Thursday, March 3, 2016

Alito in Hellerstedt: CPR care for women won't kill anybody

     Yesterday's oral argument in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt featured, inter alia, Justice Samuel Alito saying,
Under the ­--­ under the -- ­the old ­-- the old law, there had to be a nurse, but not necessarily a registered nurse. Under the new law, there has to be a registered nurse who has a CPR certificate. So do you think that's unreasonable to say that there has to be a registered nurse who knows how to do CPR?
, id. at 26, with Solicitor General Verrilli replying,
So I­ --­ I don't want to state an opinion one way or the other about that.
Id. Why doesn't he want to state an opinion on what seems to be an obvious question?

     One's own brief in Hellerstedt notes,
     Even if the Court does not uphold Texas’ regulations, or the Fifth Circuit, in toto, the Court should still try to uphold as much as possible. After all, HB2 has, admirably, the mother of all severability provisions, so that the whole law need not be aborted (so to speak) even if one part of it is defective. See HB2 § 10(b), allowing severability down to the level of each individual word; this may let Texas have the last word in this case. (HB2 § 10(b) forgot to mention “punctuation”, e.g., letting commas or other marks be severed; but it is still a very strong severability provision.)
Br. at 35.

     If the Court doesn't allow the CPR provision, and many (or all) of HB2's provisions, to be upheld, there may be needless injury or death of women. A bad idea.

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