Sunday, November 5, 2017

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to consider discipline for ACLU lawyers in abortion case

You have probably read or heard about the story of the 17 year old detainee who was seeking to get an abortion while in custody.  After the government refused to allow her to leave the shelter where she was being held in custody, a ruling by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit cleared the way for the abortion.

The case has not ended however, since it is being reported now that the Department of Justice has filed a petition before the Supreme Court in which it is asking the justices to vacate the D.C. Circuit’s ruling.  This would mean that the decision would no longer serve as legal precedent.

More interestingly for readers of this blog, the government is also suggesting that the justices should sanction the woman's attorneys for misconduct that, the government argues, thwarted it from seeking Supreme Court review of the decision in the first place.  You can read more about this development in the SCotUS blog here.

According to the ABA Journal online, ACLU legal director David Cole responded to the government filing in a statement that states: “This administration has gone to astounding lengths to block this young woman from getting an abortion,” Cole said. “Now, because they were unable to stop her, they are raising baseless questions about our conduct. Our lawyers acted in the best interest of our client and in full compliance with the court orders and federal and Texas law. That government lawyers failed to seek judicial review quickly enough is their fault, not ours.”

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