State asks SCOTUS to not take up HB2 appeal

They win by default that way, so why would they want to have to take their chances?

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away a legal challenge to the state’s abortion restrictions filed by a coalition of abortion providers.

The abortion providers appealed to the high court almost a month ago, and justices have not yet decided whether to hear the case. In Monday’s filing, the state’s attorneys argued that a lower court was right in rejecting the challenge to abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013, known as House Bill 2. They also said that the abortion providers’ request was too broad and cited a lack of evidence proving the restrictions unconstitutional.


In the AG’s brief filed with the high court, state attorneys argued that the abortion providers could not challenge the admitting privileges requirement beyond the exemptions for the two clinics on the border, because that provision of HB 2 has already been upheld by the courts in a separate lawsuit.

“[The abortion providers] wish to proceed as if their first lawsuit against HB 2 never happened,” the state attorneys wrote. “But they litigated that case to a final judgment, and arguments and evidence they chose not to present there are barred.”

See here for the background. Going to SCOTUS is a high-stakes gamble for abortion providers, but since doing nothing is a loss, what else is there to do? All we can do is wait and see if SCOTUS takes up the appeal. As for Paxton’s claim that HB2 does not place an undue burden on women seeking abortions, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he’s wrong about that, even if the zealots on the Fifth Circuit refuse to accept it. Slate and RH Reality Check have more.

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