First thing on CNN’s Day of the New Thursday morning, hosts Brianna Keilar and John Berman brought on senior legal analyst Elie Honig to celebrate a district court judge blocking Texas’ new abortion law. On September 1, the law that allowed citizens and others to sue abortion providers in cases where a fetal rhythm was detected was put into force. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.
Berman, Keilar, and Honig could barely contain their excitement as they discussed the district court ruling: “This is incredible.Most importantly, because this Texas anti-abortion statute is not currently in effect. It is on pause,” began Honig. He continued: “It was a huge win for Biden’s administration. This is a huge win for Texas’ law.”
Honig praised the district court judge, Robert Pitman, for his 113 page ruling that amounted to a left-wing screed, calling the language “striking”:
His language was very simple. The judge was blunt and direct. The judge, Robert Pitman, said: “Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional,” you don’t see that kind of directness from judges all the time, “the state contrived,” made up, “an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that.” Like you said, Brianna, Texas put together this law in a way to make it difficult for a judge, like Judge Pitman, to review it. He basically said that he didn’t buy it. I’m not letting you sort of weave between the lines here and get around judicial review. He issued the ruling because of that.
The near certainty of Texas appealing this decision had Berman concerned: “The Attorney General and the Biden White House, they applauded this decision last night. But their — their applause, their euphoria here, I imagine, could be very temporary.”
Honig agreed to explain how appeals would take the case to the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court could also be involved. He also noted that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is “famously conservative.”
Berman concluded the segment by somberly stating: “Maybe as soon as a day or two and this law could be back in effect.”
CNN has been relentlessly attacking pro-life laws, like this one, as well as the rest of left-wing media. They have a clear agenda: to paint the pro-abortion judge and pro-life movement both as positive and admirable and restrictive and damaging, they will do everything possible.
Abbott Laboratories sponsored this segment, as was Tylenol.
You can read the entire transcript below by clicking on Expand
5:58 AM ET
JOHNBERMAN: A federal judge in Texas has blocked Texas’ abortion ban. Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene and stop the Texas law from being blocked, the judge decided in favor of the Biden administration. It is a law banning abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat has been detected. This is usually six weeks after most women find out they are pregnant. Texas’ law effectively gives citizens the power to sue doctors and nurses who might take a woman for an abortion.
BRIANNA KEILAR: In his scathing 113-page ruling, the judge here said, “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution…That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.” Texas officials are planning to appeal this ruling, so what does all of this mean going forward? CNN Senior legal analyst Elie Honig is joining us. He’s a former state and federal prosecutor. This is a significant decision.
ELIE HONIG: Brianna, that is fantastic. A lot of this is because the Texas anti-abortion bill, which we see now, has not yet been implemented. It has been put on hold. Important to note, however: This is only one step of the ongoing legal battle. It is only temporary. Yesterday’s decision was made by a judge from the district court, who is a judge at the trial level in the Federal Court for the Western District of Texas. So it’s a first step, there are more legal battles ahead, we’re gonna end up in the Court of Appeals, and potentially in the U.S. Supreme Court. However, it is important that the court of district jurisdiction makes a difference. It was a huge win for Biden’s administration. This is a huge win for Texas’ law.
KEILAR Individual citizens can pursue abortion providers or others helping women to get abortions. Was he able to say anything about it?
HONIG: Yeah, exactly, Brianna, when you read this opinion, it’s striking. It was very clear in the language that this judge used. The judge was blunt and direct. The judge, Robert Pitman, said: “Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional,” you don’t see that kind of directness from judges all the time, “the state contrived,” made up, “an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that.” Like you said, Brianna, Texas put together this law in a way to make it difficult for a judge, like Judge Pitman, to review it. He basically said that he didn’t buy it. I’m not letting you sort of weave between the lines here and get around judicial review. He issued the ruling because of that.
BERMAN However, the applause and euphoria they gave here may be short-lived. What’s next?
HONIG: This is temporary. I already said that. This opinion is from a district judge. Judge said that I am putting Texas law on hold. I will not stay my opinion. The hold takes effect right now. What we’re gonna see next, and possibly as soon as today, is the state of Texas is gonna go to the Court of Appeals, the Fifth Circuit. By the way: The Fifth Circuit is an extremely conservative court. And they’re gonna ask the Court of Appeals to do two things. One, put the District Court ruling on hold, let that Texas law go back into effect, and eventually they’re gonna ask the Fifth Circuit to overturn what the judge just did last night. And finally, whoever loses on the Court of Appeals will most likely try, attempt is the key word, to bring the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, the Supreme Court doesn’t take every case, they take a very small percentage of cases. It will remain up to the Supreme Court to decide if this is something they wish to consider.
BERMAN : It’s okay, keep watching. This law may be reinstated in just a few days. But we’ll see what the Fifth Circuit does. Elie, stay with us.
BERMAN: We have a lot to offer you right now.