Wandering Eye: Does Wieters' qualifying offer jeopardize the O's ?, Supreme Court to hear abortion case, and more

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the first major case on abortion since 2007. The case, Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, likely to be heard in the spring, challenges a 2013 Texas law that abortion providers say will soon leave the state with a mere 10 abortion clinics, down from 41. More than half have already been shut down. The law demands that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and that abortion clinics meet the standards of "ambulatory surgical centers." These and other requirements have become significant obstacles for the survival of Texas abortion clinics. In their brief, the challengers argue that with the law in place, "there would be no licensed abortion facilities west of San Antonio," and only one severely limited clinic south. The abortion clinics will be represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, and have been given support by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and more. Texas' attorney general Ken Paxton, however, urged the court not to hear the case. (Maura Callahan)

 

#BlackLivesMatter is from San Francisco, and here's a long read in SF Weekly about the movement's beginnings and ambitions. It's built around a profile of Alicia Garza, the veteran SF activist who coined the hashtag. "The relationships, networks, and organizing work that propelled an impromptu Facebook post into a global civil rights movement for the social media era are rooted in Garza's experiences in the trenches of Bay Area community activism," the story says. "Garza's #BlackLivesMatter is an explicitly leftist movement intent on achieving economic, racial, and social liberation, not just an end to wanton police brutality." She grew up pretty rich in a very rich town: "She didn't get engaged in leftist politics until after she graduated, when she landed an internship in 2003 with SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation), an Oakland training program for social justice organizers." She went out and knocked on doors for 10 hours a day in Oakland. She lost a fight against a Wal-Mart. She took a job in San Francisco, working to get better financing to maintain public housing, and to fight gentrification with allies from the Nation of Islam to the Archbishop of the St. John Coltrane Church. They lost. You'll want to read the poem Garza has tattooed on her chest. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

On Friday, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters became the second player to ever accept a qualifying offer in the four-year-old process. Here's the gist: If Wieters accepts the offer, he gets a one-year contract for $15.8 million. If he doesn't, he becomes a free agent and the Orioles receive a draft pick as compensation when he signs with a different team. In practice, this sounds kind of great for the Orioles. They get to keep one of their big-name players who's a leader in the clubhouse. But it poses a bit of a problem in that Wieters is now the second-highest-paid player and the team may not be able to afford first baseman Chris Davis and starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. Most reporters said it was unlikely the Orioles would make an offer to Chen, but re-signing Chris Davis was seen as a top priority. As Orioles blog Camden Chat put it on Twitter: "[I]f they had $45-50 million available, they're now down to $30-35 million. Probably kiss Chris Davis good bye." (Brandon Weigel)

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