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Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’

Justice Antonin Scalia

The Washington Business Journal reports that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is prepared to discard a major precedent in abortion law when considering a future challenge to state regulations of abortion clinics, such as those approved in Virginia, Kansas and South Carolina.

A self-described  “originalist”, Scalia addressed a meeting of Washington, D.C. attorneys Thursday, affirming that the 14th amendment confers rights to the states.  But he repeated his long-held view that the Constitution is silent on abortion and that judges should stay out of the issue.  Scalia mocked the so-called ‘undue burden’ principle on accessing abortion thusly:

“So I run to the law books to see what an ‘undue burden’ is,” Scalia said. “What do you know, for 200 years, no burden was an undue burden. You could prohibit it. So I can’t use the law books.”

Scalia’s exasperation with courts inventing abortion law as they go along– together with the 4 pro-life vs 4 pro-abortion (and one swing vote) composition of the U.S. Supreme Court –ties in with why the Kansas abortion clinics switched to the state courts to fight the new law for licensing, inspection and regulation of abortion businesses.

Attorneys search the history of appellate courts and state supreme courts before they move forward with litigation.  In two out of three attempts this summer at the federal courts in the Kansas jurisdiction, abortion lawyers succeeded in securing injunctions to block new Kansas laws: the family planning funding case and the temporary rules of the licensure law.

But days before the permanent licensure rules went into effect, the abortion lawyers smoothly slid into state court and dropped their original federal suit, gauging that they weren’t going to win in federal court in the long run.  This is where the new comments of Scalia (more…)

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