Could TX SB8 (the controversial abortion law) be nullified by a declaratory judgement?

Suppose a would-be abortion provider were to file suit against Texas Right To Life, who are running the ProLifeWhistleblower.com website, arguing that SB8 is an effective ban on abortion and hence unconstitutional, and suppose that the court agrees and grants a declaratory judgement saying so.

This would block Texas Right To Life from suing an abortion provider under SB8, but it wouldn't stop any John or Jane Doe from suing, because they were not parties to the original suit.

Suppose there is a subsequent suit by John Doe against Planned Parenthood for an abortion in Texas. Could that lawsuit be dismissed on the grounds that Doe is identically situated to Texas Right To Life, and it is already established that such a suit cannot lead to an award of damages?


1 Answer 1


As Texas Right to Life has not (as far as I know) yet sued any person or provider under SB8, I don't think there would be any legal justification for naming them in a suit. Even if they could be named, this would still leave it open to anyone else to file a suit under SB8 (which is why SB8 was written as it is).

Suits currently in progress have taken the approach of suing state officials who would have to be or might be involved in any future SB8 suit. At the moment these suits have been allowed to go forward, but the list of defendants have been limited. Court clerks and state judges have been held to be off limits as defendants. We will have to see where the suits in progress go.

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