By Dave Andrusko
Tip of the hat goes out to Heather Clark, a fine reporter for Christian News, who alerted her readers today that “A coalition of 11 states have filed an amicus brief backing the Trump administration’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after an illegal immigrant teenager was allowed by a federal appeals court to obtain an abortion.”
As NRL News Today readers are well aware, the undocumented, unaccompanied 17-year-old from Central America secured an abortion, thanks to the ACLU and the DC Court of Appeals. Our last few stories about this human tragedy focused on the Trump administration’s insistence that the ACLU had not been straight about what would happen (and how quickly) once the full DC Court of Appeals decided a minor illegal alien (“Jane Doe”) had a constitutional right to an abortion . For this and other reasons, the Department of Justice filed a petition, asking the Supreme Court to vacate the decision and punish the ACLU.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took the lead, as he has throughout the controversy. Joining Monday’s brief were the attorneys general of Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia, as well the general counsel for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The brief from the 11 states reads, “This court should vacate the court of appeals’ order because the Constitution does not confer the right to an elective abortion on unlawfully-present aliens with virtually no ties to the country.” Moreover, it continues, “The States also have ‘a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life,’ as well as an ‘interest in promoting respect for human life at all stages in the pregnancy.’”
In its 29-page petition which the state attorneys general are supporting, the Department of Justice argued that “the ACLU misled the United States as to the timing of Jane Doe’s abortion,” according to Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley. “After informing Justice Department attorney the procedure would occur on October 26th, Jane Doe’s attorneys scheduled the abortion for the early morning hours of October 25th, thereby thwarting Supreme Court review. In light of that, the Justice Department believes the judgment under review should be vacated, and discipline may be warranted against Jane Doe’s attorneys.”
The ACLU’s response not only denied it did anything wrong, it laid out its agenda—securing the “right” to abort for similarly situated undocumented young women. “That government lawyers failed to seek judicial review quickly enough is their fault, not ours,” ACLU Legal Director David Cole said in a statement.
“We won’t let this distract us from the real issue here, which is that there are many more young women like Jane Doe out there who are still unable to get the care they need because of the Trump administration’s unconstitutional policies. We will not stop fighting until we have justice for every young woman like Jane.”
Attorney General Paxton responded, “It seems very clear to me that ACLU lawyers misled the Department of Justice to carry out this heinous act against an unborn innocent life,” adding. “I hope the court will hold the responsible ACLU lawyers accountable for their conduct.”