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AG Steve Marshall sets in motion possible repeal of Roe v. Wade

On Tuesday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall took a major legal step in what many believe could be a historic U.S. Supreme Court case that sees Roe v. Wade significantly rolled back or even repealed.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, the attorney general’s spokesman, Mike Lewis, confirmed that Marshall officially intends to take the state’s defense of the “Alabama Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act” up to the highest court in the land. The law was passed in 2016 but has been struck down by two lower federal courts, most recently by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in August.

“Attorney General Marshall has made public his intent to file a petition for cert in the case West Alabama Women’s Center v. Williamson challenging Alabama’s abortion dismemberment law,” Lewis explained.

He added, “Today, Attorney General Marshall asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant the State an additional 30 days beyond the November 20, 2018, deadline in order to allow the State to complete its work in preparing the cert petition.”

If granted an extension, the state of Alabama would have until December 20 to file the appeal.

In the extension application filed on Tuesday, the attorney general’s office wrote, “This is an important case about the constitutionality of a state abortion regulation. After the Eleventh Circuit held the law unconstitutional, the Attorney General of Alabama thoroughly reviewed the lower court’s decision, similar litigation pending in other States, and applicable law. After that review, the Attorney General made the determination that a petition to this Court was warranted.”

Regarding the need for the extra 30 days, the application explained, “Because of the press of other business, including a multi-week trial set to begin on November 5, the undersigned attorney seeks an additional 30 days in which to prepare and file the petition.”

Governor Kay Ivey has previously expressed her support for this potentially historic appeal, while Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox opposes the appeal.

This is the second concrete, abortion-related issue that Maddox has sided with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU on this election cycle, as the groups have led the charge against the law, hence the necessity for the appeal. Maddox, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and other liberal out-of-state groups also oppose a pro-life constitutional amendment, Amendment Two, on Alabama’s November 6 general election ballot.

Maddox’s first ad of the general election campaign featured him claiming to be pro-life. He concluded the same ad by saying, “I will never put my party ahead of the people. And I will never lie to you.”

You can view the official application, which tips some of the basis for the appeal itself, here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn