Abortion Stay Extended, Ballot Access Case Set for Argument - U.S. Ninth Circuit
U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Abortion Stay Extended, Ballot Access Case Set for Argument

It's been a busy couple of days in the Ninth Circuit, especially for hot button issues that are currently on appeal, like Arizona's latest anti-abortion law and another ballot access battle related to petition circulators.

The Ninth Circuit just extended the stay in the Arizona case, putting a hold on the state's restriction on medical (drug-based) abortions, while it set an argument date for another ballot access case, this time addressing an issue of standing to challenge Alaska's ban on out-of-state circulators. Standing may be the only issue left, however, as the Ninth Circuit has repeatedly struck down restrictions on out-of-district and out-of-state circulators.

Abortion Stay Extended

Last week, the Ninth Circuit put Arizona's restriction on medical abortion on a temporary hold. This week, the hold was extended while the case is on appeal.

As we explained last week, the case challenges HB 2036's restrictions on RU-486, and is one of many similar laws popping up across the states. The laws restrict usage of the drugs to the FDA-approved procedure, as opposed to the procedure developed by medical associations based on doctors' expertise and experience with the drug over time. The biggest restriction is a limit to usage of the drug protocol to seven weeks' time, rather than the nine weeks allowed by the more modern protocol.

The Phoenix New Times' Valley Fever Blog notes that not only would the law restrict treatment options for women, but north of Phoenix, there are no clinics that provide the surgical alternative. The blog also notes that this is one of nearly 20 anti-abortion laws passed in the state, four of which have already met their demise in the courts.

Out of State Petition Circulators

Want to get an initiative on the ballot in Alaska? Get signatures. How do you get signatures? Hire petition circulators, or find volunteer circulators. Just make sure the circulator comes from in-state.

Maybe.

On June 2, 2014, the Ninth Circuit will hear Raymond v. Fenumiai, a ballot access case that failed in the lower court on standing. According to Ballot Access News, the circulator, who came to Alaska from Wisconsin, had his suit tossed on standing, as he didn't indicate which particular initiative that he wanted to work on in the state.

As BAN notes, if standing is reversed, the case is a likely a foregone conclusion, as the Ninth has already struck down bans on out-of-state circulators in Nader v. Brewer (2008). The court also struck down a more restrictive California law that restricted circulators to residents of particular voting districts in Libertarian Party v. Bowen, which we covered last year.

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