Biden Administration urges challengers to court docket dismiss abortion referral litigation “gag rule”
By Amy Howe
on March 13, 2021
at 1:06 pm
Another dispute is likely to disappear from the court record after a change of position by the Biden administration. Acting Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar and attorneys from state and local governments and nonprofits called on the court Friday night to dismiss a trio of cases contesting the 2019 regulations enacted by the Trump administration, the clinics providing federal funding for family planning had received, excluded from provision, abortion recommendations – the so-called “gag rule”.
The three cases – American Medical Association v Cochran, Cochran v Baltimore Mayor and Councilor, and Oregon v Cochran – were brought to the Supreme Court last fall after a federal appeals court upheld the rule against two appeals and another hit it down. The judges agreed to weigh in last month, but by then the Biden government had already directed the Department of Health and Human Services to consider repealing the rules for 2019.
In two brief filings on Friday night, Prelogar and challengers ‘attorneys urged the court to dismiss the cases under Supreme Court rule 46.1, which instructs the clerk to dismiss cases on all sides – without the judges’ permission. The motions found that another group of states and a group of anti-abortion medical associations have asked to join the case to defend the rules. However, Prelogar and the challengers said these requests did not prevent them from agreeing to a dismissal under rule 46.1.
Friday’s request is the last in a series of changes to the Supreme Court file following changes in position by the Biden administration. On Thursday, the Supreme Court canceled a hearing scheduled for late March over a controversial Medicaid work request. The court has also dismissed recently pending cases or verbal disputes related to Trump-era policy towards green card applicants, so-called “protected cities,” the policy of “staying in Mexico” for asylum seekers, and funding a wall along the US , canceled -Mexico border.
This article was first published by Howe on the Court.