On Sunday U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of Mississippi’s new law aimed at closing the only abortion clinic in the state. Here is Judge Jordan’s Order.
Here is the clinic’s memorandum of authorities supporting its motion for a temporary restraining order.
The New York Times article on the ruling states:
Judge Jordan found the [clinic's] argument compelling, writing, “Plaintiffs have offered evidence — including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers — that the act’s purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi. They likewise submitted evidence that no safety or health concerns motivated its passage. This evidence has not yet been rebutted.”
In order to obtain a temporary restraining order, the movant must show a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. Judge Jordan’s finding that the clinic satisfied this requirement suggests that the Court’s Order will become permanent.
Judge Jordan will hold a hearing on July 11 on the issue of whether to convert the TRO to a preliminary injunction.
Credit to Judge Jordan for making the right decision on an emotional and divisive issue.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out from here. How can defenders of the bill claim that its purpose is not to make abortion illegal in Mississippi when they have publicly bragged that that is the bill’s purpose?
Mississippi had a referendum on abortion last November when voters rejected the personhood amendment. The result of the personhood vote suggests that a silent majority of Mississippians believe that women should have access to abortions. So in addition to being legally correct, Judge Jordan’s decision is probably in line with the opinions of a majority of Mississippians on the issue of abortion.