For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: July 23, 2004

Attorney General To Ask For Reconsideration Of Parental Notification Decision

(Boise) - The Attorney General's Office will ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a decision issued last Friday affecting Idaho's statute governing abortion, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Wasden's office informed legislative leaders today that his office will request reconsideration by an en banc panel of the court.

"This case presents a very important issue that deserves a second look by an en banc panel," Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.

"The Attorney General has a constitutional duty to defend legislative enactments," Deputy Attorney General Michael McPeek wrote in a letter to legislative leaders. "Consequently, the Attorney General's Office will file a petition for reconsideration with the Ninth Circuit. The petition will request that the court review the three-judge panel's decision en banc, reconsider that decision, and reverse it."

The July 16 decision was issued by a panel of three judges. An en banc panel in the Ninth Circuit consists of 11 judges, including the Chief Judge.

"My office has received numerous inquiries regarding the effective date of the Ninth Circuit's decision," Attorney General Wasden said. "The state's motion for reconsideration en banc will stay the decision until the court acts upon the motion. If the court grants reconsideration, it is likely to continue the stay until the case is finally decided. As a result, the statute, as enacted by the Idaho Legislature, remains in effect, at least for the time being."

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