By Dave Andrusko
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, a Barack Obama appointee and a reliable ally of the Abortion Industry, has scheduled a hearing this afternoon to consider the request by the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) for a Temporary Restraining Order preventing four Arkansas laws from taking effect as early as today.
As NRL News Today reported last week, the filing comes less than a week after the full 8th Circuit (“en banc”) decided not to rehear a three-judge panel’s decision to dissolve the injunction issued by Judge Baker.
The measures Judge Baker preliminarily enjoined in July 2017 banned the dismemberment of living unborn babies; protected unborn babies who would be aborted solely because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome; required forensic samples from abortions performed on a minor; and mandated humane disposal of the aborted baby’s remains.
Courthouse News provided a very nice summary of the 8th Circuit’s reasoning for upholding the panel’s conclusion:
In their decision reversing the district court’s injunction that had previously blocked the regulations, the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals cited June Medical Services v. Russo, the Supreme Court’s June 29 ruling striking down a Louisiana abortion restriction. Though Chief Justice Roberts sided with the court’s liberal bloc, he offered his own separate opinion. In it, he wrote that states do not have to prove that the benefits of an abortion restriction outweigh the burden on a person’s ability to access the procedure— it just has to show that it does not present a “substantial” obstacle or burden.
“Nothing about [previous Supreme Court precedent] suggested that a weighing of costs and benefits of an abortion regulation was a job for the courts,” Roberts wrote.
Erik De La Garza quoted from a fascinating exchange of emails over the weekend between Arkansas Solicitor General Nicholas Bronni and attorneys from the ACLU/CRR. In its brief the ACLU/CRR argued that the 8th Circuit must “preserve the status quo, and prevent irreparable harm while this Court considers Plaintiffs’ motion for a second preliminary injunction.”
“The status quo is that duly enacted laws go into effect, and you haven’t suggested any reason that wouldn’t be true here,” Bronni wrote to the attorneys in the email. “I don’t see anything below that explains why plaintiff thinks Arkansas’s laws protecting young girls from predators and sex traffickers, protecting unborn girls from systematic discrimination, requiring the respectful treatment of human remains, or barring a particularly barbaric manner of killing an unborn child are unconstitutional.”
Bronni also took issue with the timing of the emergency petition, writing in an opposition brief on Monday that the filings “appear to be part of a troubling pattern of seeking emergency relief near important religious occasions.” He also argued that the federal district court “must strictly obey the Eighth Circuit’s mandate,” expected to be issued by Tuesday.