Attorneys for the University of St. Thomas Prolife Center have filed a motion to intervene on behalf of journalists, legal academics and Louisiana legislators in a Louisiana federal district court for the limited purpose of objecting to June Medical’s motion to extend the sealing of court records establishing the factual basis for the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo.
Among the intervenors are Professor Teresa Collett, director of the Prolife Center, and St. Thomas Law alumnus Willis Krumholz ’15 J.D./MBA, whose work has appeared in The Federalist.
Other intervenors include legal scholars Erika Bachiochi, Ligia Castaldi and Lynn Marie Kohm, as well as national news organization The Daily Caller, and Mollie Hemingway, a national news commentator and executive editor at The Federalist.
From the memorandum in support of the motion:
Applicants seek access to the court records in this landmark case. This case turned on specific facts and whether an undue burden for women seeking abortion was created by Louisiana Act 620, which imposed certain admitting privilege requirements on abortion providers. After a fact-intensive inquiry, based on court records developed in the district court, the Supreme Court held the law imposed an undue burden and thus was unconstitutional. The record in this case will shed invaluable light on how that decision was arrived at.
The merits proceedings in this case have been broadly sealed and Plaintiffs are moving to maintain these documents under seal following final disposition of this action. Applicants require access to the records that Plaintiffs moved the court to seal. These records are needed for a variety of reasons, including to write and publish news stories and law review articles analyzing the Supreme Court’s decision, as well as to pass new laws that do not create an undue burden. Plaintiffs’ motion, if granted, would conceal these court records from the Applicants – and the public at large – in spite of their common law and First Amendment rights to view the documents.
Previously, the Prolife Center filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Concerned Women for America and the Charlotte Lozier Institute in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo prior to the case being heard by the Supreme Court in March 2020.