Hunting and fishing packers have a new opportunity to strike at the heart of the U.S. judicial system: the Ninth Circuit.
The nine-member appeals court has long been known for its conservative and conservative-leaning jurists and its penchant for gutting protections for the environment and workers.
But it has not always been a champion of individual rights.
In fact, the court has struck down a number of key protections, including those that protect people from discrimination.
The Ninth Circuit’s decision Wednesday to strike down a major part of a new federal rule protecting the rights of the unborn is significant because it signals a shift in tone and the extent to which the court will continue to overturn the rights that many of its conservative supporters fought so hard for.
“There is a real risk that the Ninth will continue on the same course that it has been since 2013,” said Tom Goldstein, a law professor at the University of Southern California and an expert on federal courts.
“This is a big deal.”
The ruling is the first major victory for the Trump administration’s sweeping agenda to roll back environmental protections.
Trump has repeatedly promised to end the rule, which requires that pregnant women get counseling before obtaining an abortion.
In July, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling and overturned a lower court decision that struck down the federal requirement that women obtain counseling before seeking an abortion, saying the Supreme court’s decision “had no bearing on the federal constitutional issues.”
“Today’s decision by the Ninth District Court of Appeals affirms that the First Amendment rights of unborn children cannot be trifled with, and the federal government must now honor that right,” said U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in a statement.
The Trump administration said it will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Judicial Court, which is expected to rule in the coming weeks.
The Supreme Court has never had to consider a federal rule before, but its 2016 decision in Fisher v.
University of Texas, which was later overturned by the court, established a standard for federal judges to apply to the constitutionality of a state law.
The Supreme Court had previously said a state could not be required to provide abortion counseling for pregnant women who were seeking an exemption from a federal law, which they could not have if the state had an abortion clinic.
The court also rejected a challenge to a Texas law that required the state to notify women about the risk of birth defects, and it struck down an Arizona law that prohibited abortion clinics from performing abortions for women who could not make a “consistent” medical claim.
The case was Fisher v Tarrant County, which involved a Texas man who had been indicted for driving under the influence.
The man appealed, arguing the law violated his rights under the Constitution.
The ruling in Fisher was a major victory in Trump’s fight to gut environmental protections and roll back protections for workers, according to experts.
“We have a federal court that has always been anti-environmental and pro-business,” said Richard Lazarus, a professor at George Mason University and a former associate attorney general in the Justice Department.
“It’s just a question of where it will go from here.
The more things change, the more it will stay the same.”