WYOMING — Yesterday, the Wyoming Supreme Court declined to weigh in on questions concerning Johnson v. State of Wyoming, the lawsuit that has temporarily blocked the state’s abortion ban.
A one-paragraph notice filed by the court said it would not be answering “a dozen” questions related to the case at this time.
“This court does not believe it can answer all twelve certified questions on the limited factual record provided,” the order, signed by Chief Justice Kate M. Fox, stated.
While the case can be brought back to the Supreme Court for it to accept or decline in the future, more evidence is needed before they agree to take the case.
Last month, Teton County’s Ninth Judicial District Judge Melissa Owens denied the motion to intervene requested by two Wyoming lawmakers and an anti-abortion advocacy group in the Johnson v. State of Wyoming case and sent the case to the state’s Supreme Court.
Before the case was decided by a Teton County judge, the state wanted to have certain questions answered by the high court regarding the constitutionality of the ban.
But now the ball is back in Teton County’s court. However, both sides in the case have expressed that they expect any lower court-level decisions to ultimately be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
In July, Gov. Mark Gordon certified a trigger ban in Wyoming with House Bill 92. Since then, Wyoming abortion providers and several state residents opposed to the ban filed suit, arguing it violated Wyomingites’ constitutional rights.
Johnson v. State of Wyoming is challenging the constitutionality of Wyoming House Bill 92. When Wyoming’s trigger ban went into effect, Judge Owens issued a temporary stay on the enforcement of the law. Then on Aug. 10, the court entered an order granting a preliminary injunction while the case is pending, effectively keeping abortion legal in the state until the case is resolved.