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State of Utah agrees to delay enforcement of HB 136 pending constitutional challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2019

STATE OF UTAH AGREES TO DELAY ENFORCEMENT OF HB 136 PENDING CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE 

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Utah Attorney General’s office agreed to delay the enforcement of HB 136 pending the outcome of the litigation over the new law’s constitutionality.
 
In the motion presented to the court and plaintiff today, the state says in part:

The Plaintiff and State Defendants acknowledge and agree that this case raises important questions that deserve thoughtful and careful consideration. To that end, and without admission of wrongdoing or constitutional violation by State Defendants, the Plaintiff and State Defendants stipulate and agree to the entry of a preliminary injunction by which State Defendants are enjoined from enforcing HB 136 during the pendency of this litigation until Plaintiff’s claim is resolved by this Court through trial on the merits or other dispositive order. 

The case will proceed as scheduled with a status hearing in Judge Clark Waddoup’s U.S. District courtroom Thursday, April 18, at 2:30 pm.

HB 136 passed the 2019 Utah Legislature with a supermajority and signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert shortly after.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement:

Since we expect this case or one like it to be elevated to the United States Supreme Court, this injunction lets both the State and the Plaintiffs carefully and thoughtfully build factual records in support of their positions. In the process, we look forward to vigorously defending HB 136 and explaining why it constitutionally protects the most vulnerable among us. The passion and conviction this case creates on both sides of the matter is not surprising. The issues here are deeply personal and some of the most pressing our society faces. Besides presenting questions about the fundamental right of the unborn to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well as the health and safety of the mother and her rights, the case raises important questions about governmental power and the proper role of courts. We, therefore, take the Plaintiff’s legal challenge extremely seriously. These questions are fundamental to who we are—and what we stand for as Americans.

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NOTES:
1. The preliminary injunction can be found here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Stipulated-Preliminary-Injunction-4-18-19-5.pdf.

2. A copy of the motion filed can be found here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Joint-motion-for-stipulated-preliminary-injunction-4-18-19-5.pdf.

3. You can read HB 136 Abortion Amendments here: https://le.utah.gov/~2019/bills/static/HB0136.html

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