Missouri governor contracts with anti-choice legal group

As Samhita noted earlier this week, there’s some legal wrangling going on in Missouri over a TRAP law that would require abortion clinics to perform major modifications to their facilities — modifications so expensive it would effectively shut down two of the three abortion providers in the state. (Which is, of course, the law’s intended effect.)
Planned Parenthood is fighting the law, and today Sarah Posner reports in TAP Online that instead of allowing Attorney General Jay Nixon to represent the state in court, anti-choice Gov. Matt Blunt has decided instead to contract with the Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing Christian legal group, which will defend the state free of charge. (Just check out the ADF’s anti-choice record.) You see, Nixon is a Democrat who is challenging Blunt for governor in ’08, and Blunt has defended his choice by saying Nixon is too “pro-abortion” to defend the TRAP law.

A little eau du Rove, a little essence of Jesus, and voila! The state is now represented by a powerful organization with its own radical agenda. According to its website, “in 1994, God raised up” ADF to counter the American Civil Liberties Union’s and Planned Parenthood’s “distortion” of the Constitution. As a result of ADF’s litigation efforts “the so-called ‘wall of separation’ … is slowly starting to crumble.” ADF has achieved “significant God-given victories … as we strive for the day when all life is once again legally defended, protected, and affirmed.”
Scott Holtse, a spokesperson for Nixon, who, like Drummond, remains a defendant in his official capacity, seemed half exasperated and half bemused by the shenanigans. Normally the attorney general represents state agencies in litigation against them, and Holtse could think of no other example of when a state agency pushed aside the voters’ elected law enforcement official in favor of an outside lawyer — except when the Department of Natural Resources hired a law firm at which Blunt’s sister was an attorney last year. “We’re focused on doing our job, which is defending the laws of the state of Missouri,” Holtse told the Prospect. “We are not going to be distracted by sideshows.”

I think comparing the ADF to a circus sideshow isn’t quite going far enough. Everyone in Missouri should be really concerned that their government is in bed with this group.

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  • D’apostrophe

    “…we strive for the day when all life is once again legally defended, protected, and affirmed.”
    I really don’t think they are doing that. The only lives they are interested in are those of the fetus’. Seriously, do they have any idea what these laws do to the lives of women?

  • AngeloDeOrvaa

    Okay people, I have just signed up for this blog just so I can tell you a little about my home state: Missouri.
    I am afraid this is not the worst thing these people have done:
    He (Matt Blunt) tried to cut Medicaid to the point that many people would have lost their respirators and other necessary life-preserving equipment and procedures.
    Luckily, even the Republican legislatures had to jump ship when it became apparent that Missouri wouldn’t stand for it.
    (They did end up cutting 100,000 from the rolls nonetheless).
    Here’s more more more:

  • Q

    Let me get this straight. The AG is “too pro-abortion” to defend the law, but the Alliance Defense Fund is a-okay?
    What a moron. It’s the AG’s job to defend state laws – whether or not they agree with them. Lots and lots of state laws are written and lobbied for by various special interest groups.
    When it comes time for a legal challenge, however, the special interest group has no standing to defend the law. It’s not their law anymore. It is the state’s law.
    I guess the governor is trying to claim that there’s a conflict of interest or something, but that claim is pretty transparent.

  • SarahMC

    I could be wrong but this arrangement seems in violation of the constitution or something.

  • UltraMagnus

    I do still have love for the state I was raised in but seeing this makes me happy I’m not living in Missouri anymore. I couldn’t imagine being a woman in that state. That’s terrible. All the more reason for me to move my parents…

  • Pickleberry

    I just moved to St. Louis about 4 weeks ago… remind me not to get pregnant.
    I will say though, the city itself seems to be a rather blue oasis in the middle of a very red state, but maybe that’s just the people I’ve met.

  • http://thecurvature.com Anonymous

    Oh fuck no.
    Thanks for posting this.

  • kerrieland

    I moved to STL about a year ago and was amazed at how progressive it is compared to where I lived before(Cape Girardeau, the hometown of the lovely rush limbaugh). Still, I’m surprised at how backwards some people are that I run into on a daily basis.