Justices heard arguments on Tuesday in a case known as Cameron v. EMW Women's Surgical Center, P.S.C. At issue is Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's request to step in to defend a law that's been struck down by lower courts – in this case, one that bans dismemberment abortions and dates back to the administration of former Governor Matt Bevin (R-Kentucky). Current Governor Andy Beshear (D-Kentucky) has no intentions of defending the law in court.
Kristi Hamrick of Students for Life of America is applauding Cameron, a Republican, for going all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for the right to defend pro-life laws.
"That is the very least we should expect from lawmakers, that they uphold and defend the laws of the country," says Hamrick. "Arguments indicate that the justices were very sympathetic to his desires to defend the laws of Kentucky – which they should be, because he's Kentucky's attorney general."
The Associated Press quotes Associate Justice Stephen Breyer: "Why can't he [Gov. Beshear] just come in and defend the law?" asked, seemingly reflecting the consensus view on the bench.
Hamrick acknowledges that "no one can totally predict what's going to happen," but she says there is a problem when any random politician or legislator can just decide he or she is not going to defend or enforce a law.
"We should not be picking and choosing which laws we're going to defend and protect," Hamrick contends. "And pro-life laws should be upheld as any other law."
Abortion advocates argue the law would have effectively banned an abortion method in the second trimester of pregnancy.
AP explains that if Cameron is allowed to take part in defending the law, he could ask the full appeals court to reconsider the panel's decision and allow the law to take effect. If he loses there, Cameron could appeal to the Supreme Court.