Wednesday, August 29, 2018

8th Circuit: Satanic Temple Member Lacks Standing To Challenge Abortion Restrictions

In Satanic Temple v. Parson, (8th Cir., Aug. 28, 2018), the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal (see prior posting) of a challenge to Missouri's abortion restrictions. The court said in part:
Mary Doe is a member of The Satanic Temple and a resident of the state of Missouri. After becoming pregnant, she sought an abortion in St. Louis, Missouri. She complied with certain state-mandated procedures, which the complaint alleges constituted direct and unwelcome personal contact with religion, in violation of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses. After receiving the abortion, she filed this lawsuit....
Here, Mary Doe was not pregnant at the date the action was initiated and seeks only prospective relief.... Mary Doe therefore lacks constitutional standing. Additionally, although “[p]regnancy provides a classic justification for a conclusion of nonmootness,” the doctrine does not apply here because she did not first establish standing.
Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.