On Monday, the United States Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision that authorized courts to give a minor permission to have an abortion and the right to sue courts who deny their request.
A lower court ruled that parental notification or consent was not required and that requests for abortions could not be denied.
Biden appointee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was the sole dissenter in Monday’s Supreme Court decision to vacate the lower-court ruling.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the lower court had wrongfully ruled that a teen could sue a court clerk if a request for an abortion was denied.
Fox News noted, “the Supreme Court remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot.”
In opposing the decision, Jackson cited the application of the legal doctrine Munsingwear vacatur.
Jackson said the Court wrongfully applied the legal doctrine in deciding to overrule the lower court. The newest justice stated the doctrine, which addresses what should happen to a court decision when the appealed case becomes moot while pending review by a higher court, should not have been applied when considering this case.
In her dissent, Jackson wrote, “I am concerned that contemporary practice related to so-called ‘Munsingwear vacaturs’ has drifted away from the doctrine’s foundational moorings.”
This case originated in 2018 when Jane Doe, 17, sued Michelle Chapman, a Missouri court clerk after her request for an abortion was denied.
Notably, Missouri law requires parental permission before a minor obtains an abortion; though in certain exceptional situations the law allows a court to bypass the parental consent mandate.
In 2018, when the Missouri Court declined Jane Doe’s request to obtain an abortion, the minor traveled to Illinois and secured permission from a court there to terminate her pregnancy.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Chapman was not subject to litigation from Jane Doe because the high court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade and thus ended the constitutional right to an abortion.
Fox News noted that in her dissent, “Jackson argued that Munsingwear vacatur should only be extended to ‘extraordinary’ or ‘exceptional’ cases.”
Jackson argued: “…mere disagreement with the decision that one seeks to have vacated cannot suffice to warrant equitable relief under Munsingwear.”
“In my view,” Jackson continued, “it is crucial that we hold the line and limit the availability of Munsingwear vacatur to truly exceptional cases.”
Jackson referred to Chapman’s case as “far-from-exceptional.”
Eight justices disagreed with Jackson and ruled accordingly.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.