Wisconsin’s Unborn Child Protection Act

Wisconsin’s Unborn Child Protection Act gives the state “the legal authority to assist substance-addicted, pregnant women with their addiction, thus protecting both the mothers and their unborn children.” (The quote is from an article noting a press release issued by Wisconsin’s Attorney General; the article is available here.)

The Wisconsin statute was held unconstitutional by a federal district court judge in April 2017 and the same judge enjoined enforcement of the statute pending the appeal. The court of appeals refused to stay the district court’s injunction pending an appeal.

Wisconsin recently won an important victory in the case. The state, arguing that “the ‘epidemic crisis’ of prenatal substance abuse poses a substantial challenge for the States as they seek to carry out their sovereign responsibility of protecting children from either dying prematurely or being born with addictions, birth defects, or long-term health problems,”  sought a stay of the lower court’s injunction. On July 7, 2017, the US Supreme Court stayed the lower court’s decision pending consideration of the statute’s constitutionality by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Such an action by the Supreme Court is relatively uncommon and suggests that the federal district court’s decision may not ultimately be upheld on appeal.

Richard Myers

Richard S. Myers, the Vice-President of UFL, is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, and Religious Freedom. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree at Notre Dame, where he won the law school's highest academic prize. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Myers also worked for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law before joining the Ave Maria faculty. He is a co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (Catholic University of American Press, 2004) and a co-editor of Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy (Scarecrow Press, 2007). He has also published extensively on constitutional law in law reviews and also testified before Congressional and state legislative hearings on life issues. Married to Mollie Murphy, who is also on the faculty at Ave Maria School of Law, they are the proud parents of six children - Michael, Patrick, Clare, Kathleen, Matthew, and Andrew. http://www.avemarialaw.edu/index.cfm?event=faculty.bio&pid=11705E7D4E0111010366