Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spoiling For A Fight

A court in North Dakota is putting the brakes on the state’s new abortion law.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks into pregnancy. […]

“There is no question that (the North Dakota law) is in direct contradiction to a litany of United States Supreme Court cases addressing restraints on abortion,” Hovland wrote. ” (It) is clearly an invalid and unconstitutional law based on the United States Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 … and the progeny of cases that have followed.”

I am very sure that the proponents of this and the laws in other states such as Texas and Ohio were counting on the law being challenged in court so they could go all the way to the Supreme Court and thereby get them to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Or not.  As we’ve seen in a number of cases, they have the option of doing nothing: either letting the lower court ruling stand or even refusing to hear the case unless there’s a clear constitutional question.

There is always the chance that the Court could go all Citizens United and create a new perspective on existing law — or what we call “judicial activism,”  which is how they claim Roe v. Wade came to be in the first place.

Ironically, the proponents are counting on that.  Because it’s not activism if it’s in your favor.