Thursday, February 2, 2023


By Tim Rohr

The Pacific Daily News headline reads

AG asks court to let 1990 abortion ban take effect. 

At the risk of sounding technical or even trite, the headline is wrong. Attorney General Doug Moylan did not "ask" to the court to do anything. In fact, no party to a court action - who knows what they're doing - ever "asks" the court to do anything. 

What Moylan did do was "move" the court to do something, and it's right there in the first sentence of the filing:

"...the Attorney General of Guam moves this Court for an order vacating the permanent injunction entered in this matter on August 23, 1990..."

While "move" vs "ask" may seem a non issue to lay people (which is probably why the PDN phrased it that way), the difference is not unimportant. 

The courts serves the people and not the other way around. Using "ask" instead of "move" implies that the court is some sort of royalty. It isn't. Judges sit on benches, not thrones. 

As Tall Tales talk show host, Bob Klitzkie, consistently points out: "the court is like a big toad that just sits there until you poke it.

Moylan's filing does not ask or beg the court. It pokes it. 

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