Fourteen months after a federal court ruled that Wisconsin’s so-called “cocaine baby” law was unconstitutionally vague, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed the case challenging the law and reinstated it.
The three-judge panel ruled on June 18 that the lawsuit filed by Tamara Loertscher formerly of Medford, against attorney general Brad Schimel, Wisconsin Secretary of Children and Families Eloise Anderson and Taylor County was moot because Loertscher no longer lived in Wisconsin and has no intention of returning to the state.
In summer 2014, Loertscher was detained in a medical facility, jailed in Taylor County and found by the state to have maltreated her unborn child because she tested positive for having drugs in her system at the time of her pregnancy test. In making the case, Loertscher’s said her rights were violated numerous times in the process, and sought to have the 1997 law overturned as being unconstitutional, as well as having her legal fees covered. The original complaint in the case alleges Loertscher’s rights to due process, unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from compelled speech, equal protection and procedural due process were violated by the state of Wisconsin.