On March 4: Will it Damage Roe v. Wade?
Former Nebraska Attorney General Who Argued Partial-Birth Abortion Case in U.S. Supreme Court Available to Interview
Intro: The high-profile abortion case of June Medical Services v Russo was argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on March 4, 2020.
Louisiana enacted the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act which requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law and the abortion providers asked the Supreme Court to review the case. The state of Louisiana cross-appealed, arguing that the abortion providers lacked legal standing to bring the case.
Former Nebraska Attorney General, Don Stenberg, who argued the partial-birth abortion case of Stenberg v Carhart in the U.S. Supreme Court, joins us to discuss the June Medical Services case, as wells as the possibility of this case or another case might damage or overturn the historic Roe vs. Wade case legalizing abortion.
Q1: In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law that required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of where they perform abortions was unconstitutional. Doesn’t that mean that Louisiana’s law will be ruled unconstitutional also?
A1: No, for three reasons:
One, Louisiana raises the issue that abortion providers do not have standing – that is, do not have a legal right to represent their patients in court. Two, there are important factual differences. Three, the makeup of the Supreme Court is different now, and believed by many to now have a 5-4 conservative majority.
Q2: Let’s talk about each of those. What is Louisiana’s argument that abortion providers don’t have legal standing to bring this lawsuit?
A2: In this case, the abortion providers claim to be representing women who want to have abortions. The State of Louisiana argues the abortion providers cannot do that because they have a conflict of interest. Women want the safest possible abortion, but the abortion providers are trying to overturn a regulation that would make abortion safer. So, Louisiana argues that the abortion providers have no legal right to bring this lawsuit.
Q3: What are the factual differences between the 2016 case and this one?
A3: There are several. But the most important difference is that the law in Texas would have resulted in many abortion clinics closing, which would have created a substantial obstacle to having an abortion in Texas. In this case, the Fifth Circuit found that few, if any, clinics would have to close as a result of the law.
Q4: How has the Supreme Court makeup changed and why does that matter?
A4: The Texas case was a 5-3 decision. Justice Scalia had passed away and had not yet been replaced. Justice Gorsuch later replaced Justice Scalia and Justice Cavanaugh replaced Justice Kennedy. Justice Kennedy had been one of the five in the majority in the Texas case. So, we now have five U.S. Supreme Court justices who may look favorably on Louisiana’s arguments.
Q5: In your opinion, what are the prospects for Louisiana’s law being upheld by the Supreme Court?
A5: In my opinion, the Louisiana law will be upheld in a five – four decision. Either because the abortion providers do not have standing, or because the law in Louisiana does not create a substantial obstacle for a woman who wants to have an abortion.
Q6: In your opinion, what are the prospects for Roe v. Wade being overturned, either now or in the foreseeable future?
A6: I am optimistic that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the foreseeable future, especially if President Trump has the opportunity to replace one of the liberal justices with another constitutional conservative. In my opinion, it is doubtful that the court will overturn Roe v. Wade in this case, because the court can rule in Louisiana’s favor without deciding that question.
Q7: If Roe v. Wade were overturned that, does that in and of itself make abortions illegal?
A7: No. It would leave it up to the legislature of each state to determine whether abortion would be allowed in the state, and if a state decided to allow abortions, it could place restrictions, such as limiting abortion to cases where it was necessary to save the life of the mother, for example.
Q8: As you know, Doctor Forrest Smith testified in a California court last year that some abortion clinics were selling baby parts for profit from babies who were born alive and then killed. Shouldn’t the law protect the life of a baby born alive during an abortion?
A8: Yes. Absolutely. But when a bill to do that was voted on in the United States Senate earlier this week, it was defeated by 41 Democrat senators. Killing, or allowing a baby born alive to die, when her life could’ve been saved is both immoral and inhumane.
Q9: Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. You wrote your book before the Coronavirus outbreak. Sounds like life imitating art imitating life. Tell us the part in “Eavesdropping on Lucifer” where you write about a worldwide pandemic?
A9: Lucifer explains to his apprentice how an infectious disease for which there is no cure, or a major nuclear war, could kill hundreds of millions of people. But Lucifer speculates that would only happen if God allowed it to happen because people had turned away from Him. Lucifer explains to his apprentice how the drastic changes in our culture came about – from abortion on demand to Ten Commandment monuments being removed and religious freedom being restricted.
Q10: Where can we get a copy of your new book, Eavesdropping on Lucifer?
A10: You can pre-order the book on Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. For more information about the book go to eavesdropping on Lucifer.com.
ABOUT DON STENBERG…
Don Stenberg (born September 30, 1948) served as attorney general of the state of Nebraska from 1991 to 2003 and later served as the Nebraska state treasurer from 2011 to 2019. He previously also served as legal counsel to Nebraska Governor Charles Thone from 1979 to 1983. His law degree, with honors, is from Harvard Law School.
As a pro-life Republican, Don Stenberg fought to end partial-birth abortion in the state of Nebraska. As Nebraska’s Attorney General, he personally defended Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in an argument in the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the 2000 Supreme Court was too liberal and overturned Stenberg’s legislation in Stenberg v. Carhart.
Today Don Stenberg is on a media and book tour promoting his new book, Eavesdropping on Lucifer. In the book, Lucifer explains to his apprentice how the drastic changes in our culture came about – from abortion on demand to Ten Commandment monuments being removed and religious freedom being restricted. In the end, Lucifer admits and complains that his evil work can be defeated by belief in God’s Son.
Don’s book is scheduled to be released May 5, 2020, but can be preordered on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Here’s an endorsement by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft:
“Eavesdropping on Lucifer is common sense, digestible wisdom that can be easily understood by every generation. C.S. Lewis would have given it his stamp of approval.” –Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft