Idaho Judge Dismisses three claims in a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s Abortion Law, upholds two others

By Dave Andrusko

On Friday, Fourth Judicial District Judge Jason Scott partially granted a motion from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office to dismiss an abortion lawsuit. Just two weeks ago Attorney General Raul Labrador had asked, in Adkins v. State of Idaho, that the case be dismissed entirely.

Judge Scott did dismiss Gov. Brad Little, the Board of Medicine, and Attorney Raúl Labrador as defendants. 

The judge agreed with the Attorney General’s argument that the three “are not proper defendants in the case, given their limited and secondary roles in enforcing the statutes,” wrote the Associated Press’s Kimberlee Kruesi.  The judge also “dismissed three of the five claims brought by the plaintiffs.”

The Attorney General’s office explained the state’s position in a statement released Friday:

Today an Ada County District Court judge granted most of Attorney General Raúl Labrador’s Motion to Dismiss in Adkins v. State of Idaho, a challenge led by a New York-based advocacy group to Idaho’s criminal abortion laws.  Judge Jason Scott dismissed the majority of claims in the suit, finding that Idaho’s criminal abortion laws do not violate the Idaho Constitution by treating pregnant women differently than those who are not pregnant and that the criminal abortion laws do not violate the Idaho Constitution relating to a physician’s right to practice medicine.

The judge allowed two limited claims to move forward against the State of Idaho.  The judge decided the plaintiffs are entitled to have their rights declared under the statutes through a declaratory judgement, but with the admonishment that, “even though the declaration Plaintiffs ultimately receive may not be the one they want.”  The judge is also allowing a limited challenge to the constitutionality of the statutes narrowly related to how the statutes might apply in specific pregnancy-related situations.  The decision upholds the constitutionality of Idaho’s criminal abortion statutes in the vast majority of situations.

This is only the beginning of this litigation, but the Attorney General is encouraged by this ruling. He has long held that the named defendants were simply inappropriate, and that our legislatively passed laws do not violate the Idaho Constitution by narrowly limiting abortions or interfering with a doctor’s right to practice medicine.  Attorney General Labrador will continue the fight to protect all Idahoans, including the unborn, and to uphold the laws passed by our legislature against special interest challenges.   

The next court date in the case is set for October 24.