Legal back and forth begins ahead of injunction hearing against state’s abortion trigger law

The hearing at Orleans Parish Civil District Court is set for Friday at 10 a.m.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 11:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Attorney General Jeff Landry said the temporary restraining order is preventing his office from enforcing pro-life law in Louisiana. Over the Fourth of July weekend, he asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to dissolve the lawsuit ahead of Friday’s hearing.

Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, supported Landry’s effort in a statement saying:

“Louisiana is a pro-life state, and our laws reflect our citizen’s determination to protect life. We call upon the Louisiana Supreme Court to throw out this baseless lawsuit. It’s time Louisiana protects unborn babies from abortion.”

The opposition said Landry has no right to bypass due process and asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to reject his request.

“I wasn’t surprised. I actually expected something splashy from him,” said State Rep. Mandie Landry (D-New Orleans).

She said she doesn’t believe the La. Supreme Court will consider the Attorney General’s request, in fact, she believes this is the first step in a long legal back-and-forth.

“I think there’s a good chance the injunction will be granted, and if that happens while there may be an appeal process, I tend to think the legislature will call itself back into a special session.”

While the supreme court has yet to respond to the AG’s request, court watchers believe Friday’s hearing will stay on schedule.

Dr. Robert Collins, public policy professor at Dillard University, said because state court judges are elected by the people and most of Orleans Parish voters lean pro-choice, Judge Robin Giarrusso will likely rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

“You can expect their political philosophy, their judicial philosophy, their legal philosophy, to reflect the opinions of the electorate they come from,” he said.

But at the end of the day, he said the losing side will appeal.

“The question is what’s going to happen when it gets to the appellate and the supreme court level?” said Collins. “I think most court watchers will say the plaintiffs will have a much more difficult time at those levels because those justices are elected from very conservative districts.”

Collins called the lawsuit a delay tactic; a strategy to stretch the process out with the hope of some sort of intervention from the federal government.

“It will certainly be several months at a minimum before this case is resolved with finality, we know that. What we don’t know is whether or not the appellate and the supreme court are going to allow the abortion clinics to stay open for that entire period of months while due process is playing out. We don’t know the answer to that yet.”

Meanwhile, some physicians and patients say the language of the new law is still too vague.

“So they’re worried about what this means to the care of their patients and also the legal ramifications,” said Rep. Mandie Landry.

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