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Friday, December 09, 2022

No state standing in SB8 suit

Press release on the judge's ruling from the bench that standing requires a plaintiff directly affected by the provision of abortion services. This is remaining lawsuit of the three filed by "colorful" actors; the plaintiff is Felipe Gomez, a suspended Illinois lawyer who purports to support abortion rights.

This is largely moot, since Texas post-Dobbs banned abortion through criminal penalties and government enforcement. But it provides a nice coda to the SB8 story that has ended with a whimper. Rocky and I called the result, although we argued that Texas has a history of statutorily authorized private enforcement that complicates the analysis more than in federal court. It also reveals an irony in the debate over "bounty-hunter" laws--legislative efforts to deter disliked-but-constitutionally-protected conduct through the chill of random private litigation fail in the face of state judiciaries that interpret their constitutions to ape Article III. Further irony: California--which tried to create a "blue-state SB8" on firearms--allows broader "any person" standing than Texas (at least according to one trial judge) and other states that are trying this.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on December 9, 2022 at 08:03 AM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Judicial Process, Law and Politics | Permalink


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