Judges allow new defense of stalled Kentucky abortion law | New Policies

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Kentucky’s Republican attorney general could continue to defend an abortion rights restriction that was struck down by lower courts.

The underlying issue in the case is a stalled state law that abortion rights proponents claim would have effectively banned a standard method of abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy.

But the justices decided on the more technical question of whether Attorney General Daniel Cameron can intervene in the case after rulings by a trial court and appeals panel, as well as the Democratic governor’s ruling. Andy Beshear to drop the case.

The court concluded by an 8 to 1 vote that Cameron could intervene.

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The law was passed in 2018, when Republican Matt Bevin was governor. Following a lawsuit by abortion providers, a lower court permanently blocked the law, finding that the law would have made it impossible to perform the abortion procedure known as dilation and dilation. evacuation. A panel of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this decision in June 2020.

Five days later, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to strike down an independent Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics. But Cameron, who became attorney general in 2019, said the reasoning used by the High Court undermined the ruling against the Kentucky law.

The appeals court, however, rejected his attempts to intervene, leading to his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Cameron could ask the full appeals court to reconsider the panel’s decision and allow the law to go into effect. If he loses, Cameron could appeal to the Supreme Court.

The case is separate from the court’s consideration of Mississippi’s appeal to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both cases guaranteeing women’s right to abortion nationwide, and allowing states to set their own rules. Kentucky is among a dozen states with a law that would effectively ban abortions in case Roe and Casey are dumped.

Judge Stephen Breyer hinted at the result during High Court oral arguments last week in an unrelated case in which Republican attorneys general are asking to be allowed to intervene in defense of a Trump-era immigration rule. “Quite similar to what we just allowed in this Attorney General’s case,” Breyer said.

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