NRL News

Indiana AG Hill asks Supreme Court to uphold state’s parental notice law

by | Dec 30, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court Friday asking the justices to “affirm the constitutionality of Indiana’s law requiring parental notice when minors obtain abortions.”

As the AG’s office explained in a press release, the 2017 law (SB 404) “applies to minors who already have obtained an exemption from a juvenile court allowing them to proceed with an abortion without parental permission as typically required under Indiana law.”

As the AG’s 32-page-long brief put it more formally, the question is

Whether Indiana may, consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment, generally require lawyers for unemancipated minors to notify parents of court authorized abortions, subject to judicial bypass upon a finding that such notice would be against the minor’s best interests.

As NRL News Today reported back in late September, a divided three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Court of Appeals had, a month before, upheld a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker against Senate Bill 404.

Hill then asked the entire 11-member appeals court rehear the case, a request that was denied. Why?

“It is better to send this dispute on its way to the only institution that can give an authoritative answer,” wrote Judge Frank Easterbrook, referring to the United States Supreme Court. Or, as the press release explained, “A rehearing would be pointless because only the U.S. Supreme Court at this stage can adequately clarify how its own precedents apply to abortion regulations such as Indiana’s law.”

For his part, AG Hill added, “When even the most experienced and distinguished members of the federal judiciary throw up their hands in confused frustration, it is time for our nation’s highest court to issue guidance.”

Categories: Judicial