A judge has ordered that the suit challenging the constitutionality of Wyoming’s abortion ban be certified, or advanced, to the Wyoming Supreme Court, and has enumerated 12 questions of law for justices to answer.
Ninth District Judge Melissa Owens issued the order Wednesday afternoon, siding with the state of Wyoming that sought to move the issue to the higher court.
Three women and two pro-choice groups sued the state earlier this year claiming the abortion ban, which became law on July 27, was unconstitutional.
“The matter involves questions of law which will be determinative of the cause and concerning which it appears there is no controlling precedent in the decisions of the Wyoming Supreme Court,” Owens wrote. Under court rules, the high court “may answer questions of law certified to it by … a state district court….”
The questions of law to be answered include whether the abortion ban bill as codified violates the Wyoming Constitution’s Article 1, sections 2, 3, 6, 7, 18, 33, 34, 36, 38 and Article 21, section 25. Her order also asks the Supreme Court to answer whether the abortion ban bill is “unconstitutionally vague on its face” and whether it violates a Wyoming citizen’s right to privacy.
Owens on Wednesday also filed a 13-page order denying two legislators’ and Right to Life of Wyoming’s requests to intervene, or join, in the case.
“The court is sympathetic to the [legislators and Right to Life’s] desire to intervene in this matter,” Owens wrote. “As advocates and lawmakers, the Court recognizes that the issues before the Court strike at the very heart of RTLW’s advocacy efforts as well as the individual Legislators’ personal convictions and legislative efforts.
“However,” she wrote, “the [legislators’ and RTLW’s] interests do not rise to the level of a significant protectable interest under the law.”