The US Justice Department’s lawsuit against the state of Idaho — the first lawsuit the federal government has filed against a state in the wake of the destruction of Roe v. Wade — is based on important matters of life and death, and calls for legitimate questions about how the abortion ban would be implemented in Idaho.
Essentially, the DOJ lawsuit argues that Idaho’s trigger law is a violation of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act because it “preventively criminalizes all abortions…even when a denial of care is likely to result in patient death” , US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said during a press conference on Tuesday.
The medical community has been sounding the alarm over the abortion ban in Idaho in recent weeks.
The DOJ’s arguments raise valid points that would be well suited for debate in a court of law.
Unfortunately, Idaho’s politicians responded to the lawsuit not with their own compelling legal arguments and reasoning, but with mumbo jumbo about state sovereignty, “federal interference” and claiming the lawsuit is “politically motivated,” in the words of the attorney general of Idaho, Lawrence Wasden, who said he wished the DOJ would sit down and talk about it first.
Rather, it was the response from Idaho politicians that seemed politically motivated, while the Justice Department appeared to be the adult in the room, informing Idaho that it believes it is breaking the rules.
Idaho doesn’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to these kinds of lawsuits. The state has just been ordered to pay $320,000 in legal bills for the plaintiff in a lawsuit over yet another bad law passed by the Republican-dominated legislature, this one over transgender birth certificates.
Governor Brad Little’s response to the federal government’s indictment was absurd.
“The U.S. Justice Department’s meddling with Idaho’s pro-life law is another example of Biden going too far again, as he continues to ignore things that really should get his attention — like crushing inflation. and the open border with Mexico,” said Little’s press release.
In this case, using a press release to make some lame campaign statement shows that Little is the one acting out of political motivation.
Meanwhile, Raul Labrador, the Republican nominee to replace Wasden as attorney general, offered his own feeble response, an ominous harbinger of what to expect if elected — a lawyer who isn’t keen on making a legal argument, but will play politics. as much as possible.
“By filing this lawsuit, the Biden administration is seeking to replace the will of the citizens of Idaho with President Biden’s pro-abortion priorities,” he wrote in a statement.
No, it doesn’t. First, this was not a voter initiative adopted by the citizens of Idaho. Second, the lawsuit aims to protect medical providers from jail time by the state of Idaho for providing necessary medical care to their patients.
If this is the best defense Idaho has in response to valid legal claims about Idaho’s extreme abortion ban, we’re in trouble.
Statesman editorials are the unsigned opinion of the editorial board of the Idaho Statesman. Board members include opinion editor Scott McIntosh, opinion writer Bryan Clark, editor Chadd Cripe, editorial editors Dana Oland and Jim Keyser, and community members Johanna Jones, Maryanne Jordan and Ben Ysursa.