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Judges halt enforcement of challenged laws

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Two federal judges issued preliminary injunctions June 24 preventing parts of two new controversial laws regarding immigration and funding of Planned Parenthood of Indiana from being enforced.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted two of the three preliminary injunctions Planned Parenthood of Indiana and other plaintiffs sought regarding House Enrolled Act 1210. The law prohibits any entity that performs an abortion – with an exception for hospitals – to receive state funding for health services unrelated to abortion. That provision went into effect when signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10. The plaintiffs also challenged the informed consent information that abortion providers have to give to patients – a fetus can feel pain before 20 weeks of gestation and human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.

In the 44-page decision in Planned Parenthood of Indiana Inc., et al. v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al., No. 1:11-CV-630, Judge Pratt addressed the plaintiffs’ arguments relating to the “freedom of choice” provision in the Medicaid statute and whether the defunding provision is preempted by federal law. She found the plaintiffs established a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of the “freedom of choice” argument and on the preemption argument as it relates to Disease Intervention Services grants PPIN receives from the state Department of Health to test for sexually transmitted diseases.

“HEA 1210 has already affected PPIN in tangible ways. HEA 1210 has and will continue to dramatically affect PPIN’s operations,” wrote Judge Pratt, citing PPIN’s estimates it will have to close seven health centers and lay off 37 positions if the law stands. “These circumstances warrant granting a preliminary injunction.”

Regarding the language abortion providers must use, Judge Pratt ruled against the plaintiffs on the argument that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm” violates their First Amendment rights. She did rule in favor of the plaintiffs on their argument that telling clients that the fetus feels pain at 20 weeks or earlier would constitute impermissible compelled speech.

The same day Judge Pratt released the Planned Parenthood decision, Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued a preliminary injunction in Ingrid Buquer, et al. v. City of Indianapolis, et al., No. 1:11-CV-708, in favor of the three immigrants residing in central Indiana who sued to stop enforcement of two provisions of Senate Enrolled Act 590. The new law amended statute to allow state and local law enforcement officers to make a warrantless arrest of a person when the officer has a removal order issued for the person by an immigration court, a detainer, or notice of action issued for the person by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or has probable cause to believe the person has been indicted for or convicted of one or more aggravated felonies. The law also creates a new infraction for any person other than a police officer who knowingly or intentionally offers or accepts a consular identification card as a valid form of ID for any purpose.

Although this law has not yet taken effect and the plaintiffs haven’t suffered a direct injury based on the law, they have established that they will be subject to arrest if and when the law takes effect. Section 19, regarding the warrantless arrest, is susceptible to only one interpretation – it authorizes the warrantless arrest of persons for matters and conduct that are not crimes. This contravenes the Fourth Amendment, so this section would be unconstitutional, wrote Judge Barker. She also found this section is preempted by federal law.

She ruled Section 18, dealing with the consular identification cards, appears to directly interfere with the rights bestowed on foreign nationals by treaty.

“Although we do not dispute that the stated purpose of ensuring the reliability of identification of individuals with the state and preventing fraud against the state is a legitimate governmental purpose, the breadth of the limitation imposed by Section 18, to wit, preventing any person (other than a police officer) from either knowingly presenting or accepting a CID as a valid form of identification for any purpose far exceeds its stated purpose and therefore is not rational,” she wrote.

The plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not issued, Judge Barker ruled, and she said the injunction is in the public interest. The judge preliminarily enjoined the defendants from enforcing sections 18 and 19 of the new law until further order of the court.

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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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