News Abortion

Judge To Hear Mississippi TRAP Law is Republican, But Does That Matter?

Robin Marty

On Wednesday we will learn if Mississippi's TRAP law will go into effect, shutting down the state's only public abortion clinic.  But does the fact that the judge is a GOP party leader matter?

As Mississippi Judge Daniel Jordan prepares to hear arguments over whether or not the state has the legal right to enact a law meant to close the only public clinic that provides abortions in the state, many are wondering whether the fact that he was a Republican appointee will play a factor. Jordan, a GOP county chairman, was appointed by President George W. Bush, a fact that some worry could have an effect on his ruling.

But one law professor says that’s pretty unlikely, because the law is too obviously unconstitutional to matter.

Via the Associated Press:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 established a nationwide right to abortion. In 1992, the court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld the Roe decision and allowed states to regulate abortions before fetuses are viable. The 1992 decision also said states may not place undue burdens or substantial obstacles to women seeking abortion, said George Cochran, a constitutional law professor at the University of Mississippi.

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Because of the 1992 ruling, Cochran said Jordan’s decision should be “a very straightforward thing.”

“When you have members of the Legislature and the governor publicly saying that this is an attempt to have an ‘abortion-free’ state, then it’s clear that it’s designed to place an undue burden or substantial obstacle to women seeking abortion,” Cochran said.

Regardless of Jordan’s political leanings, or what he decides on Wednesday, the decision will be appealed. The only question is whether or not the clinic will remain open while that happens.

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