Federal Judge Orders The Justice Department To Permit A Detained Undocumented Woman An Abortion (Video)

Our judicial branch is getting quite the workout these days.

The same federal court in Hawaii that blocked the second attempt at a Muslim travel ban blocked a third attempt.

Lawyers are also taking on President Donald Trump’s legislation against LGBT rights.

An hour after Trump signed an executive order ending cost-sharing reduction payments, i.e. subsidies, inherent to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), New York and California attorneys general threatened to sue.

Republicans started the trend of turning to courts to block the executive branch during former President Barack Obama’s second term.

It appears the tables have turned.

UCLA School of Law professor Samuel Bray declared we are making history:

“There weren’t any national injunctions for most of US history. Democratic attorneys general are getting national injunctions to stop the Trump administration. In just two short years, the national injunction went from rare to routine.”

This week we saw another example of the courts taking on Trump.

Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. government to permit a 17-year-old undocumented Central American woman in its custody to undergo an abortion.

The presiding district judge, Tanya Chutkan, said she was “astounded” the Trump administration was trying to block the procedure.

Arguing the case was senior ACLU staff attorney Brigitte Amiri.

She said:

“We never should have had to fight this in the first place. It should never have been something that we needed to go to court over.”

The same day, the Justice Department asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay judge Chutkan’s ruling.

While the appeal is pending, the Justice Department requested a new ruling by 9 p.m. Thursday to prevent the fifteen-week pregnant woman, identified as “Jane Doe,” from having an “irreversible elective abortion,” citing:

“[Jane Doe] still has a number of weeks in which she could legally and safely obtain an abortion.”

Judge Chutkan ordered the government to allow the teen to visit the reproductive health provider closest to the Texas shelter in which she is staying, and undergo state-mandated counseling before terminating the pregnancy on Friday or Saturday.

Texas bars most abortions after 20 weeks.

Chutkan wrote in her ruling:

“Failure to comply with the terms of this Order may result in a finding of contempt.”

In Henry VI, pt. 2, William Shakespeare wrote, ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers (IV.ii.73).”

Let’s refrain from doing that.

Image credit: theimmigrationpost.com

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.