Abortion Constitutionality Down Syndrome abortions

Eighth Circuit Affirms Injunction Prohibiting Enforcement of Arkansas Abortion Law; Two Judges Call for Reexamination of Casey

Here is link to today’s decision by the Eighth Circuit affirming an injunction prohibiting enforcement of two provisions of Arkansas law restricting abortion. One provision prohibits abortion after 18 weeks and the other provision prohibits abortion after a Down Syndrome diagnosis if the abortion is sought due to that reason.

Two judges (Judges Shepherd and Erickson) concurred but also wrote separately to indicate their dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court’s viability standard. Judge Shepherd stated:

“Today’s opinion is another stark reminder that the viability standard fails to adequately consider the substantial interest of the state in protecting the lives of unborn children as well as the state’s ‘compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.’”

The two judges called for the Supreme Court to re-examine Casey.

These two concurring opinions continue a trend of lower court judges expressing disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe and Casey. I have written about this trend in this short article.


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.