Louisiana seeks suspension of block on enforcement

United States Courts

A day after a state judge blocked enforcement of Louisiana’s abortion ban, state officials asked the same judge to suspend his own ruling while they pursue an appeal.

Lawyers for state Attorney General Jeff Landry and health secretary Courtney Phillips filed the request Friday in Baton Rouge. They want Judge Donald Johnson to suspend his ruling and allow enforcement of a ban that was put into state law in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling reversing abortion rights.

The Friday morning filing indicates the state plans to take the case to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge.

Johnson’s Thursday ruling, a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement, came in a lawsuit filed by a north Louisiana abortion clinic and members of the Medical Students for Choice organization, who argue that the law’s provisions are contradictory and unconstitutionally vague. The ruling, which followed an earlier temporary enforcement block, meant clinics in Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could provide abortions while the lawsuit continues.

Landry has predicted that the case will wind up at the Louisiana Supreme Court.

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