Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a judge on Wednesday invalidated North Dakota’s trigger abortion law, allowing the state’s lone remaining abortion facility to continue performing the procedure.
By virtue of the state’s ban, abortions cannot be carried out there unless absolutely essential to preserve the patient’s life. Additionally, there are exclusions for rape and incest, according to The Associated Press.
Whether or not North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley (R) correctly construed language describing the actions required to “trigger” the legislation is in question.
When “the attorney general certifies to the legislative council the issuance of the judgment in any decision of the United States Supreme Court which, in whole or in part, restores states’ right to prohibit abortion,” the ban takes effect on the 30th day after that decision.
Although exceedingly rare, the Supreme Court could change or revise its initial judgment and judgments during the period for a petition for rehearing, making the original opinion moot, according to Judge Bruce Romanick, who sided with the plaintiffs.
“Without the formal certification of the Supreme Court’s opinion, the lower courts cannot be guaranteed of the finality of the Supreme Court’s decision,” he added.
Wrigley took that action on June 28, but the plaintiffs in the lawsuit contended that he acted too soon since it takes the court 25 days to issue a final ruling after the Supreme Court issues its verdict.
According to the brief, the North Dakota attorney general is of the belief that the high court’s signature date and the date it renders its decision coincide.
In a brief phone interview, Wrigley explained to The Hill that by recertifying the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, he had complied with the judge’s order. On August 26, he declared, the law would next go into force.
One month after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, a temporary restraining order was issued. This led to the creation of a patchwork of state laws, including more than a dozen so-called trigger bans, many of which have been put on hold while legal action is being pursued.