Satanic Temple’s Lawsuit Claiming Texas Law Violates Their ‘Religious Freedom’ to ‘Abortion Rituals’ Dismissed By Federal Judge

This image was posted on the Satanic Temple's Facebook page in 2014.
This image was posted on the Satanic Temple’s Facebook page in 2014. (The Satanic Temple / Facebook)

A federal judge in the Southern District of Texas dismissed a lawsuit by The Satanic Temple that claimed the state’s abortion laws violate their “religious freedom” to perform “abortion rituals.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Satanic Temple member “Ann Doe,” and argued that Texas’ strict abortion laws violate their “right to a religious accommodation of its members to engage in the abortion ritual under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The Satanists also claimed that “TST has a constitutional right under the Texas Constitution to the free exercise of their religious practices, including the abortion ritual” and “First Amendment ‘conduct,’ including TST’s religious abortion ritual, is not permitted to be the target of civil actions filed under SB8.”

“SB8’s ban on abortions after six weeks infringes upon our members’ rights to engage with their chosen religion and to participate in religious rites and rituals,” The Satanic Temple’s Director of Campaign Operations Erin Helian said in a press release provided to The Gateway Pundit at the time of the filing. “In accordance with our Third Tenet, The Satanic Temple will push back against the Texas legislature’s violation of our members’ bodily autonomy and freedom of choice.”

Judge Charles Eskridge dismissed the case earlier this month, calling the complaint “spare and unusually cryptic.”

“For instance, The Satanic Temple is alleged to be ‘a religion,'” Judge Eskridge wrote. “But what its belief structure entails and how Texas law was applied against it isn’t meaningfully explained. Also unstated is how those laws impacted Ann Doe herself, who is included in the caption, but about whom nothing more is said.”

The judge also asserted that the organization was acting in “bad faith” and that “any repleading at this stage would manifest undue prejudice to a range of current and former Defendants who still have little clue as to the exact nature of the claims brought in this case. The Court is also of the firm belief that any further attempt at repleading would be futile, given that Attorney Kezhaya’s filings become more conclusory, reductive, and intemperate over time, in line with his performative and obstinate conduct to date.”

Judge Eskridge concluded that the “amended complaint is willfully inadequate and deficient. It fails for jurisdictional reasons and would also likely fail for insufficient pleading of the merits. Plaintiffs will not be given leave to replead.”

The temple previously attempted to use religious freedom to fight abortion laws in Missouri but also failed there.


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