2021 Victories: Supreme Court Throws Out Flawed Sixth Circuit Ruling That Blocked State From Enforcing Abortion Ban During Pandemic



December 27, 2021

3 min read

Pro Life



This is the first installment of our year-end Victories Series, looking back at some of the numerous victories by the ACLJ in 2021.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals revealed its blind devotion to abortion on demand. Fortunately, the Supreme Court stepped in – at our urging – and threw out the lower court’s flawed ruling in early 2021, shortly after the Biden Administration took office.

When Tennessee Governor Bill Lee ordered a halt on all elective medical procedures – including elective abortion – to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit to block the order, demonstrating once again the abortion industry doesn’t actually care about the safety of its patients or even its own staff.

The ACLJ filed two amicus briefs supporting the Tennessee order, arguing that the state was well within its rights – and responsibilities – to protect its people. And in this case, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few that wanted to continue aborting defenseless babies during a global health crisis that forced so many other businesses to close down. But the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood, allowing abortionists to keep their doors open, setting a bad, and, quite frankly, dangerous precedent of overruling a state’s authority.

Tennessee took its case to the Supreme Court, asking it to vacate the Sixth Circuit’s order and dismiss the case as moot, essentially wiping the decision from the books like the mistake it was all along.

We filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court, urging the Court to grant review and vacate the Sixth Circuit’s decision. Thankfully, the Supreme Court agreed and did exactly that.

On January 25th, the Supreme Court granted the state’s petition for certiorari, vacated Planned Parenthood’s and the other plaintiffs’ Sixth Circuit victory, and sent the case back for dismissal as moot.

Although the Tennessee Governor’s order had already expired, it was imperative that the flawed Sixth Circuit ruling be overturned. This step was necessary to remove a bad decision – bad judicial precedent – that could potentially be used by pro-abortion forces down the road.

With President Biden almost immediately reversing pro-life legislation and pushing the extreme abortion agenda upon taking office, our work to defend life is needed now more than ever.

To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to protect innocent unborn babies, please consider making a Tax-Deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar, through the end of the year.

You can read more in the ACLJ’s Victories Series here.

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