Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Roe Situation Looks Grim
“When Roe is overturned, we’re looking at Minnesota and Illinois being the only states in the Midwest that can provide abortion care,” Duluth abortion clinic defender Cassidy Thompson told Racket earlier this year (notably using “when” and not “if”). “Twenty-six states are going to ban overnight.” And here we are, with the breaking news late last night that the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe. As the Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach and Emma Nelson reported last week, that will make Minnesota “an island for legal abortions” in the Upper Midwest.
In light of the leaked draft opinion, MinnPost reports that Gov. Tim Walz has vowed to protect abortion access in MN, with a not-as-heartening-as-he-thinks-it-is “not on my watch.” “When this goes through we are a fundamentally different country,” Walz said. “But let me make this clear, whoever sits in this office, as I have the privilege to do right now, will make that decision.” There’s a rally at the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis planned for 5 p.m. today.
What else is there to say than this?
MN Senate: High-Speed Trains Are Too Old-Fashioned
The Northern Lights Express, a train service that would run from Minneapolis’s Target Field Station to Union Station in Duluth, is the latest project to get the shaft from Minnesota’s GOP-majority Senate. Last night, senators voted 35-31 to add language to a larger omnibus transportation bill that would prohibit any funds going toward it. “The Northern Lights passenger rail system is a bad idea that is a 19th century solution to transportation in Minnesota,” Sen. David Osmek, who has presumably never visited the 1800s, told MPR. “It’s like asking us to spend money on buggy whips.” While the “higher-speed light rail” definitely would go faster than a horse or a law-abiding car, at speeds of “up to” 90 mph it does fall shy of a bullet train (Japan’s goes a sweet 199 mph!). This is the second transportation plan the Senate has shut down with this bill; last month they denied funds for the ReConnect Rondo Project after the caucus had already agreed to set aside $6.2 million to support research for it. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Scott Newman, expressed confusion over how building a bridge over I-94 has anything to do with transportation.
Carjackers Now Face Federal Prison Time
Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney Andy Luger wants you to know that if you’re over 18 and convicted of carjacking, then you’re going to be spending time in federal prison. “Everyone within the sound of my voice who is contemplating the next car jacking, or engaged in gang activity, or trafficking in illegal weapons, is forewarned,” he stated at a press conference today. “End the plague of violence now. You have a choice, and now is the time to talk away. Federal prosecution and federal incarceration are the alternative.” Luger, who’s about five weeks into the job, says that he plans to put the full weight of his resources behind prosecution of violent crimes, and will personally oversee cases.
A Day Among the Gophers
Since at least the early ’00s, the Minnesota Daily photography department has embarked on an annual 24-hour photo-doc project called “A Day in the Life.” (One of our personal faves of yore featured an image of students shuffling around ground-up Adderall with their campus bus pass.) This year’s installment of the series, as always, is worth checking out. In it, we see: post-bar pizza lines in Dinkytown, grinning graduation portraits, “spike ball” on the quad, chill-ass skater bois, charitable frat bros, beach volleyball at Bohemian Flats, even more spike ball (!?), and, of course, the fabled U of M turkey population. Asher Roth wasn’t wrong, folks—college rocks!