U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman of the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, placed a Temporary Restraining Order on the Texas pro-life bill. It bans abortions after a doctor can detect a heartbeat.
The law also has “a private right of action against individuals who commit or aid and abet an abortion that violates the law.” It does not include the woman who has the abortion.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the requests for a stay from abortion providers. They went to the Supreme Court.
I am shocked…SHOCKED…that SCOTUS allowed the law to go into effect. They’ve been such wimps, relying on precedent instead of following the science and medical technology that proves life begins at conception.
Our devout Catholic president’s administration filed a motion to block the law.
Pittman did just that.
Pittman wrote: “A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability is well established. With full knowledge that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, the State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme whereby it created a private cause of action in which private citizens with no personal interest in or connection to a person seeking an abortion would be able to interfere with that right using the state’s judicial system, judges, and court officials. Rather than challenging the right to abortion via the appropriate process of judicial review, the State went so far as to draft the law in such a way as to attempt to preclude a review of the constitutionality of the statute by federal courts who have [a] responsibility to safeguard the very rights the statute likely violates.”
The words abortion and privacy do not appear in the Constitution. Even late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not like the composition of the Roe v. Wade ruling.
Pittman hates that the state structured the bill “so that no adequate remedy at law exists by which to test its constitutionality.”
“By purporting to preclude direct enforcement by state officials, the statutory scheme is intended to be insulated from review in federal court,” argued Pittman. “The State itself concedes that the law’s terms proscribe review by federal courts, limiting review to state court alone.”
Pittman pointed out that state court’s “opportunities for review are severely constrained.”
“By limiting the defenses that a defendant may raise in state court, the law’s authors effectively cut off any hope that a defendant will prevail,” said Pittman. “The State makes much of potential defendants’ ability to challenge the constitutionality of the statute in state court.”
So Pittman thinks the law violates the 14th Amendment, but also because it places “an undue burden in a shorthand for the conclusion that a state regulation has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” (Casey, 5050 U.S. at 877)
Pittman also wouldn’t pick and choose which parts of the bill should stay or go: “Like the Hellerstedt Court, this Court will not attempt the legislative exercise of picking and choosing what portions of S.B. 8 could remain in effect, if any, to avoid the substantial risk of causing the ‘inconsistent application of only a fraction of interconnected regulations’ in Chapter 171 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.”
The state of Texas plans to appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.DONATE
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