A 17-year-old girl has been held in custody as an undocumented immigrant. The problem was that the man who is over all these immigrants has a religious view that he has been imposing upon all of those who come to this country seeking a better life. Then, there was this complication that made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Immigration authorities seized her and other similar teenagers at the border. She was pregnant.
The trouble began when Donald Trump appointed E. Scott Lloyd as head of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He is a strong anti-abortionist who took the time to personally counsel the undocumented teens under his care, trying to change their minds about wanting an abortion, regardless of the cause of the pregnancy.
He has been trying to hold her and other pregnant children hostage until it was too late for a legal abortion. A lower court dismissed this young woman’s case, because she was able to obtain her abortion in time under the law.
Yet, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) argued that the U.S. government should not have to help someone have an abortion for two reasons, according to USA TODAY. The first was when it was not necessary for the health of the mother, and the second reason was when she was an unaccompanied minor in federal custody after illegally crossing the country’s southern border.
The DOJ asked the Supreme Court to disregard the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and to punish the teens’ attorney either “directly or through a referral to their respective state bars.”
The Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to abandon a lower court ruling. It said an undocumented immigrant teen in federal custody could receive an abortion.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court’s ruling, reversed the lower court’s ruling, USA TODAY reported:
‘(When) a civil case from a court in the federal system … has become moot while on its way here, (established practice is) to reverse or vacate the judgment below and remand with a direction to dismiss.’
The Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys argued that the plaintiff’s attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) misled them by stealing the girl off at 4:15 a.m. and securing her an abortion before the court could appeal the ruling.
The court did not punish the ACLU attorneys, because “lawyers have ethical obligations to their clients and not all communication breakdowns constitute misconduct.”
The DOJ appeared before a full panel of judges and demanded that she have pre-abortion counseling. Solicitor General Noel Francisco claimed the case was moot, because the teenager already had the abortion . He asked the court to dismiss the case, referring to the 1950 Musingwear Doctrine. The doctrine contends that:
‘A judgment, unreviewable because of mootness, should not be permitted to spawn any legal consequences.’
There was a significant delay, which was unusual for the Supreme Court. After all, Francisco originally petitioned the court last November. People thought that the reason might be that the judges could not finish, because they were disagreeing.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Margaret Burke-White.