Credit: (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Political Rewind: Remembering the life and legacy of Speaker David Ralston; Future of abortion laws
Donna Lowry, @donnalowrynews, host, GPB's Lawmakers
Kevin Riley, @ajceditor, editor-in-chief, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Patricia Murphy, @MurphyAJC, political reporter and columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Riley Bunch, @ribunchreports, public policy reporter, GPB News
1. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston passed away yesterday surrounded by family. He was 68 years old.
- Ralston served as the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives for 13 years. He worked in the legislature for three decades, first working in the Senate from 1992 to 1998.
- Speaker Ralston is remembered as a moderating force for Georgia's conservative legislative body. He worked across the aisle with state Democrats, including 82nd District Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, on bills like House Bill 1013, an effort to widen mental health emergency responses.
- Speaker Ralston spoke to Political Rewind about HB 1013, aka the Mental Health Parity Act, in April.
2. Georgia's "heartbeat" abortion law was thrown out by Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney.
- McBurney's opinion stated that the law was unconstitutional at the time it was passed, when Roe v. Wade was still on the books.
- Plaintiffs brought two arguments; not only was the law unconstitutional at the time, but it violated Georgia's history of privacy law. McBurney agreed with the first argument, leaving the second available to use in future cases.
3. With Georgia's abortion law void, the Legislature may try to pass a law under Dobbs.
- Jon Burns will serve as House speaker starting in the new term. As the state appeals McBurney's ruling, Republicans may have to pass a new bill.
- HB 481 passed by just one vote, an incredibly narrow margin in a Republican-held body. Issues such as contraception access could come up in the new session.
- Republicans face an additional challenge; McBurney didn't touch HB 481's constitutionality under privacy law. That could come up again.
- Click here to listen to Political Rewind's special on Georgia's "right to be let alone".
Friday on Political Rewind: State legislators remember Speaker David Ralston.