Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Yep, States Are Still Trying to Defund Planned Parenthood

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

Persistent, aren't they?

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

Ohio’s attorney general plans to appeal the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the state can’t strip Planned Parenthood of federal funds just because the state doesn’t like abortion. Time will tell if the U.S. Supreme Court bites or not.

A bunch of Republican attorneys general filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that blocked Kansas from stripping Planned Parenthood of funding in the wake of the “Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts” smear campaign.

Fresh off their Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals win blocking HEA 1337 earlier this month, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is suing Indiana again—this time over a new law that would require medical providers who treat pregnant people for abortion complications to make a detailed report, including patient information, and provide it to the state.

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A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting new DACA applications. Judge John D. Bates said that the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program was “virtually unexplained” and as such, was “unlawful.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor, the nuns who helped successfully block full implementation of the Obama administration’s birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act, can intervene in a lawsuit that looks to block the Trump administration’s rollback of that benefit, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down the appeal of Bobby Bostic, a Missouri man who was sentenced to 241 years in prison for committing multiple crimes in one day when he was 16 years old. The Missouri attorney general argued that a 2010 Supreme Court ruling barring life sentences for defendants under 18 years of age who did not kill anyone only applied to defendants who committed a single crime.

An eighth grader has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Nevada, alleging that the Washoe County School District violated his first amendment rights when it told him to cover up a pro-gun T-shirt. The school says the shirt violated a dress code forbidding depictions of “anything that promotes weapons.”

More bad news for the Trump administration: In a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, a federal judge in Spokane, Washington, has permanently blocked the administration from cutting funds that pay for teen pregnancy prevention programs in some western states.

The wildly conservative and virulently anti-LGBTQ judge Kyle Duncan was confirmed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. As Team Legal previously reported, Duncan opposes marriage equality and adoption by same-sex couples, and thinks forcing trans folks to use bathrooms that don’t align with their gender identity is hunky dory.

A transgender inmate—40-year-old Jennifer Ann Jasmaine—is suing the-all male prison where she is incarcerated, alleging that the Lanesboro Correctional Institution in North Carolina has violated her constitutional rights by refusing her the right to practice Wicca, a religion based on pagan beliefs.

In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that juveniles cannot be put on the sex offender registry for life.

The Missouri Supreme Court is set to decide whether or not the Missouri Human Rights Act protects LGBTQ people, or whether LGBTQ people should stay as far away from Missouri as the NAACP once advised Black people to.

A state court judge entered a preliminary injunction blocking Arkansas from enforcing its voter ID law. In her ruling, Judge Alice Gray said, “Defendants contend that voter fraud exists, but there was no evidence of voter fraud presented at the hearing.” No surprise there. Republicans haven’t been able to prove rampant voter fraud in any state, but nevertheless they persist.

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