Federal Judge Rules Sternly Against Trump/GOP With Surprise Rebuff

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This Monday, federal judges in two states blocked Republican-backed restrictions on abortions from going into effect. Throughout the country, Republican state legislators have been trying to get abortion restrictions enacted recently, partly in an effort to kickstart a legal battle that might make it to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they hope that the conservative majority would rule in their favor.

On Monday, however, they got dealt another set of setbacks. In Georgia, District Judge Steve C. Jones issued a ruling blocking the implementation of a law that would have banned all abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, a point which is before most women even know they’re pregnant. In Tennessee, District Court Judge William Campbell, Jr. issued a temporary restraining order blocking regulations from going into effect that would have essentially outlawed all abortions through the imposition of a patchwork of restrictions and hurdles on the process.

Georgia’s Judge Jones ruled that the state’s planned abortion restrictions violated the Constitutional right to access to abortion services outlined by the famous Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. He wrote that a pregnant woman has “constitutional liberty… to have some freedom to terminate her pregnancy.”

Women’s rights groups praised the ruling. The legal advocacy group The Center for Reproductive Rights, which helped helm the lawsuit against the planned Georgia regulations, shared:

We just won our case challenging Georgia‘s 6 week abortion ban! The ban was in clear violation of #RoevWade and nearly a half century of Supreme Court precedent. Today, the rule of law prevailed once again, and abortion remains legal in all 50 states.’

A similar, allied organization called Sister Song, which advocates for women of color specifically, added:

We just found out that we won our lawsuit challenging Georgia’s ban on abortion early in pregnancy. This is a huge win for bodily autonomy. There’s work to do to close gaps in access, but today we celebrate!’

Since the Tennessee legislation covers similar ground as the newly struck down Georgia regulations, it seems increasingly likely that the Tennessee regulations will also be permanently struck down — although Georgia authorities are appealing the decision in their state, to be clear. Tennessee’s Judge Campbell’s restraining order is in effect until July 27, and he issued that order less than an hour after the state’s Republican governor officially signed the restrictions into law.

The Center for Reproductive Rights also helped helm the lawsuit against the Tennessee legislation. They commented on Twitter:

‘We, along with our partners at @PPFA , @ACLU , and @aclutn blocked Tennessee’s abortion ban in court just MINUTES after @GovBillLee signed it into law. Abortion is still legal in all 50 states. We’ll keep fighting to make sure this law never takes effect. #StopTheBans’

Some observers have been concerned that if an abortion rights case did make it to the Supreme Court, then Trump’s appointees could help secure a ruling in favor of Republicans. Recently, the court did hand down a ruling on proposed abortion restrictions in Louisiana, and the Trump-appointed Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch ruled to uphold the restrictions — but Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals to form the majority necessary to keep the law from going into effect.