abortion rights
abortion rights

Biden intends to nominate a conservative, anti-abortion lawyer to federal judgeship, Kentucky Democrats say

US President Joe Biden intends to nominate an anti-abortion Republican lawyer to a federal judgeship, two Kentucky Democrats informed of the decision say.

The prospective nominee, conservative lawyer Chad Meredith, would serve in a lifetime appointment to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Meredith’s prospective appointment was first reported by The Courier-Journal.

Kentucky Democrats expressed outrage about Meredith’s expected nomination to the court before it was clear that a vacancy would emerge on the bench. But on Friday, US District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell of the Eastern District of Kentucky was added to a public list of future federal judicial vacancies, clearing a path for Meredith to potentially join the court.

The US Courts list indicates that Caldwell shared her decision late last month to move into “senior” status as a judge for the court. By taking senior status, US Courts states, judges may choose to handle a reduced caseload; regardless of that caseload, the status creates a vacancy on the court they serve on.

Biden’s prospective nomination comes just as the President is pledging to use everything within his power to fight for abortion rights in the wake of last week’s US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. With the federal constitutional right to an abortion eliminated, states will have to determine abortion rights unless Congress acts.

Meredith previously worked as then-Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s deputy counsel, defending a state law that requires doctors performing abortions to first perform an ultrasound and describe the image on the monitor to the patient.

In court in 2018Meredith argued that the law would make sure women were more fully informed of their decision because “not every patient understands the consequences of the abortion procedure.”

“This is right in the heartland

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Ky. lawyer goes viral for offering free legal help after abortion ruling

A lawyer from a small town in eastern Kentucky has joined the fight to protect reproductive rights, a move she didn’t quite expect until she went viral on Twitter — for offering free legal services.

On June 24, Michelle Lawson tweeted, “​I will provide pro Bono services to women in Kentucky if they are prosecuted for providing or obtaining an abortion,” a message she sent out the same day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Waderuling that abortion is no longer a constitutional right and allowing states to determine the legality of the procedure.

The response to Lawson’s offer comes as pro-abortion advocates and those opposed to the court’s ruling are launching efforts nationwide to ensure that abortion access remains widely available.

Kentucky is one of the more than a dozen states with so-called trigger laws, which take effect and ban or severely restrict abortion with the repeal of Roe. The state passed the Human Life Protection Act in 2019, which went into effect on Friday after the ruling. The state law prohibits abortions in most circumstances, and no person may knowingly cause or aid people in “the termination of the life of an unborn human being.”

The law was temporarily halted Thursday by a judge after pro-abortion-rights groups banded together to fight it in court. Close to 200 women with appointments at a Louisville clinic had been turned away since the Supreme Court’s ruling, but now the procedures have been allowed to resume.

Attorney Michelle Lawson.

Attorney Michelle Lawson. (Courtesy: Michelle Lawson)

Lawson, a Hazard, Ky.-based attorney, expected a few people who might have needed her services to reach out, but she didn’t expect to get 13,000 retweets and more than 35,000 likes on her post. She was “surprised” by the response.

“For me, I think when you have national news

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Arizona attorney general: Pre-state abortion ban enforceable

“Our office has concluded the Legislature has made its intentions clear with regards to abortion laws,” Brmovich said on Twitter. “ARS 13-3603 (the pre-statehood law) is back in effect and will not be repealed” when the new law takes effect in late September.

The old law says anyone who helps a pregnant woman obtain an abortion can be sentenced to two to five years in prison. The only exception is if the life of the woman is in jeopardy.

Abortion clinics across Arizona had stopped providing the procedures within hours of last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling. They cited concerns that the old law could be enforced.

Explaining the halt in procedures, Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Brittany Forteno said the possibility of prosecutions was just too risky to continue providing abortion care. Other abortion providers followed suit.

Besides the total ban, a law that grants eggs and fetuses all rights is also on the books. Abortion rights advocates are asking a judge who refused to block it last year because Roe v. Wade was in effect to consider his decision. The arizona-us-supreme-court-ed8133637e92bd1be872a1ed5583a66b”judge did block that law’s ban on abortions because of a fetal genetic abnormality.

After the Supreme Court decision, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 abortion rights protesters gathered at the state Capitol, where the Legislature was completing work on the yearly session.

State police used tear gas to disperse the crowd after a small group of protesters started banging on the state Senate’s glass front and one person tried to kick in a sliding glass door. No arrests or injuries were reported Friday night, but protests continued for two days and several people were arrested.

Brnovich is among several Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for US Senate in the Aug. 2 primaries.


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