Author Topic: Supreme Court upholds Indiana law requiring burial or cremation after an abortion  (Read 925 times)

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Online Wingnut

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order that will allow Indiana to enforce a law mandating the burial or cremation of fetal remains following an abortion.

The order marks the first case under the more conservative Supreme Court makeup to challenge the parameters of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The Indiana case was closely watched since the Supreme Court began discussing it in January. The justices met about it more than a dozen times.

The order by the Supreme Court overturns an appeals court decision from the 7th Circuit that held Indiana’s stated interest in “the ‘humane and dignified disposal of human remains’” was “not . . . legitimate.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/supreme-court-upholds-indiana-law-requiring-burial-or-cremation-after-an-abortion
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Online Elderberry

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SCOTUSblog

https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/box-v-planned-parenthood-of-indiana-and-kentucky-inc/

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Without oral argument, SCOTUS upholds Indiana law requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated, denies review of law barring abortions based on fetus’s race, sex or disability, leaving in place lower-court ruling striking down that law (case page in Box v. Planned Parenthood at this link).

Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc.
Docket No.    Op. Below      Argument    Opinion    Vote    Author    Term
18-483    7th Cir.    Not Argued    May 28, 2019      n/a    Per Curiam    OT 2018

Holding: Indiana’s law relating to the disposition of fetal remains by abortion providers passes rational basis review; certiorari is denied on the question whether the state may bar the knowing provision of sex-, race- or disability-selective abortions by abortion providers, as only the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has addressed this kind of law.

Judgment: Reversed in a per curiam opinion on May 28, 2019. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Justice Sotomayor would deny the petition for a writ of certiorari.

https://casetext.com/case/box-v-planned-parenthood-of-indiana-and-kentucky-inc

Online Hoodat

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Oh my!  The State of Indiana has the right to establish its own laws after all.
If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

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Offline Jazzhead

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Oh my!  The State of Indiana has the right to establish its own laws after all.

It has been ever thus -  so long as such local laws do not trample individual rights protected by the federal Constitution.   

The title of the article is misleading, in the sense that it trumpets the upholding of the portion of the law addressing fetal remains.   That's hardly controversial and, of course, doesn't implicate the Constitutional right one iota.    But the Indiana law's other change did not survive - the SCOTUS declined to reverse the Court of Appeals' conclusion that a ban on abortions performed for reasons of race or gender selection, or disability, was unconstitutional.

And you can expect to see this going forward.    Armed with the Roe precedent,  Courts of Appeals are going to bar as unconstitutional the several recent "heartbeat" bills as well as Alabama's total ban including in the case of rape.    The Courts of Appeal are obliged to follow the law as enunciated by the SCOTUS.   Meanwhile,  the SCOTUS can express its continuing support for the rights of women by merely declining to hear further appeals.   Mark my words - the SCOTUS will continue to protect abortion rights by inaction - by letting appellate court rulings stand.   
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 04:21:54 pm by Jazzhead »
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Online Elderberry

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More from SCOTUSblog

https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/05/justices-reverse-in-part-on-indiana-abortion-law/#more-286331


Justices reverse in part on Indiana abortion law

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference last week. After considering the case at 15 consecutive conferences, the justices finally acted on a petition by Indiana, which had asked the court to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit striking down a law regulating abortions in that state. Today the justices handed the state a partial victory, reversing the lower court’s decision with respect to one provision of the law but leaving it in place with respect to another.

The case, Box v. Planned Parenthood, was a challenge to two provisions of an Indiana law regulating abortion that was signed by now-Vice President Mike Pence while he was still governor of Indiana. The first provision, the state explained, was based on the idea that fetal remains are “nothing less than the remains of a partially gestated fetus and should be treated with the same dignity”: Passed after the discovery that a medical-waste firm had been accepting and disposing of fetal tissue, the law requires fetal remains to be either buried or cremated. The second provision, sometimes referred to as the “nondiscrimination” provision, bars abortions based on the disability (such as Down syndrome), sex or race of the fetus.

Planned Parenthood went to federal court in Indiana, seeking to have the law declared unconstitutional. The district court agreed and blocked the state from enforcing the law. It ruled that the state did not have a valid interest in requiring fetal remains to be treated like other human remains because the Supreme Court has held that the fetus is not a person. The district court also struck down the “nondiscrimination” provision, reasoning that the state cannot prevent a woman from ending her pregnancy before the fetus is viable, regardless of the reason.

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling, Indiana urged the Supreme Court to take up the case, telling the justices that the fetal-remains provision “expands on long-established legal and cultural traditions of recognizing the dignity and humanity of the fetus.” And the nondiscrimination provision, the state explained, is a response to new technology that allows “women to make a choice not contemplated at the time of Roe v. Wade”: “the choice of which child to bear.”

More at link

Offline Maj. Bill Martin

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The political reaction to sex-specific abortions is interesting.  I've seen rather militantly pro-choice women stammer when asked to address abortions of female babies simply because the parent(s) wanted a boy instead.

Online Hoodat

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It has been ever thus -  so long as such local laws do not trample individual rights protected by the federal Constitution. 

Good to know since none of the recent Alabama, Georgia, or Mississippi laws trample on any individual rights protected by the federal Constitution.  (They trample only on the opinions of those who wish to force their ideals and opinions on everyone else without being restrained by the Constitution).


The title of the article is misleading, in the sense that it trumpets the upholding of the portion of the law addressing fetal remains.   That's hardly controversial and, of course, doesn't implicate the Constitutional right one iota.

Ginsburg and Sotomayor disagree.  They even argued that the burial/cremation regulation (which occurs AFTER a woman has already gotten an abortion) violates a woman's right to get an abortion.  So yes, anything that allows a State to decide its own abortion laws will always remain controversial to those who wish to deny States those rights under Amendment X.  Basically, the issue here is between those who believe in the Constitution and those who do not.  Ginsburg and Sotomayor clearly do not.


But the Indiana law's other change did not survive - the SCOTUS declined to reverse the Court of Appeals' conclusion that a ban on abortions performed for reasons of race or gender selection, or disability, was unconstitutional.

I agree with this part although for a different reason - that 'human thought' cannot be criminalized.  The reason for doing something should never factor in to whether or not something is a crime.  If you burn a cross in someone's yard, it shouldn't matter whether or not you were thinking racist thoughts when you did it.


And you can expect to see this going forward.    Armed with the Roe precedent,  Courts of Appeals are going to bar as unconstitutional the several recent "heartbeat" bills as well as Alabama's total ban including in the case of rape.

They may indeed choose to do this.  But it certainly won't be based on what the Constitution says.


The Courts of Appeal are obliged to follow the law as enunciated by the SCOTUS.

I think we've identified the problem here.  The Constitution says that laws come from the Legislature, not from the Judiciary.  The job of the Court is to refer to the rule book - not to announce a new law.
If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

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Online Hoodat

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The political reaction to sex-specific abortions is interesting.  I've seen rather militantly pro-choice women stammer when asked to address abortions of female babies simply because the parent(s) wanted a boy instead.

Just imagine the howling that would occur if scientists were able to identify a homosexual gene and develop a test for it.  Something like an at-home pregnancy test that would not only indicate that a woman was pregnant, but would also indicate whether the child she was carrying would be born 'gay'.
If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

-Dwight Eisenhower-

Online Wingnut

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This law also effectively stops the sale of aborted baby parts in Indiana. 

So that's a good thing.
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