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‘No Federal Right To An Abortion’: Idaho GOP Members Lead Amicus Brief Supporting Pro-Life SCOTUS Case

Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch and fellow GOP Rep. Russ Fulcher filed an amicus brief Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of defending the state’s pro-life case against the Biden administration, the Daily Caller learned first.

In a press release obtained by the Daily Caller, two leading Republicans were joined by the state’s entire delegation, along with 24 U.S. senators, and 93 U.S. representatives, to advocate for the pro-life law, the Defense of Life Act, after the Biden Administration previously attempted to override it. Prior to the GOP leaders’ move, an opening brief was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 by the state’s Republican Attorney General Raúl Labrador asking the high court to intervene in a legal battle between federal officials, motivating Republican leaders to also push for the case.

“Idahoans have passed a strong law to protect the lives of mothers and the unborn, yet the Biden administration is seeking every opportunity to expand abortion. This administration cherrypicked pieces of existing statute and wrongfully reinterpreted it to fit their agenda,” Risch stated. “Their manipulation of federal law cannot usurp state law, and there is no federal right to an abortion. This amicus brief demonstrates how the administration’s substantial federal overreach is aimed at undermining pro-life protections not only in Idaho but around the nation.”

In 2020, Idaho enacted a measure that made it a felony for doctors to perform most abortions, with exceptions when “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman” or within the first trimester if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Following Roe v. Wade’s overturning in June 2022, the law came into effect. However, nearly two months later in August, the Justice Department sued the state over the measure.

The Biden administration claimed that the state was in violation of the Constitution and was ultimately prevented by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). However, the state claims that there is not only no conflict between EMTALA and Idaho’s law, but also argues that the Biden administration is attempting to “rewrite” the health act to prevent the state from enforcing the pro-life law, according to Labrador.

23-726 Amicus Brief of 121 … by hailey

EMTALA, enacted by Congress in 1986, requires hospitals with emergency departments to provide any patient with a medical examination and prohibits the departments from “refusing to examine or treat individuals with an emergency medical condition.” Notably, while there is a duty to pregnant women and the “health” of her unborn child within EMTALA, there is no mention of abortion.

While the state continued its back-and-forth legal battle with the Ninth Circuit panel, by January, SCOTUS ultimately placed a stay on two cases, Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United States, that were impacted by the Biden administration.

“The case of Moyle v. United States and Idaho v. United States involves an elective, induced abortion which is against Idaho law,” Fulcher stated. “The Biden administration has no authority to use EMTALA to avoid holding these individuals accountable for breaking the law, and this sets a precedence that is harmful to women and children around the country.”

The GOP leaders are seeking to have the amicus brief clarify EMTALA’s correct definition, proper federal use, and the determination of no Constitutional right to an abortion based on the SCOTUS ruling within Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Additional supporting organizations behind the legal move are: Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, National Right to Life, March for Life Action, Americans United for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, Catholic Vote, Concerned Women for America, Family Policy Alliance and Human Coalition Action.

“The Supreme Court has ruled it is the states’ ability to protect the right to life, yet the Biden Administration continues to exercise federal overreach to advance its abortion agenda,” state Republican Sen. Mike Crapo stated. “The Administration must stop its ongoing attacks on state-issued pro-life protections, including in Idaho.”

Arguments for the cases are set to appear before SCOTUS during their April session.



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