Though you’ve likely never heard his name, Douglas Leroy Rayes, a U.S. district judge for the District of Arizona, can make decisions that have a profound impact on Arizona residents.
On Monday, he blocked a 2021 Arizona law recognizing the personhood of a fetus from the moment of fertilization, siding with the abortion industry which determined the measure “was too vague and exposed them to prosecution.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights, which asserts it “fights for the fundamental human rights of all people in the U.S. and across the globe,” neglects to include preborn human babies as it makes fundraising its mission, highlighting donors and “major gifts,” using death as a fundraising mechanism.
The Arizona Attorney General’s office recently prevailed in disallowing abortions based on the sex or race of the child. The office countered that the provision, which says state law must be interpreted to grant fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses the same “rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons,” was not intended to create any new abortion-related crime.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes, an Obama appointee, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2014 by a 77 to 19 vote — with 4 senators not voting. Republicrats John McCain and Jeff Flake both voted for this democrat, who replaced Republican Judge Frederick Martone, then assuming senior status.
During the hearing, Rayes expressed concern about a state policy that the provision’s effects be interpreted case by case in court, after abortionists voiced fears they could be prosecuted for child endangerment or other crimes.
In his ruling, Rayes, engaging in classic double-talk, wrote that his motion blocking the law was not just about abortion. “It is about giving people fair notice of what the law means so that they know in advance how to comply.”
The case is one of many disputes over state abortion laws after the U.S. Supreme Court sent the matter back to the individual states, sensibly removing it from under the auspices of the federal government.
Arizona passed the personhood law in April 2021. Abortion providers sued to block it last August, fallaciously arguing that it was unconstitutionally vague because it did not make clear what conduct, if any, it would prohibit. In March, Arizona passed a law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. That measure is set to take effect in September.