Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Rehearing granted in abortion-access injunction case

In March 2021, the Court of Appeals said the State was denied a fair trial in a dispute over whether anti-abortion activists had unlawfully impeded women from an abortion clinic. As I wrote in covering the case, 

The Court of Appeals ultimately holds the AG was entitled to a preliminary injunction after all, and that she had proven a likelihood of success on whether the protesters had physically obstructed patients, threatened the use of force against them, and violated the rules against follow-and-harass. The Court also finds that, without the injunction, the clinic patients will suffer irreparable harm and that without the injunction, there will be future violations of the FACE Act. The Court also holds the FACT Act does not violate the First Amendment right to speech and protest, as it prohibits true threats, which fall outside the First Amendment's protections.

The case is State of New York v. Griepp. The ruling in March was a huge victory for the New York Attorney General, which is prosecuting the case.That appellate ruling has now been vacated. In April, the protesters filed a petition for rehearing. The Court of Appeals has granted that petition without any hint as to how it might rule on it. The district court ruling in the protesters' favor remains in place while the Court of Appeals re-hears the case.  

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