against President Trump. He leans libertarian politically. But he said he agreed with Democrats that the president obstructed justice during the Russia probe. 

Amash said Thursday, “I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric.” 

President Trump reacted on Twitter calling Amash disloyal and saying his departure from the party is great news. 

Court upholds freeze on Defense funds for border wall » An appeals court has upheld a freeze on using Pentagon money to build a border wall. 

A divided three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed on Wednesday with a lower court ruling. That decision blocked the government from tapping Defense Department funds to build sections of wall in Arizona, California, and New Mexico.

President Trump earlier this year declared a national emergency in order to tap Defense funds to construct a wall. 

This week’s ruling is not the final word on the matter, but it means the administration cannot use the funds to build during the legal challenge.

Judge blocks Ohio heartbeat bill » A federal judge this week temporarily blocked an Ohio law protecting unborn babies with a detectable heartbeat. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett ruled that abortion facilities would succeed in their lawsuit claiming the law is unconstitutional. He wrote—quote—“The law is well-settled that women possess a fundamental constitutional right of access to abortions.”

Republicn Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in April. It would effectively stop abortions as early as six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. A spokesman for the governor said DeWine believes the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually have the final say. 

Ohio Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life organization, said the order was an expected disappointment. But added in a statement that this is just one step in a process and—quote—“The heartbeat bill has the potential to be the vehicle that overturns Roe v. Wade.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg. 

Colorado pro-life proposal moves closer to placement on 2020 ballot » Voters in Colorado are proposing a law that would protect the lives of unborn babies after 22 weeks of pregnancy. And the measure moved closer this week to being on next year’s ballot. 

The state’s title board on Wednesday agreed the measure dealt with only one issue as required by state law and approved preliminary wording for the ballot. However, anyone who disagrees with the decision can appeal to the board within the next week and possibly to the Colorado Supreme Court after that.

Suzanne Staiert is a lawyer for proponents of the measure. She said it would make it illegal to perform abortions after 22-weeks gestation, unless the mother’s health is in danger. But she noted…

STAIERT: Our initiative, of course, is really only prohibiting it for the doctor of the person who is performing the abortion, and so it is not in any way making it illegal for the woman who the abortion is performed on. 

Proponents would need to collect nearly 125,000 signatures from registered voters to place the measure on the 2020 ballot.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) In this June 12, 2019 file photo, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., listens to debate on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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