Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her solo dissent to the court's ruling on an abortion case that the majority's use of a legal doctrine has "drifted away" from its foundation.
The case concerned a lower court ruling in a lawsuit that was filed in 2018 by a Missouri teenager who accused a state clerk of violating her civil rights while she sought an abortion when she was 17 years old.
The Supreme Court voted to vacate that lower court's decision, remand the case, and have it dismissed based on a legal doctrine known as Munsingwear vacatur.
Jackson, writing the solo dissent, said she is "concerned that contemporary practice related to so-called 'Munsingwear vacaturs' has drifted away from the doctrine's foundational moorings."
"Here, the majority has acquiesced to the parties' joint request for a Munsingwear vacatur," she added.
"Whatever the parties might have seen fit to agree to, we have long recognized that the equities generally do not favor Munsingwear vacatur when the party requesting such relief played a role in rendering the case moot."
She later added, "Even more fundamentally, this case presents absolutely no 'extraordinary' circumstances justifying Munsingwear relief."
"In my view, it is crucial that we hold the line and limit the availability of Munsingwear vacatur to truly exceptional cases," she concluded. "To do otherwise risks considerable damage to first principles of appellate review."
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