WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously threw out a lower court’s decision that had held that when the U.S. government has a pregnant illegal alien teenager in custody, the government must facilitate the teenager’s obtaining an abortion if she wants one. The nation’s highest court held that the case was moot, and struck the lower court’s decision from the books.
“Jane Doe, a minor, was eight weeks pregnant when she unlawfully crossed the border into the United States” and was put in the custody of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS) because she was pregnant, the Court began in a per curiam (meaning unsigned) opinion. “After a medical examination, Doe requested abortion. But the [Office of Refugee Resettlement] did not allow Doe to go to an abortion clinic.”
An Obama-appointed federal judge issued an emergency order for the teenager to have immediate access to an abortion, holding that it was her constitutional right even though the teenager had recently illegally crossed the U.S. border from Mexico.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is currently one of the most liberal federal appellate courts in the county, affirmed, holding that when federal immigration authorities take into custody a female illegal alien who is pregnant, including teenagers, that if that illegal alien wants an abortion, the U.S. Constitution requires the U.S. government to allow and even facilitate the abortion.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Solicitor General Noel Francisco were preparing legal papers asking the Supreme Court to intervene, but the ACLU brought the abortion doctor to the teenager in the pre-dawn morning and performed the abortion at 4:15 a.m., before the papers could be filed with the High Court. Francisco filed a complaint against the ACLU at the Supreme Court, telling the justices that the teenager’s lawyers broke their promise to wait for the court filing before securing the abortion.
“When a civil case from a court in the federal system has become moot while on its way here, this Court’s established practice is to reverse or vacate the judgment below and remand with a direction to dismiss,” the Supreme Court held on Monday. “It would certainly be a strange doctrine that would permit a plaintiff to obtain a favorable judgment, take voluntary action that moots the dispute, and then retain the benefit of the judgment.”
The justices thereby threw out the D.C. Circuit’s opinion about illegal alien children have a right to abortion, leaving that issue to be addressed in some future.
The case is Azar v. Garza, No. 17-654 at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.