Breaking News: An appeal was filed in Missouri Federal Court on August 11, 2016.
After waiting almost a year to issue a ruling, US District Judge Henry Edward Autrey – a justice appointed by George W. Bush, determined that because Mary Doe was no longer pregnant and that there is no guarantee that she will become pregnant again, the case should be Federal lawsuit should be dismissed.
There were two problems with the ruling. The first is that the ruling violates the Supreme Court precedent established in 1911 which set forth the doctrine of “capable of repetition, yet evading review.” This states that a plaintiff has standing even if the conditions that instigated the lawsuit can take place again. This decision was famously applied in Roe v Wade has is an established part of jurisprudence that also applies to contract law. In short, the basis for the Judge’s ruling blatantly violates the constitution. This position was affirmed by legal scholar Marci Hamilton. The second problem is that whether or not Mary Doe is pregnant is irrelevant to this case. The Federal case was about Mary Doe being offended by a State sponsored religious doctrine that she is forced to read due to State law, which is compounded by the requirement that she must spend 72 hours considering a text that religiously asserts that life begins at conception. Mary Doe’s pregnancy, or lack thereof, plays no part in her being offended by the State’s religious position that conflicts with her own.
In short, the judgement lacks any legal basis and has no relevance to the complaint even if it did. For some background on the doctrine of “capable of repetition, yet evading review” that Judge Autrey incredulously overturned, you can read here.
For independent third party reporting on this you can read:
An appeal was filed on October 7, 2016 in US Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit. On October 31, 2016, oral arguments were made in the in the Cole Circuit. We are awaiting rulings in both cases.