Paul deLespinasse: Abortion gambit: If Texas gets away with it, there goes the Second Amendment

Paul deLespinasse: Abortion gambit: If Texas gets away with it, there goes the Second Amendment

Community Columnist The Texas abortion ban cleverly obstructs legal challengers. The cleverness was needed because the statute is clearly unconstitutional given the precedent of Roe v. Wade. The legislation denies Texas officials power to enforce it but authorizes private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone performing or contributing to an abortion. This blocks the way legislation is usually challenged before anyone is convicted for violating it. Challengers usually sue the official who could enforce the law, but here there is no such official. Since any private citizen could enforce this law, it is unclear who challengers could sue. And successfully suing someone might not block enforcement of the law. Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen, a lawyer, maintains that a court could only grant an injunction against the particular private party who is the defendant in a lawsuit challenging the Texas statute. Anybody else could still sue abortion providers. So why bother? You can’t sue everybody. Or can you? Perhaps Olsen didn’t consider the possibility of a “class action”—“a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of people who are represented collectively by a member or members of that group.” (Wikipedia) Wikipedia adds that: “Although normally plaintiffs are the class, defendant class actions are also possible. For example, in 2005, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon was sued as part of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Portland. All parishioners of the Archdiocese’s churches were cited as a defendant class.” […]

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