facebook linkedin twitter

Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Restore Alabama Abortion Law

June 28, 2019 by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Restore Alabama Abortion Law
Statue outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court will not revive Alabama’s ban on second-trimester abortions, the justices announcing Friday they are content to have lower court orders blocking the law to remain in place.

Though Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall regularly calls the procedure a “dismemberment abortion,” courts have consistently blocked similar bans in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

In October 2017, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson found that the Alabama law would amount to a virtual ban on abortion in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

At the same time, he also struck down an Alabama law that would have prohibited the state from licensing or renewing the license of an abortion clinic within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school.

“Because these laws clearly impose an impermissible burden on a woman’s ability to choose an abortion, they cannot stand,” Thompson wrote at time.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Thompson’s ruling blocking the abortion law, but two of the three judges on the panel said they voted to affirm only because they are bound by past Supreme Court decisions in support of abortion rights.

One of those judges, Chief Judge Ed Carnes, wrote, “in our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it.”

As is their custom, the justices did not explain their rationale for rejecting the case, but Justice Clarence Thomas expressed his displeasure in a concurring opinion.

“This case serves as a stark reminder that our abortion jurisprudence has spiraled out of control,” he wrote.

“The notion that anything in the Constitution prevents States from passing laws prohibiting the dismembering of a living child is implausible,” Thomas said. “But under the ‘undue burden’ standard adopted by this Court, a restriction on abortion—even one limited to prohibiting gruesome methods—is unconstitutional if “the ‘purpose or effect’ of the provision ‘is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.’”

Thomas concluded: “Although this case does not present the opportunity to address our demonstrably erroneous ‘undue burden’ standard, we cannot continue blinking [at] the reality of what this Court has wrought.”

The case is Scott Harris, et al., v. West Alabama Women’s Center, et. al. No. 18-837.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Civil Rights

Biden to Back Filibuster Changes to Push Voting Rights Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use a speech in Georgia to endorse changing Senate filibuster rules that have stalled voting rights... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use a speech in Georgia to endorse changing Senate filibuster rules that have stalled voting rights legislation, saying it’s time to choose “democracy over autocracy.” But some civil rights groups won’t be there, in protest of what they say is administration inaction.... Read More

Invoking Jan. 6, Dems Pivot to Fight for Voting Legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are mounting an impassioned bid to overhaul Senate rules that stand in the way of their... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are mounting an impassioned bid to overhaul Senate rules that stand in the way of their sweeping voting legislation, arguing dark forces unleashed by Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election demand an extraordinary response. In fiery speeches and interviews, President Joe Biden and... Read More

Governor to Pardon Plessy, of ‘Separate but Equal’ Ruling

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s governor planned to posthumously pardon Homer Plessy on Wednesday, more than a century after the Black man... Read More

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s governor planned to posthumously pardon Homer Plessy on Wednesday, more than a century after the Black man was arrested in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow a Jim Crow law creating “whites-only” train cars. The Plessy v Ferguson case went to the U.S. Supreme... Read More

January 4, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Appellate Court Allows Muslim Family to Sue After Intrusive Airport Search

WASHINGTON — The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., late last month revived the chances for a successful lawsuit by... Read More

WASHINGTON — The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., late last month revived the chances for a successful lawsuit by a family that claims they were unjustifiably placed on a terrorist watch list while traveling to Jordan. Mohammed Jibril, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Jordan, says... Read More

December 28, 2021
by Reece Nations
Coalition of Attorneys General File Amicus Brief Opposing Arizona Abortion Ban

PHOENIX — Attorneys General from 23 states signed on to an amicus brief that challenges an Arizona law prohibiting abortions... Read More

PHOENIX — Attorneys General from 23 states signed on to an amicus brief that challenges an Arizona law prohibiting abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities. The coalition contends in their brief that the preservation of women’s reproductive autonomy can and should occur while simultaneously dismissing discriminatory... Read More

Texas Governor's Decision: Whether to Pardon George Floyd

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Doling out pardons is a holiday tradition for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who around every Christmas... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Doling out pardons is a holiday tradition for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who around every Christmas grants them to a handful of ordinary citizens, typically for minor offenses committed years or decades ago. But one name stands out on his desk: George Floyd.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top