Less than 24 hours after the Arizona Supreme Court was told that the Legislature wants the 1864 abortion ban in place for the next several months, Planned Parenthood told the Justices today that that is practically and legally “absurd”.

The back and forth comes as the Justices are considering requests to delay allowing the Court’s opinion to go into effect in the next 90 days. On Tuesday, counsel for Yavapai County Attorney Dennis McGrane and Dr. Eric Hazelrigg suggested (below) that the Legislature purposely did not repeal the 1864 ban with an emergency clause because they wanted the ban in effect (until 90 days after the Legislature closes their 2024 session – which is not expected anytime soon.)

(Arizona’s Law has also noted that the GOP legislative leaders argued to a federal judge that he should lift the stay on their previously-passed “personhood” law. That law would amount to a new abortion ban, and the GOP made that argument the day before the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood.)

Planned Parenthood’s Reply (below) notes that the Legislature’s silence is not determinative.

“True, H.B. 2677 doesn’t contain an emergency clause. But that says nothing about any potential limited period of enforcement against the backdrop of a statute that’s been unenforceable for all but a few weeks out of the past 51 years. That’s because “[s]ilence in and of itself, in the absence of any indication that the legislature has considered the interpretation, is not instructive. A rule of statutory construction that requires us to presume that such silence is an expression of legislative intent is somewhat artificial and arbitrary.”

The Reply also disputes McGrane’s other arguments that the stay automatically lifted on April 23 and that the Court should reject the delay request based on the same framework they would consider a preliminary injunction.

“AZ Law” includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona’s Politics on the internet. 
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