Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Mississippi Abortion Law

On December 13, 2019, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision striking down Mississippi’s law banning abortions after “15 weeks’ gestational age.” The decision is noteworthy, though, for the opinion by Judge James Ho who concurred in the judgment. Here is a link to the opinion.

Judge Ho’s opinion will undoubtedly attract much attention. He notes that “Nothing in the text or original understanding of the Constitution establishes a right to an abortion.” He went on to critique the district court opinion because, as Judge Ho explains, that opinion “displays an alarming disrespect for the millions of Americans who believe that babies deserve legal protection during pregnancy as well as before birth, and that abortion is the immoral, tragic, and violent taking of innocent human life.” I will have more to say about Judge Ho’s opinion in later posts.

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.