On Monday Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office filed a brief in federal court arguing that U.S. District judge Kristine Baker should not block a new state law prohibiting abortion.
Act 309 of 2021 generally prohibits abortion in Arkansas except in cases when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The law passed with overwhelming support from the state legislature earlier this year, and it is slated to take effect July 28.
Last month the ACLU and abortionists filed a lawsuit against the state over Act 309.
On June 14 the ACLU asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would block the state from enforcing Act 309.
On Monday the Arkansas Attorney General’s office responded to the ACLU’s request.
The A.G.’s team argues that pro-abortion rulings like Planned Parenthood v. Casey need to be reevaluated and overturned — and that the U.S. Supreme Court is liable to do that in its upcoming Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case out of Mississippi.
The A.G.’s brief also argues that past court decisions like Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey “were wrongly decided” and that “there is no doubt that the fetus is a human life — not mere tissue, not ‘potential life,’ and not ‘the product of conception.'”
As we have written before, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker has consistently ruled in favor of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. In light of that fact, many expect Attorney General Rutledge’s arguments to fall on deaf ears in Judge Baker’s court.
However, the judges above her at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals have overturned some of her bad rulings in the past.
While it seems likely that Judge Baker will block Arkansas’ pro-life law in the short run, the Eighth Circuit may not agree with her decision on appeal.
In the long run, this lawsuit will give federal courts an opportunity to reverse decades of bad case law on abortion.
That means there is potential for significant, pro-life victories down the road.