Current status of the sonogram lawsuit: AG’s maneuvers fail
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On August 30, federal judge Sam Sparks blocked enforcement of significant portions of the statute by granting a preliminary injunction in key areas until the case is resolved. Sparks found that Texas’ sonogram law violates the First Amendment and certified the case as a class action. He ruled that requiring doctors to show a woman seeking an abortion the sonogram images, describe those images to her or play the sound of the fetal heart, even against her wishes, is unconstitutional.
The State moved moved on September 12, 2011, for a stay of the injunction pending appeal. After the district court did not enter a stay, the State filed an emergency application with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on September 26. After the Fifth Circuit also declined to issue a stay, the Attorney General of the State of Texas submitted an emergency application to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to stay the preliminary injunction of the Texas sonogram law. On the following day, the Center was informed that the state’s application has been denied.