This is the second of three lawsuits over the PBA ban to be decided (the first, in San Francisco, was also a pro-choice victory). The third lawsuit, in Nebraska, is also likely to find that the PBA ban is unconstitutional.
The loss in New York is significant to pro-lifers because New York’s Judge Casey was clearly sympathetic to pro-life arguments, and made no effort to hide his disgust at the so-called PBA procedure. (According to the Times, Judge Casey earlier today referred to the procedure as “gruesome, brutal, barbaric and uncivilized.”). If the pro-lifers can’t defend a PBA ban successfully in Judge Casey’s courtroom, it’s unlikely they can defend it at all.
Judge Casey was, however, too honest to overlook the fact that the PBA ban clearly is unconstitutional according to the Supreme Court’s Stenberg v Carhart decision.
However, that could change if Bush wins the 2004 election and gets a chance to replace O’Connor, Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, or Souter on the Supreme Court. If that happens, the Court will probably overturn their Stenberg v Carhart decision and find PBA bans to be constitutional.
FederalAbortionBan.org has more information on all three cases. I haven’t yet found a link to the text of Judge Casey’s opinion, but when (if) I do, I’ll update this post with the link.