In a way, it’s perfect. The Texas anti-abortion law that the political U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to take effect in back alley fashion has its first test in a Texas court and it comes from a disbarred felon from Arkansas.
Alan Braid, a Texas physician, stepped forward last week to say he’d performed an abortion despite the new law banning abortions when heart activity can be detected, perhaps six weeks into a pregnancy. The law may be enforced in civil court by lawsuit and winners can collect a bounty for ratting on an abortionist.
First up: Oscar Stilley, the former Fort Smith lawyer, who’ll be under the supervision of the federal Bureau of Prisons until 2023 because of a 2010 tax fraud conviction. Stilley decided to seek a review of the law after reading about Braid’s declaration.
“If the law is no good, why should we have to go through a long, drawn-out process to find out if it’s garbage?” Stilley said in an interview after filing the complaint in state court in Bexar County, Tex., which includes San Antonio.
He also noted that a successful lawsuit could result in an award in court of at least $10,000 for the plaintiff.
“If the state of Texas decided it’s going to give a $10,000 bounty, why shouldn’t I get that 10,000 bounty?” said Stilley, who is currently serving his 15-year federal sentence on home confinement.
Stilley has been disbarred. Here’s the tax fraud scheme that got him 15 years, but he filed any number of dubious court complaints earlier in his career, including against judges he disfavored. Here are some of his ethical failings.
He was an anti-tax crusader and came close in 1998 to getting an amendment on the ballot to abolish the property tax. He lost races for state Senate and governor (when he got 35 votes as a Libertarian candidate in 1998.)