By Dave Andrusko
Coming as no surprise, on Thursday the Florida Supreme Court voted 5-2 to review the challenge brought by the ACLU against Florida’s law requiring a woman to meet in person with an abortionist at least 24 hours prior to having an abortion.
It was by that same 5-2 margin that the state’s highest court last month voted to put HB633 on hold until it decided whether –as it did yesterday–to take up the reflection period.
The court’s action is the latest in a long series of challenges that began the day after pro-life Gov. Rick Scott signed HB633 into law in June 2015. Put another way, the legal maneuvering since Gov. Scott signed the legislation boggles the mind.
As NRL News Today reported, at the end of June 2015, Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis blocked the 24-hour waiting period from going into effect.
HB 633, which was strongly supported by the Florida legislature, had been scheduled to take effect the following day.
A slew of back-and-forth rulings ensued. Finally, on February 26, 2016, a three-judge panel for Florida’s First District Court of Appeal ruled that the temporary injunction did not meet a legal test required for a temporary injunction.
The judges– Bradford Thomas, Susan Kelsey and William Stone –wrote, “In the abortion context as in any other, injunctive relief requires competent, substantial evidence to support the necessary findings of fact.” The original order (by 2nd Circuit Court Judge Charles Dodson) was “legally insufficient to justify this injunctive relief.”
Then followed the state Supreme Court’s April 22 decision to block enforcement while it pondered whether to accept the case brought by the ACLU on behalf of Gainesville Woman Care and yesterday’s vote to take up the case.