Supreme Court

23-0629 - State v. Zurawski 

State v. Zurawski

  • Case number: 23-0629
  • Legal category: Constitutional Law
  • Subtype: Abortion
  • Set for oral argument: November 28, 2023

Case Summary

This direct appeal arises from a temporary injunction that enjoins the State from enforcing laws banning abortion in certain cases on the ground that the laws are unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs are women who experienced pregnancy complications and whose physicians declined to provide abortions, citing legal prohibitions on abortion and uncertainty about the medical-emergency exception for pregnancies that, in the exercise of reasonable medical judgment, place the mother at risk of death or serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function. Plaintiffs also include physicians who are concerned that the abortion laws will be enforced against them. The plaintiffs sued the State, the Attorney General, and the Texas Medical Board and its executive director, seeking clarification of the medical-emergency exception. They further sought a declaration that aspects of the abortion laws are unconstitutional. The trial court denied the State parties’ plea to the jurisdiction and entered a temporary injunction that reforms the statute to define particular medical conditions as within the medical-emergency exception, restrains the State parties from enforcing the abortion bans in those instances, and enjoins the State parties from enforcing Texas abortion laws against the plaintiffs in particular.

The State filed a direct appeal to the Supreme Court, which noted probable jurisdiction under Section 22.001(c) of the Government Code. The State challenges the injunction on multiple grounds, contending that the plaintiffs lack standing, that the State has not waived its sovereign immunity, that the plaintiffs have not shown that the State acted to obstruct an abortion in their cases or otherwise demonstrated a probable right to relief, and that the plaintiffs have not shown a probable, imminent, irreparable injury.


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