“In our view, it is legislating from the bench to take a statute that was moribund when it was enacted and has been enjoined for four years and then to put it into effect.”
Republican Iowa gov. Kim Reynolds asked the state’s supreme court to reinstate a law that would ban abortion after one could determine a heartbeat in the baby, which is roughly six weeks.
In opinions released Friday, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen and Justices Edward Mansfield and Thomas Waterman favored affirming a district court’s order blocking the law; Justices Christopher McDonald, Matthew McDermott and David May favored reversing the district court.
The 3-3 split — Justice Dana Oxley was recused from the case — means the district court’s order is affirmed and that the law will remain permanently blocked.
Waterman, in the opinion joined by Christensen and Mansfield, wrote that it would be “legislating from the bench” to allow the law to go into effect.
The State appealed, and now asks our court to do something that has never happened in Iowa history: to simultaneously bypass the legislature and change the law, to adopt rational basis review, and then to dissolve an injunction to put a statute into effect for the first time in the same case in which that very enactment was declared unconstitutional years earlier. In our view, it is legislating from the bench to take a statute that was moribund when it was enacted and has been enjoined for four years and then to put it into effect.
It’s a 3-3 tie because Justice Dana Oxley recused herself from the case “because her former law firm represented an abortion clinic that was a plaintiff in the original case.”
It’s weird because the same court ruled the state’s constitution does not guarantee a fundamental right to an abortion.
The legislature passed the heartbeat bill in 2018 when Roe v. Wade still existed. Reynold signed it. Pro-abortionists took it to court.
Abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy is still legal in Iowa. The women have to wait 24 hours before going through with the procedure.DONATE
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