In a new low for the Trump Department of Justice, Solicitor General Noel Francisco asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step into the case of Jane Doe and effectively bless a policy that would grant the administration power to block abortion access for all unaccompanied pregnant minors in custody. Should the Court grant such a request, the effects would be catastrophic.
It wouldn’t just sanction the administration’s policy of not doing anything to “facilitate” an abortion, despite unaccompanied minors’ rights to access one. It would also embolden the administration to try and replicate that policy elsewhere—like in federal prisons.
The Trump administration’s filing also makes the chilling request for the Court to order disciplinary action against the attorneys representing Doe, claiming those attorneys made “material misrepresentations” to the federal government in an attempt to prevent further judicial review of Doe’s case. Of course, “further judicial review” simply meant “running out the clock” for Doe—who, at approximately 15 weeks into her pregnancy, was quickly approaching the deadline for Texas’ 20-week abortion ban.
Here’s an explanation of what the Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court to do and what it means moving forward: