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Alabama Center for Law and Liberty files amicus brief in Alabama abortion case

The case is over an Alabama law that appoints a guardian ad litem for unborn children in certain abortion cases.


The Alabama Center for Law and Liberty submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, asking the court to uphold an Alabama law that appoints a guardian ad litem for unborn children in certain abortion cases.

“By allowing judges to appoint a guardian ad litem, Alabama is treating unborn children as people to the maximum extent Roe v. Wade and its progeny will allow,” said ACLL President Matt Clark. “Giving the unborn child a guardian ad litem is an important step towards recognizing the personhood of unborn children.”

“None of the Supreme Court’s abortion decisions forbid Alabama from appointing a guardian ad litem for the unborn child in these proceedings,” Clark said. “In its decision, the panel applied an incorrect standard that was unduly harsh to Alabama’s law. Our brief points the full court to the correct standard.”

“The panel also presumed that it had the right to tell state courts how to interpret federal law,” Clark said. “Both the United States Supreme Court and the Eleventh Circuit have held that the only federal court that binds state courts is the Supreme Court itself. We hope that the full court will correct this error and restore the respect for federalism that our Constitution and the Supreme Court require.”

The Supreme Court has held that if a minor wants an abortion and cannot secure her parents’ consent, then the states must allow her to go before a judge to make her case. The Alabama law provides that in such cases, the judge may appoint a guardian ad litem to advocate for the interests of the unborn child.

A federal district judge has already struck down this law, and a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed that decision on June 30.

The state of Alabama has asked the full court to reconsider that decision, and ACLL filed an amicus brief in support of the State.

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On Thursday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall wrote an amicus curiae brief in the Mississippi abortion case asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

“Beginning with Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has systematically imposed a litany of legal exemptions for abortion that not only defy health and safety standards but are also unconstitutional and without historical foundation,” Marshall sajd. “Even the Supreme Court has previously acknowledged that states have the right to ‘promote respect for life, including the life of the unborn,’ yet the Court continues to block state efforts to protect the life of the unborn, placing new tests for what is legal. The time has come for the Court to overrule Roe and Casey and finally return the question of abortion to where it belongs—with the states.”

Alabama joined Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in filing the amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today.

ACLL is a conservative nonprofit legal organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, and it is the litigation arm of the Alabama Policy Institute.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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