Abortion Constitutionality Informed consent

6th Circuit Refuses to Grant Stay of Ruling Enjoining Tennessee Abortion Law

Here is link to today’s Sixth Circuit 2-1 decision refusing to grant a stay of a federal district court ruling enjoining provisions of Tennessee law relating to abortion. The Tennessee  law imposes waiting periods before a woman can obtain an abortion. Such laws have been regularly upheld by the courts. As the dissent by Judge Thapar makes clear, the Sixth Circuit should have granted a stay in this case. Here is a bit from his dissent:

“Since Casey, no federal appellate court has successfully struck down an abortion waiting period. Why? Because the Supreme Court says that waiting periods are constitutional. Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 881–87 (1992) (plurality opinion). Indeed, both the Supreme Court and our court have upheld such laws. But here the majority, like the district court before it, decides to chart its own course.”

“In doing so, the majority ignores Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit precedent, as well as the correct legal standard. Given the weighty interests involved in this case, the majority’s failure to issue a stay merits immediate correction either by our court or a higher one. After all, ” ‘it is not our place to ignore precedent and push our own agenda.'”

Here is Judge Thapar’s conclusion:

“Abortion may be controversial. Following Supreme Court precedent shouldn’t be. I dissent.”

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.