Susan Jones | Senior Editor | Monday, June 19, 2006
Not only will the court hear a Nebraska case in the fall, it also will consider a case out of California.
"The Supreme Court took a significant step today that clearly puts the issue of partial-birth abortion front-and-center," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is representing members of Congress in the Nebraska case already before the high court.
"By taking a second case involving the constitutionality of the national ban on partial-birth abortion, the Supreme Court puts the spotlight on one of the most horrific medical procedures in existence today. The high court not only will determine whether Congress acted appropriately in enacting the ban, but the high court also has a critical opportunity to bring to an end -- once and for all -- the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion," Sekulow said.
"The stakes are high and we are very pleased that the Supreme Court now has two opportunities to abolish what can only be described as infanticide."
The ACLJ has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court -- representing 78 members of Congress and more than 320,000 Americans -- asking the high court to uphold the constitutionality of the national ban on partial-birth abortion in the Nebraska case.
Sekulow says the ACLJ will also file a similar brief in the California case.
Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban in 2003, but Planned Parenthood promptly challenged the law in California, Nebraska and New York, where federal courts struck it down.
Partial birth abortion describes a late-term procedure in which a baby's skull is punctured or crushed before the baby is fully delivered.
All sides agree that Justice Samuel Alito will be a key vote in the case.
In 2000, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to strike down a state law banning partial birth abortion because it lacked a health exception for the mother. The swing vote was that of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has now been replaced by Alito.
See Earlier Story:
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Partial Birth Abortion Case (21 Feb. 2006)