An interesting tidbit about the Texas anti-abortion law that got struck down in part last week: The judge's disgust with how the state's "expert witnesses" conducted themselves. Specifically, that longtime anti-abortion crank and/or "consultant" and/or "expert witness" Vincent Rue had a large hand in how the other "expert witnesses" presented their cases
[US District Judge Lee Yeakel] ultimately discarded the testimony of four expert witnesses because of Rue's "considerable editorial and discretionary control" over their written reports and testimony: James C. Anderson, the chair of Virginia Physicians for Life; Deborah Kitz, a health care consultant from Pennsylvania; Peter Uhlenberg, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; and Dr. Mayra Jimenez Thompson, an OB-GYN and University of Texas-Southwestern professor.
Emails showed that that Rue sent Uhlenberg sources, "ideas," and "fact changes." In one message, Uhlenberg wrote, "I need your critical suggestions." Kitz wrote Rue an email that said, "Tried to use as much of your material as I could, but time ran out." Anderson testified that Rue was responsible for "wordsmithing" his report to the court. Rue has tapped Anderson as an expert witness in four other states that paid Anderson more than $110,000.
So a judge is calling shenanigans on the whole cottage industry of faux-experts going to different states en masse in an organized effort to bend the law according to whatever a half-dozen people are willing to say in court in exchange for money. Well, at least this
collection of people. This one time.
In addition to the witnesses collaborating as to what they were going to say, the state's attorneys made an apparent effort to hide that effort, with witnesses only admitting to the collaboration when the plaintiffs "refreshed their memories" with emails proving that it happened. That also earned the wrath of the judge, but hey—it's the Culture of Life, not the Culture of Not Lying Thine Ass Off.
A bigger question is why Texas called on Vincent "post-abortion stress syndrome" Rue at all. As with recent anti-marriage equality state efforts, it seems fair to judge the caliber of the state's argument from the caliber of "witnesses" they can dredge up to support it. If a state defending a high-profile law can only muster the forces of a longtime discredited hack or two from the traveling discredited hack circus-slash-medicine wagon, that right there should suggest to any reasonable observer that there isn't, in fact, any more serious case to be made.
As a side point, if Attorney General Greg Abbott truly intends to use his office as a stepping stone to the governor's office, he might want to not be terrible at it.