Sunday, June 26, 2011

Indiana Legislation Loses Ground in Two Federal Court Decisions

Friday was a tough day for the Indiana legislative agenda. The state lost two federal cases concerning controversial legislation passed in the last session--its immigration bill and its bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

On Friday U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued an injunction preventing Indiana's new immigration law from being enforced. She found two of the law's primary provisions to be "seriously flawed": one preventing the use of identification cards issued by foreign consulates and another that allows people the whose immigration status is questionable to be arrested. She said the banning of consulate issued cards stepped into areas of federal authority. The arrest provision, Judge Barker said, violates constitutionally-protected due process and search and seizure provisions. You can read more about this ruling here.

Also on Friday U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a preliminary injunction against the state's legislation to prevent the use of Medicaid funds for services from Planned Parenthood of Indiana. She sided with federal officials who argued that  states can't disqualify Medicaid providers because they provide abortion services, nor can they restrict Medicare recipient's choice of a health care provider. Read more from the Journal Courier here.