Oklahoma Supreme Court Rejects Personhood

Posted on September 4, 2012

Opposing Views, September 4, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) is urging the United States Supreme Court to review a decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking a ballot initiative that would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to define “person” as “any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death.” In a friend of the court brief filed last week, the LLDF told the Court that the Oklahoma court ruling conflicted with prior Supreme Court precedent and should be reversed.

Earlier this year, Personhood Oklahoma began the process of collecting signatures to place Initiative Petition 395 on the ballot. Pro-abortion individuals, backed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, filed a protest with the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, claiming that IP 395 was unconstitutional and should not be permitted to be placed on the ballot.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed, holding that, on its face, IP 395 conflicted with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, affirming the right of women to obtain abortions without “undue burden” from state laws. The court preemptively found the law unconstitutional and ordered that the petition be stricken.

Last month, Personhood Oklahoma filed a petition seeking review in the United States Supreme Court, and LLDF is supporting that petition with its own brief, arguing that the Oklahoma court “acted precipitously to deprive the petitioners and the people of the state of Oklahoma of their right to engage in political expression on a matter of great public concern.”

“If the United States Supreme Court does not affirm the right of the people to engage in the initiative process, the people’s power will diminish, and we’ll be stuck with activist judges,” said Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. “This isn’t just an Oklahoma issue; it is a threat to political freedom in any state.”

Read the full text of the brief here.

About the Life Legal Defense Foundation
Life Legal Defense Foundation is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information, go to www.lldf.org.