Wisconsin Supreme Court seeks investigation after abortion draft order leaks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wisconsin Supreme Court seeks investigation after abortion draft order leaks

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court called for an investigation Wednesday after the leak of a draft order that showed the court would take a case brought by Planned Parenthood that seeks to declare that access to abortion is a right protected by the state constitution.

Chief Justice Annette Ziegler called for the investigation after Wisconsin Watch reported on the draft order that it obtained. The order as reported by Wisconsin Watch said the court would hear the court challenge, but it was not a ruling on the case itself.

“Today the entire court was shocked to learn that a confidential draft document was ostensibly leaked to the press," Zielger said in a statement. “I have contacted law enforcement to request that a full investigation be conducted.”

She said all seven justices were "united behind this investigation to identify the source of the apparent leak. The seven of us condemn this breach.”

Ziegler is part of a three-justice conservative minority on the court. The draft order did not indicate which justices were in favor of accepting the abortion case, and there were no dissents indicated, according to Wisconsin Watch.

Planned Parenthood brought the lawsuit in February. It asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn a 175-year-old state law that conservatives have interpreted as an abortion ban.

That is the second abortion-related lawsuit before the court.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has not said whether it will accept the appeal of a lower court ruling won by Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. He challenged the 1849 law as too old to enforce and trumped by a 1985 law that allows abortions up to the point when a fetus could survive outside the womb.

Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Schlipper ruled last year that the law only prohibits attacking a woman with the intent to kill her unborn child. The decision emboldened Planned Parenthood to resume offering abortions in Wisconsin after stopping procedures in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski, a Republican, has appealed and asked the state Supreme Court to take the case directly without waiting for a lower appellate ruling.

The draft order in the Planned Parenthood case did not address the other lawsuit, according to Wisconsin Watch.

The abortion cases are among the highest profile before the court that flipped to liberal control in 2023.

The court in December threw out Republican-drawn legislative maps, handing Democrats a huge win that resulted in the Legislature adopting new boundaries drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

The court has also heard a lawsuit that would restore the use of absentee ballot drop boxe s, a closely watched case in battleground Wisconsin. A ruling on that case is expected soon given that the court's term ends next week.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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