OOOPS. Supreme Court Posts Idaho Abortion Decision by Accident

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

The US Supreme Court briefly posted its decision in a highly anticipated abortion case, then removed it from the Supreme Court's website but not from the internet. The case is Idaho vs. United States, in which Idaho is asking the Supreme Court to remove a Ninth Circuit injunction that has stopped enforcement of Idaho’s Defense of Life Act, which prohibits abortions, unless necessary to save the life of the mother, on the ground that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act preempts it. Bloomberg first reported the rogue posting.

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While the decision posted is undoubtedly legitimate, there is a small possibility that it may change before the case decision is announced.

“The Court’s Publications Unit inadvertently and briefly uploaded a document to the Court’s website,” spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said in a statement. “The Court’s opinion in Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United States will be issued in due course.”
The version of the opinion inadvertently posted Wednesday may not be the final decision.

Idaho had a "trigger law" in place to implement an abortion ban should Roe vs. Wade be overturned. Initially, the Supreme Court had set aside a lower court injunction and allowed Idaho to enforce that law. The pro-abort strategy is to try to recreate a national abortion regime by piecemeal legal action. This case attempts to reestablish the much abused "health of the mother" test created in Roe's companion case, Doe vs. Bolton. In fact, the Idaho law that is under attack is very much like the Georgia law overturned in Doe.


BACKGROUND: Supreme Court Blocks Idaho's Lower Court Ruling on Abortion Restriction, Even in Emergencies – RedState


The US Supreme Court is poised to allow abortions in medical emergencies in Idaho, according to a copy of the opinion that was briefly posted on the court’s website.

The decision would reinstate a lower court order that had ensured hospitals in the state could perform emergency abortions to protect the health of the mother. The briefly posted version indicated the majority will dismiss appeals by Idaho and Republicans leaders in the state without resolving the core issues in the case.

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In a replay similar to the sudden discovery of "lack of standing" in Murthy vs. Missouri earlier today, this case is sent away as "improvidently granted." It's almost like Chief Justice Roberts doesn't want highly political decisions floating around during an election year.


RELATED: BREAKING: Supreme Court Deals First Amendment Blow in Murthy v. Missouri


The dissents from the decision were interesting. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson couldn't bring herself to utter the words woman or women.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote separately to say that she wouldn’t have dismissed the case, according to the copy that was briefly online.

“Today’s decision is not a victory for pregnant patients in Idaho. It is delay,” she wrote. “While this court dawdles and the country waits, pregnant people experiencing emergency medical conditions remain in a precarious position, as their doctors are kept in the dark about what the law requires.” [Italics are mine --streiff]

Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the court “has simply lost the will to decide the easy but emotional and highly politicized question that the case presents.”

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The decision means that Idaho will be forbidden to enforce the law as the case makes its way through lower courts. We will see this case again.

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