By Dave Andrusko
The Supreme Court this morning agreed with Kentucky’s Attorney General that he should be allowed to defend “The 2018 Human Rights of the Child Act”.
Kentucky’s H.B. 454 prohibits live dismemberment abortions that “will result in the bodily dismemberment, crushing, or human vivisection of the unborn child” when the unborn child is 11 weeks or older.
“The justices ruled 8-1 in favor of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the top legal officer in the state, in his appeal of a lower court’s rejection of his request to intervene in the litigation,” wrote Andrew Chung. The lone dissenter was Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The issue before the justices was not the constitutionality of the law. The question, rather, was whether Cameron would be allowed to intervene to defend HB 454.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the 38 page opinion.
Kentucky’s lone abortion clinic, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, immediately challenged Kentucky’s law, passed in 2018. As for Cameron’s request to be allowed to defend HB 454, “It argued that Cameron should not be able to take the case further because the state attorney general’s office previously agreed to be bound by the lower court’s final judgment and then did not pursue an appeal,” according to Chung. The then-governor, Andy Beshear, who is pro-abortion, refused to defend the law.
Newly elected Cameron appealed to the 6th Circuit which ruled he waited too long. Cameron then appealed to the Supreme Court. Oral arguments were held in October 2021.
Following today’s decision, Cameron said
The court’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law. The court found that our office is the fail safe for defending the Commonwealth’s laws when they come under attack. As the court noted, we had a strong interest in stepping in to defend this important law after the Beshear Administration’s ‘secretary for Health and Family Services elected to acquiesce.’
The members of the General Assembly, pro-life advocates, and countless Kentuckians have championed this law at every turn, and we are incredibly grateful for their support. While the legal challenge to this law is not over, we will do what is necessary to defend it.”