FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decisive 8-1 ruling in favor of Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron on Thursday, according to a news release from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General.
The ruling allows Cameron to continue to defend House Bill 454 (HB 454), which is Kentucky’s law outlawing live-dismemberment abortions.
After hearing the court’s ruling, Cameron issued the following statement:
“At every turn, we’ve maintained that Kentucky’s law banning live-dismemberment abortions is worth defending and should receive a full defense from the challenge brought by the ACLU and an abortion clinic. Today, the Supreme Court agreed. This is a ruling that many in the Commonwealth have hoped for, and we will proudly continue to carry the mantle for this important pro-life law by going back to the Sixth Circuit and litigating the case.
The court’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law. The court found that our office is the fail-safe for defending the Commonwealth’s laws when they come under attack. As the court noted, we had a strong interest in stepping in to defend this important law after the Beshear Administration’s ‘secretary for Health and Family Services elected to acquiesce.’
The members of the General Assembly, pro-life advocates, and countless Kentuckians have championed this law at every turn, and we are incredibly grateful for their support. While the legal challenge to this law is not over, we will do what is necessary to defend it.”
“This is a banner moment for Kentucky and validation of the pro-life movement,” Cameron said during a gathering on the Capitol steps. “We now have the green light to defend the law and defend the law we will. We will return to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and ask for reconsideration of its adverse ruling of House Bill 454.”
HB 454, which was passed in 2018 by the Kentucky General Assembly, was immediately challenged by a Kentucky abortion clinic, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The lawsuit began while former Gov. Matt Bevin was in office, and the shift in political landscape left an opening for Cameron to continue its defense.
After being sworn into office, Cameron defended HB 454 on behalf of Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration.
Beshear’s administration stopped defending the law and Cameron asked to step in. Cameron was initially refused by the 6th District Court.
“Our intervention became necessary after the governor declined to continue defending the statute,” Cameron said.
The same court that blocked the law also ruled Cameron couldn’t intervene, but, in Thursday’s ruling, the Supreme Court disagreed.
According to the Attorney General’s Office’s news release, Cameron’s legal team argued before the Supreme Court for the ability to continue defending the law.
The Supreme Court recognized the significance behind allowing Cameron to defend Kentucky’s law and made it known “a State’s opportunity to defend its laws in federal court should not be lightly cut off.”
“It says we can go to the highest court in the land, we can hold our own in oral argument, and we can win for Kentucky,” Cameron said.
The ACLU released a statement after the ruling that said “politicians in Kentucky are working overtime to force people to continue pregnancies against their will, instead of doing what is best for the people they are supposed to serve,” and called Cameron’s defense an “eleventh-hour attempt to revive an abortion ban that two courts have already held unconstitutional.”
To view the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, click here.