UPDATE, 6/30, 7:45am: BREAKING: Supreme Court REINSTATES Arizona's Prohibition On Providers Who Perform Abortions Due To A Genetic Anomaly
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning decided that Arizona's 2021 law prohibiting medical providers from performing an abortion if they know it is solely because of genetic abnormalities could go into effect even while the appeal process was pending.
AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich had requested the ruling back in December, while the case is proceeding in both the District Court and the 9th Circuit.
As more fully described below, this adds a level of confusion to the several Arizona laws restricting abortion care.
UPDATE, 6/29, 4:15pm: DID THEY (IN THE SHADOWS), OR DIDN'T THEY? Adding to Confusion, U.S. Supreme Court *MAY* Have Discussed Part of AZ Abortion Ban TODAY
Ah, the shadows cast by the shadow docket are long on the penultimate day of the session.
Earlier today, Arizona's Law broke the news that the U.S. Supreme Court Justices were conferencing TODAY on a portion of one of Arizona's (several) anti-abortion laws. After some odd postings by the Court and further investigation, it is unclear whether the discussion took place.
We posted the docket this morning, which includes an entry from earlier in the day suggesting that they were going to conference the Brnovich v. Isaacson case. (Below) A couple of hours later, we refreshed the docket to see if an Order had been docketed. To our surprise, the entry scheduling the conference had disappeared.
After ill-fated - and, slightly humorous - attempts to get an answer to the mysterious disappearance from the Court's Public Information Office (before closing time), we waited for clarity.
It arrived. Partly. The Clerk's Office re-posted the conference announcement, along with an entry noting that Justice Elena Kagan - who is assigned to handle emergency matters for the 9th Circuit - had referred the Motion to the entire Court. That may have explained the temporary disappearance of the conference entry, but it was also a clear sign that Kagan was not going to use this to re-dissent or try to distinguish it from Dobbs.)
However, the Court's calendar shows that no conference took place today. (It is regularly refreshed during the end of session hubbub.)
Did they or didn't they? That is the question. And Arizona's Law will bring you the answer as soon as it becomes available.
Original article, 6/29, 10:45am: BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court Considering Part of AZ Abortion Ban TODAY; Elsewhere, Oral Argument On July 8 On "Personhood Provision"
Hot on the heels of last week's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court is TODAY considering the fate of part of Arizona's 2021 anti-abortion ban.
Arizona's Law readers may recall that Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the Court in December to state the prohibition on medical providers performing an abortion if they know it is solely because of genetic abnormalities could go into effect even while the appeal process was pending.
The Supreme Court did not rule on the emergency motion, likely because it would have tipped their hand about their deliberations on the Dobbs case.
With Friday's historic retraction of the constitutional rights set forth in Roe, the path was cleared for today's conference on the Arizona case. An Order deciding the status in Arizona will likely come before the Supreme Court adjourns for the summer (in the coming several days).
That could add another layer of confusion to the current legal landscape in Arizona surrounding abortion care. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have paused providing such care in light of the uncertainty.
The other part of Arizona's 2021 law (SB1457) is also currently at issue as part of the same case, in Arizona's U.S. District Court. The ACLU asked Judge Douglas Rayes to change his decision about the so-called Personhood Provision in light of Friday's Dobbs' ruling.
Rayes has set oral argument on that issue for July 8.
This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul is currently running for a seat in Arizona's House of Representatives.
"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.