Law Center Files Supreme Court Briefs in Defense of Federal Ban on 'Partial-Birth Abortion'
Thomas More Society has filed a pair of amicus briefs, cast in the style of “Brandeis briefs” packed with official statistics as to actual abortion practices – data that fatally undercut claims of abortionists that the federal prohibition of the partial-birth method is “vague” or “overbroad” and an “undue burden” on abortion rights.
Contact: Tom Brejcha, Esq., 312-782-1680, 312-590-3408 cell; Paul Linton, Esq., 847-291-3848
CHICAGO, Aug. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Thomas More Society, Pro-Life Law Center, is a Chicago-based public interest law firm that scored two decisive Supreme Court wins in the last three years (8-1 in 2003; 8-0 in 2006) in the Scheidler “RICO” litigation. Now the Society has just filed its second U.S. Supreme Court amicus curiae (“friend of the Court”) brief in the last three months in defense of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Three federal district courts in Nebraska, California and New York and three U.S. Courts of Appeals (the Eighth, Ninth and Second Circuits) have held the Act unconstitutional. But our reconstituted U.S. Supreme Court – under new Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by new Associate Justice Samuel Alito – will soon hear two appeals and issue a final, definitive ruling on the 2003 law. Neither Roberts nor Alito was on the Court when it last considered a prior federal ban on partial-birth abortion in Stenberg v. Carhart – striking down that law by a 5-4 margin in 2000. The outcome of these two new pending appeals may well mark a critical turning point in our current constitutional jurisprudence on “abortion rights.”
Thomas More Society’s latest amicus brief, authored by constitutional scholar Paul Linton, Esq., was filed in Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood – an appeal from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals which struck down the federal “partial-birth” abortion ban because, among other alleged flaws, it was found fatally “vague.” Abortionist witnesses claimed that they feared criminal prosecution even if they used other abortion methods, such as “dismemberment dilation & extraction” (D&E) or inductions (prematurely inducing labor). The Society’s earlier amicus brief, also authored by Paul Linton, was filed on May 10th in Gonzales v. Carhart, an appeal from the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Missouri), which had struck down the same law as "overbroad" because it was found to ban all late-term abortion methods, not just the “partial-birth” abortion method, and thus imposed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.
The Society designed its amicus briefs with a view to achieve some distinctive impact on the Justices’ decision-making process, not just to reiterate what other briefs were arguing in defense of the federal law. Paul Linton crafted a pair of “Brandeis briefs,” compiling official data as to actual abortion practices in states whose own partial-birth abortion prohibitions were in effect prior to the Supreme Court's first partial-birth abortion decision six years ago. These statistics put the lie to abortionists’ claims. Far from abortionists being clueless as to whether they could perform late-term abortions by methods other than the “partial-birth” procedure, official data showed that other late-term abortion methods were used routinely despite the state bans on “partial-birth” abortion. Thomas More Society’s Chief Counsel, Tom Brejcha, said: “These official reports prove there was no ‘undue burden’ on abortion rights and that the laws were not impermissibly 'vague.' Lower courts erred in taking the abortionists’ false claims at face value!”