Anti-choice group Personhood Oklahoma has filed a cert petition asking the high court to overturn the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling from April that blocked Initiative Petition No. 395. This proposed measure, part of the seemingly endless parade of right-wing tactics to curtail reproductive freedom, would have amended the state constitution to grant personhood rights “from the beginning of biological development to the end of natural life.” In its unanimous, to-the-point ruling, however, the Oklahoma court held that the initiative was “repugnant to the Constitution of the United States” following 1992′s Casey decision and therefore automatically invalid under Oklahoma law. As a result, they found that allowing the initiative onto the November ballot would have resulted in a “costly and futile” campaign.
The group has posed three questions in its petition. First, and most brazenly, petitioners ask the Court to rule that their personhood definition is not, in fact, repugnant to the Constitution. The other two questions attempt to frame the issue in terms of free speech and federalism, claiming that the state court preempted the state population’s right to debate the personhood question and violated the 10th Amendment by curtailing the state’s ability to change its own constitution.
SCOTUSblog is following the case, Personhood Oklahoma v. Barber, which has been assigned Docket No. 12.145.