Florida’s new 15-week abortion legislation introduced protests to the state Capitol when it was debated final 12 months.

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Supreme Courtroom will evaluate a new, 15-week abortion legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican lawmakers are contemplating making even more durable, however justices set a schedule that doubtless delays a choice on its constitutionality till a lot later this 12 months.

The deadlines for submitting briefs within the case means DeSantis and the Legislature won’t have a choice on whether or not the 15-week restrict is upheld till after the two-month legislative session is scheduled to finish in Could.

DeSantis, who has promised to “increase pro-life protections,” has prevented questions for months about how far he needs to restrict abortion entry in Florida till the courtroom guidelines on the present customary, which he signed into legislation final April.

“From right here, we are going to proceed to defend our pro-life protections,” Bryan Griffin, a DeSantis spokesman, stated of the courtroom’s motion. “The Declaration of Independence enumerates three unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and we stand for all of them.”

Justices unveiled a drawn-out schedule for briefs to be filed within the case as a part of a two-page order launched Monday night time through which additionally they accepted jurisdiction.

The case had been within the First District Courtroom of Attraction since final summer time, when Leon County Circuit Courtroom Decide John Cooper dominated the legislation unconstitutional and the state appealed.

Florida’s strictest abortion legislation in virtually half-century

The measure which took impact July 1 bans most abortions in Florida after 15 weeks of being pregnant, with no exceptions for rape or incest, lowering what had been a 24-week customary in place for nearly a half-century.

Individually, in a 4-1 determination, justices denied a movement by Deliberate Parenthood teams and different plaintiffs to dam the legislation whereas the case is being reviewed.

“Whereas we’re happy that the courtroom didn’t shut its doorways utterly, we’re dismayed that it has allowed this harmful ban to stay in impact and to hurt actual folks each day till this case is lastly determined,” stated Whitney White, an legal professional with the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Challenge, who had argued the case earlier than Cooper.

“We hope the courtroom acts rapidly and follows 40 years of precedent and the desire of the folks to cease this unconstitutional, 15-week abortion ban, which has precipitated chaos and devastation within the state since going into impact in July,” she added.

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Refusing to dam the legislation had been Justices Charles Canady, Ricky Polston, John Couriel and Jamie Grosshans. Justice Jorge Labarga supported issuing a keep on the 15-week legislation. Chief Justice Carlos Muniz and Justice Renatha Francis didn’t take part within the ruling.

DeSantis has appointed a majority of the seven-member Supreme Courtroom.

Nationwide new limits have unfold

The U.S. Supreme Courtroom’s overturning in June of the 1973 Roe v. Wade determination that legalized abortion nationwide has given states full authority to create their very own insurance policies.

Since June, near-total bans on abortion have been applied in 12 states, with authorized challenges pending towards a number of of those procedures. Elective abortions are also unavailable in two different states and bans accredited in three extra states have been accredited, however subsequently blocked by courts.

Vice President Kamala Harris got here to Tallahassee final Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade determination by calling out Republican leaders for pushing for limits that undermine abortion entry.

VP Harris goals at DeSantis

A few of her remarks appeared directed towards DeSantis, who incessantly touts the ‘free state of Florida.’

“Can we really be free if so-called leaders declare to be, I quote, ‘on the vanguard of freedom,’ whereas they dare to limit the rights of the American folks and assault the very basis of freedom?” she requested.

Many anti-abortion advocates suppose DeSantis will push for a so-called heartbeat invoice, prohibiting most abortions after six weeks. Whereas different activists are pushing for an outright ban, some predict that state lawmakers will as an alternative take extra modest steps, lowering the present legislation to 12-weeks.

The state Supreme Courtroom’s schedule, although, might delay any proposals from the governor or Legislature for months.

The schedule outlined by the courtroom requires the Deliberate Parenthood teams and allies to submit its first briefs by Feb. 27, with the state then having 30 days to submit its personal view of the case.

Two extra rounds of reply briefs – separated by 30-day home windows – are then allowed, with extra paperwork additionally attainable. Justices didn’t set a date for after they wish to hear arguments within the case.

All instructed, the schedule simply units up the probability that justices gained’t rule on the constitutionality of the 15-week legislation till at the least a while this summer time.

Florida’s privateness proper a goal for abortion opponents

Attorneys for the state are anticipated to ask justices to reverse many years of precedent and rule that Florida’s constitutional proper to privateness doesn’t defend abortion rights.

Cooper relied on the courtroom’s 1989 “T.W.” ruling, when the state Supreme Courtroom overturned a parental consent legislation for minors in search of abortion, saying it violated that privateness proper.

The privateness proper states that “each pure particular person has the best to be not to mention and free from governmental intrusion.” It was added to the state structure by voters in 1980.

However final fall, Lawyer Normal Ashley Moody’s workplace filed briefs with the Supreme Courtroom in favor of holding the 15-week legislation in place whereas the enchantment was being thought-about. Her attorneys cited the phrases utilized in the best.

“That language is of course learn to restrict governmental snooping and information-gathering – however to not set up a liberty to destroy unborn (or some other) life.”

John Kennedy is a reporter within the USA TODAY Community’s Florida Capital Bureau. He will be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter at @JKennedyReport

This text initially appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida’s new 15-week abortion legislation stays on books, no ruling doubtless extra months

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