Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: New Circuit Court Judge Compared Abortion to Slavery

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

A newly appointed judge to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote a blog post on Martin Luther King Jr. Day back in 2008 comparing abortion to slavery—a comparison Imani Gandy has long since debunked.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

The King County Board of Health in Washington State has mandated that so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which are notorious for luring vulnerable pregnant people away from abortion clinics and toward faith-based programs in which CPC staff browbeat pregnant patients about the purported evils of abortion, will be required to post a notice on-site that reads, “This facility is not a health care facility.”

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in the case of Sreyoun Lunn that local law enforcement cannot hold undocumented immigrants like Lunn on a civil immigration detainer issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Lunn was held by state officials even after county prosecutors dropped their robbery case against him.

After a two-day trial, an all-male, six-member jury acquitted anti-abortion protester David Schmidt of battering a security guard in Wichita, Kansas. Security footage showed Schmidt shoving John Rayburn, a guard at the Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center, after Rayburn tried to remove a protest sign that Schmidt had affixed to a lawn chair during a July 2016 protest in front of the clinic. The jury found that Schmidt had acted reasonably in defending his sign, which the judge presiding over the case ruled should not have been seized since the clinic guard is a private citizen and untrained in sign-code enforcement.

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S. Daniel Carter, a campus security consultant, writes in the Huffington Post that it is incumbent upon courts tasked with evaluating Title IX campus sexual assault cases to balance the due process rights of those accused of sexual assault against the state’s interest in providing a safe learning environment free of sexual assault. This comes as representatives from the Department of Education announced they were inviting so-called mens rights activists to discuss campus rape investigations.

Newly appointed Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Bush wrote a blog post comparing abortion to slavery on Martin Luther King Jr. Day back in 2008. Team Legal is no longer dignifying such nonsense with a lengthy response. We simply urge John Bush to read Imani Gandy’s article explaining that abortion is not like slavery.

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