The appeals by the abortion clinics against the Texas Abortion Law’s 6-weeks prohibition on abortion have suffered another setback. On 17th January, the federal appeals court decided to hand over the case to the Supreme Court of Texas.
Long Delay For The Texas Abortion Appeal
This decision regarding the Texas Abortion appeal implies that it will take several weeks, and perhaps even months, for the case to return to the federal judge, who has previously opposed the law. That is supposing the case even returns at all. The Texas Abortion Law has been effective since Sept 1.
Earlier on, the Supreme Court of the US had dismissed the majority of the federal lawsuit by the clinics. However, the justices had agreed 8-1 that the Texas Abortion lawsuit may continue against a few specific officials who are in charge of licensing in the state. Now, the appeals court of the federal government has asked the Supreme Court of Texas to give their opinion on these licensing officials’ roles in enforcing the new Texas Abortion ban. They will also want to hear if the clinics’ federal lawsuit can continue against these officials.
Needless to say, clinics were in vehement opposition to sending or certifying the lawsuit to the SC of Texas. As to why the federal appeals court still decided to do so, Circuit Judges Kyle Duncan and Edith Jones said that US SC had made use of hedged language while stating its opinion.
The language determined that the federal case can proceed against the official related to licensing. However, this reasoning implies uncertainty, at the very least, and a need to refer to the laws of the state. Stephen Higginson, another United States Circuit Judge, held a differing opinion and said this gave a second chance to defendants who have already been defeated at the US SC.