judgment prayer for ‘[God’s] Truth, Not Our Own” precedes the abortion ban hearing, which went… as badly as you might expect


Today, Mississippi’s 2007 Trigger Act, which bans all abortions “except in cases where it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother or when the pregnancy was caused by rape,” goes into effect. Which, given the state’s six-week ban on abortion, was the impetus for it Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health, is not a particularly surprising result. Destructive? Absolutely. But no shock.

But pro-abortion advocates played one last gamble, demanding a restraining order before the trigger bill went into effect, saying the ban would do irreparable harm. The legal argument was based on a case from the state of Mississippi, where there was a “right to abortion” as part of the “right to privacy.” Judge Debbra K. Halford was assigned the case, and a hearing on the motion was held earlier this week.

Here we go through the looking glass straight into our current hellscape.

As the Mississippi Free Press reports, before the hearing began, a United Methodist Church pastor — at the judge’s request — acted as a “special chaplain” and led a prayer. Don’t worry – it gets worse. The prayer the minister offered in the courtroom included the following: “Lord, we pray for the presence of your Holy Spirit in this courtroom today. … We seek your truth, not our own. We seek your wisdom, not our own.”

Sure, it feels like Judge Halford is signaling how she’s going to rule the case. It is truly a bold decision to have such a controversial subject not just with any prayer, but with this prayer. Good thing we have a founding clause of the First Amendment. Oh. Doesn’t matter.

As you can imagine, Judge Halford denied the requested restraining order.

And that’s the real nut of the problem, isn’t it? The Supreme Court launched a multifront assault on the right to bring us here. A place where only Christianity receives constitutional protection and all other rights are eroded in the service of a very specific (White Christian nationalist) religious ideology. In the wake of Dobbsthe term theocracy gets thrown around a lot — and with good reason.

Kathryn Rubino is Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments, and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).


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