Opinion

SCOTUS abortion ruling, pink sneakers and climate change

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right to access to abortions on Monday, and made clear that the future of abortion rights for much of the nation could turn on the 2016 presidential election. In the Capitol, the climate change debate comes back.

Take that

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Monday approved Fran Pavley’s Senate Bill 32, the cleverly named extension of Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. As it happens, AB 32 expires in 2020.

Last September, the full Assembly rejected SB 32, giving it a mere 30 votes, far short of the 41 necessary. What has changed is not all that clear. Then as now, the new bill would force deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

“Where will the emission reductions come from?” the Assembly staff bill analysis asks. There is no ready answer.

Nor does the bill expressly extend the cap-and-trade provision of AB 32, otherwise known as the “market-based compliance mechanism.”

The fundamental question lingers: Must the Legislature approve cap-and-trade by a two-thirds vote required for taxes. Or can lawmakers argue that the $2 billion generated annually by cap-and-trade – including 11 cents per gallon of gasoline – is not a tax?

We’re headed for a showdown.

Take a number: 2.445 billion

California motorists consumed 2.445 billion gallons of gasoline in the first two months of 2016, the most since 2008, and a 9.6 percent increase from the same period in 2015, the California Board of Equalization reports.

We Californians worry about global warming, but we do love cheap gasoline.

Take a bow, Wendy Davis

In 2013, then-Texas Sen. Wendy Davis put on sensible pink sneakers and led an 11-hour filibuster to block the Texas state Senate from passing legislation to restrict women’s right to an abortion by imposing unnecessary hurdles to abortion providers.

David Dewhurst, then Texas’ lieutenant governor, denounced Davis and her ilk as an “unruly mob.” As we see it, the “unruly mob” was made up of legislators who voted for the restrictions. Davis was vindicated Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ law, and was fighting back tears, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Our take

Editorial: The Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling striking down Texas’ abortion restrictions gives voters another reason to care about the 2016 presidential election.

Editorial: The crazy melee at the Capitol didn’t help anyone’s cause, least of all the cause of free speech.

Erika D. Smith: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson takes another shot at the tech economy.

Dan Walters: California measures for a waiting period to see legislation are near a showdown.

Karin Klein: “Free” college in Europe isn’t that great a deal.

Rob Jackson and Mary Kang: Groundwater could be a godsend, if we protect it. Assemblyman Bill Dodd’s bill, AB 1755, to be heard Tuesday, is wanting.

Char Miller: Dead trees don’t mean catastrophe for California. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack misses the point.

Their take

The Modesto Bee raises the issue many members of Congress across the nation will face: Rep. Jeff Denham, do you support Donald Trump or not?

The San Francisco Chronicle: Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla deserves credit for trying to fight for needed education reform. The teachers’ unions stand in the way.

The San Diego Union-Tribune: In 1978, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law blocking access to officers’ personnel records. If changes are to come to California policing, the days of officers behaving with impunity must end.

The Charlotte Observer: Hillary Clinton failed another transparency test. Problematic though that might be, her opponent is Donald Trump. Who knows what lurks in his tax returns?

The Dallas Morning News: Women clearly have the right to choose whether to end their pregnancies. Texas lawmakers should end their machinations aimed at limiting that right.

Syndicates’ take

Trudy Rubin: Americans who worry about the direction of U.S. politics should focus on what caused the political earthquake in Britain and why populists are on such a roll.

Michael Gerson: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity spent decades on an ideological purity patrol. Now their business model is to provide alibis for the least conservative Republican presidential nominee.

Eugene Robinson: Brexit’s warning to Donald Trump voters.

And finally,

The California State Archives, part of Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s operation, is announcing a partnership Tuesday with Google to digitize some of the thousands of rare records documenting California history. At the very least, it will save you a trip downtown. To get a sense of what’s there, Shawn Hubler took a look at the past.

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