Tenn. abortion ban in effect for less than an hour before it is halted

The House meets at the state Capitol in Nashville on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A federal judge on Monday granted an temporary restraining order against enforcing Tennessee’s sweeping abortion ban less than an hour after Gov. Bill Lee signed it into law.

U.S. District Judge Chip Campbell, an appointee President Donald Trump, found  “plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong or substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims that the restrictions …  are unconstitutional under current law.”

“Like the Seventh, Eighth, and Fifth Circuits, this Court is bound by the Supreme Court holdings prohibiting undue burdens on the availability of pre-viability abortions,” he wrote in the ruling.

Read the order here.

The bill seeking to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected passed in a last-minute deal between the House and Senate the night the General Assembly adjourned for the year.  If any part of the bill was found to be unconstitutional, the law seeks to impose successive abortion bans eight, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 weeks of gestation. That “ladder” approach didn’t appear to keep most of the law from being enjoined.


45 Responses to Tenn. abortion ban in effect for less than an hour before it is halted

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    I wish the court system treated the 2nd Amendment the same way they treat abortion “rights”.

    • Perry Aubric says:

      What specific restriction on your Second Amendment rights has the courts imposed?

      • Cannoneer2 says:

        The Courts could jump in and reaffirm the “full faith and credit” clause of the U.S. Constitution, so that all 50 states recognize my handgun carry permit. The D.C. versus Heller decision would not have been necessary had a Court jumped in and affirmed the right to bear arms in our nation’s Capitol before that particular case ground its way completely through the system. Those are two examples, and there are many more.

  • Norma Shirk says:

    If men took responsiblity for their own actions in causing pregnancies, abortion wouldn’t be an issue. But no. Men continue to want to prove their “manliness” while ignoring the consequences. They don’t want to use condoms, get vasectemies or (the favorite of the hypocritical “Christians”) abstain from sex. But then they want to limit women’s options for dealing with the consequences of the irresponsible behavior by men.
    This story is as old as Adam blaming Eve for his actions eating the fruit of the forbidden tree.

    • Cindy Brown says:

      Abortion should not be used a birth control. If women wouldn’t lie down with legs spread at the drop of a hat there would not be consequences for anyone to take responsibility for. It takes 2. But, It only takes 1 to say no to prevent the problem.

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    Thank God for the court system.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Right you are Beatrice, it sure beats democracy and those pesky citizens voting for the government they want.

  • Charles says:

    Even a Trump appointment has seen the excessive requirements of the new abortion law.

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    I know I’m a bit of a Newbie, but hasn’t this governor lost most of his battles? Kind of like Trump?

    • Michael Lottman says:

      This ridiculous bill was passed only for show (and divisiveness) in an election year; almost nobody expected, and few cared, that it would be shot down on its first day in court. Bill Lee tried to distance himself from the bill, but the Republican-controlled legislature figured, “why the h…l not? it won’t ever affect anyone.” It probably won’t even help Trump (even in TN) or the GOP’s lamentable U.S. Senate candidates, or any other Republicans, because the voters aren’t as gullible as the legislators seem to think. Most voters realize there are real and serious issues at stake in this year’s election and it is time to stop taking the bait.

  • Marisa N. says:

    Having a heartbeat should protect one’s right to life and liberty. Women are strong by nature, and we are smart enough to find support. I’m tired of men in political office, and in our courts, acting like women are too emotional and weak, too stupid and selfish not to care for their bodies and have a baby up for adoption after 9 months. Their lack of respect is insulting, and these men disgust me! They are the weak ones; they care so little for us mothers and our babies that they just want a woman to have a quick fix and end the baby’s life. Sure! No problem for them. Sick men.

    • Perry Aubric says:

      This is the most laughable convoluted nonsense I believe I have ever seen on this site, and that’s quite an accomplishment.

      Actually, I think a woman should decide for herself if she wants to be pregnant or not (or if she wants to have a baby and then put it up for adoption or not). That’s her choice. She is free to choose. And she should be. This isn’t Communist China–no one is forced to have an abortion here. That’s just as anti-choice as you are. I suggest you mind your won damn business while women decide for themselves what to do. you don’t know their circumstances, and some government bureaucrat sure as hell doesn’t.

      I don’t “want” a woman to have an abortion. I am sick of that particular lie from people like you. I just want her to be able to decide for herself.

      • Marisa N. says:

        Well, such an abusive comment from you! I can feel your anger toward strong women like me who empower other women toward a healthy life and peaceful existence. Let me guess, you are a man!? Why don’t you try to respect just how strong women can be in making a positive, loving and healthy choice in their lives. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…you don’t have the gift of childbirth. And, choice doesn’t come without a conscience. I’m glad you don’t “want” women to have abortions, then act like it. By the way, our societies obsession with encouraging women to have abortions is even more cruel than Communist authoritarian rule, because the people pushing these women make it seem like they actual care about them. That’s twisted.

        • Perry Aubric says:

          I am angry at busybodies who try to control other people’s lives. Like you. A woman has the right to an abortion if she wants one. That’s a healthy attitude. Nice try at deflection and projection, though. Mind your own business and quit trying to make other women conform to your backward views.

          • Cannoneer2 says:

            I’m pro choice. That being said, there is no Constitutional right to abortion.

          • Marisa N. says:

            The focus should be on helping women who are mothers stay whole. Yes, women who are pregnant are mothers. Can you come to say that word: mother? You dehumanize the situation of abortion and childbirth by using general nouns. Figures. You have no idea what you are talking about. Get out of a “mother’s conversation.” Moreover, if you think you have some moral leverage, think again. I happen to believe in equality. I don’t think any one person’s life is worth more than another person’s life like you do. But, I do think that one’s “public opinion” isn’t worth as much as a person’s right to live and prosper…meaning the mother and her child. So don’t try to “control” this debate and those caught in it with your privileged opinion. In fact, don’t weigh in at all if you don’t want to be controlling.

          • Perry Aubric says:

            I will weigh in as much as I damn well please. You are wrong to try and deny any person the freedom to determine her own future. A woman has a right to an abortion if she wants one. And she has the right to have a baby if she wants one. Period. None of your business and none of the government’s.

          • Marisa N. says:

            Of course you will “weigh in as much as you damn well please,” because you don’t listen and ponder the deeper question. In fact, I bet you wouldn’t listen to a woman who struggled with this ethical and or health dilemma; your impatience causing angst in her and a devastating outcome for her. But hey, you got your opinion out. So let’s entertain your philosophy, which I can find agree with. Although, I’ll test just how genuine your sentiments are by replacing some of your words. “You are wrong to try to deny any (human) to determine (his or her) own future. A (human) has the right (to live) if (he or she) wants.” If you have to “weigh in,” make sure you are consistent in your values and speak to the positive. It’s the least you can do not intimately understanding the miracle of childbirth and not being an active participant in the act of an abortion or its aftermath. Justifying harm to one’s self and their offspring is not “a right” that you should callously endorse-even if the law protects it. One can legally justify ending the life of another in multiple circumstances, but we should never promote it as “a good.” Not in a moral and just society. And, what is legal isn’t always for the good of the person. An existential crisis for you to ponder.

  • Mischele Hart says:

    If a uterus could shoot bullets, Republicans would stop trying to regulate it.

  • James White says:

    some one should remind judge Campbell SCOTUS rulings are not LAW. The Constitution only give CONGRESS the power to write laws. The Roe-v-Wade is wrong.

    • Perry Aubric says:

      You have no idea what the constitution says, how our government works, or what authority the Supreme Court has in our legal system. You have demonstrated over and over again, on issue after issue, that your paranoid, conspiracy-theory-driven, fringe-element, nonsensical, baseless view of what is constitutional or not has no grounding in reality. Leave constitutional law to someone with some actual qualifications, grounding and authority to make such judgments. You embarrass yourself on this site even more than Stuart does.

      • Jonathan Swift says:

        Wow Perry, a two-fer in one story: you bagged both Marisa and James for their uninformed views. Keep up the good work. However, I’m not sure anyone is better at self-embarrassment than Stuart.

  • Teddy says:

    Hey, Norma! Don’t women share equal responsibility on the front end for protecting themselves against an unwanted pregnancy? Killing babies is not the answer.

    • Perry Aubric says:

      An abortion is not killing a baby, no matter how many times you repeat such a lie. Let a woman decide for herself whether or not to have an abortion, and mind your own damn business.

      • Eddie White says:

        I believe God creates life, that all lives matter(black,white,brown), and that includes unborn life.

        • Eddie White says:

          It seems that conservatives legislate, and then liberals litigate. Conservatives trust the people, liberals trust the courts. In our unbalanced branches of government, the courts ultimately win.

          • Perry Aubric says:

            You trust the legislature to impose an oppressive law on a woman by denying her a choice to control her own body.

          • MARLE says:

            Can you decide to sell your liver? Why not? Can you be fined for prostitution or for soliciting a prostitute? Why? Can you cut your arm off in the town square without being hauled off for a psych eval? Why?

            You can’t do anything you want with your own body…or your body parts. Suctioning human life cells from the uterus however IS something an exception. What a celebration!

          • Perry Aubric says:

            Thanks for your irrelevant red herrings and false equivalencies, Marle. You have been paying close attention to your talk radio puppet masters, I can tell.

            A woman has a right to an abortion if she wants one. None of your business.

          • MARLE says:

            don’t listen to talk radio. Not local nor national. None of it.
            Never watch Hannity, Ingraham or Carlson.

            You can’t do with your own body as you please. No rebuttal so you say I listen to talk radio. Some intellect at work there!

            In America, as I acknowledged, a woman does have a right to suction human life from her body. and as I said Hollow Victory.

            It is simply horrifying to me to snuff our human life for your own convenience. A moral judgement I am making; not a legal one.

          • Cannoneer2 says:

            MARLE, I’d bet your mental state is much better than the rest of us that do listen to talk radio! Good for you.

      • MARLE says:

        No it’s not killing a baby…….. but it is snuffing out a human life.

        No one, in their right mind, would cut off a healthy arm, foot, ear. Why? Because it has value to them. Abortion is the ending of a human life, not for medical risk but, as 95% in self-reports say, for convenience.

        Inconvenient human life has ZERO value. Acting upon that Value Judgement is a right women have won. What a hollow victory.

  • Leslie says:

    Very sad day for unborn children.

  • Donna Locke says:

    I will vote for an Independent or a Democrat before I will vote for Bill Lee again. He was not my first choice, anyway.

  • Benton Temple says:

    Does Bill Lee have any real significant accomplishments thus far? (The answer is no.)

    Hey Gov. Haslam! You want to run for a third term if we can figure out how to make it happen?

    • Perry Aubric says:

      There is nothing stopping Bill Haslam from running again. Our state Constitution is not like the U.S. Constitution. The state Constitution only prohibits more than two consecutive terms, while the President is limited to two terms total.

      Constitution of Tennessee, Article III, Section 4: “no person…shall be eligible for election to more than two terms consecutively.”

      So Haslam is eligible for election in 2022, should he choose to run. He won’t, but he could.

      • John says:

        That is Stuart’s dream. Elect Hagerty, reelect Haslam, and then convince Mitt Romney to move here to take Marsha’s seat.

        Stuart won’t see this comment. He’s too busy running around Williamson County in a Fauci facemask harvesting mail in ballots.

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  • PaulJIsaac says:

    “Chip” is a typical Republican judicial nomination, the proverbial “RINO”. Knowing they could sell the base (if any paid attention) on the fact he was a Marine and worked in private practice so he must be a “conservative”. Dems, as usual, did homework on this guy. Knew he was a safe pick for them to support and thus he was confirmed 97-0. Any Republican judicial nominee who has no Democrat opposition? You know what you are getting there. Once again, like Gorsuch, nice pick Trump!

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    ‘Whatever it takes’: Gov. not concerned with cost of defending TN ‘heartbeat’ abortion law.

    From Fox 17 tonight. Let’s revert to the pre-pandemic budget if he has money to throw around!

  • Birchall Barnes says:

    I wish people would treat abortion like they do mask wearing. “Keep your laws off my body”, “Keep the government out of my constitutional rights”. Both issues are life or death issues. I don’t need the government making those decisions for me.

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