The Satanic Temple v. Rokita

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The Satanic Temple v. Rokita
Filing Date 9/21/2022
Original Jurisdiction US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
Plaintiff "The Satanic Temple"
Defendant Todd Rokita (Indiana attorney general); Ryan Mears (Marion County prosecutor); Eric Holcolmb (governor) [Terminated March 24, 2023]
Intervenor N/A
State Indiana
Case# 1:22-cv-01859
Original Result Dismissed
First Appeal Ongoing
Second Appeal N/A
Final Result

The Satanic Temple, Inc., sued the state of Indiana, challenging its abortion ban. In the complaint by attorney W. James MacNaughton, TST claimed they had standing because one of their existing Indiana members — which they defined as someone who signed up for their email newsletter at some point — might want to make money as a surrogate, and being involuntarily pregnant would deny them the ability to make money off of their own bodies, which is a form of slavery.

However, TST did not bother to find any actual, specific pregnant TST member who was involuntarily pregnant and suffered direct harm, was not willing to use the legal name of its owners and leaders in court, and was not willing to use the legal name of a doctor who wrote in support in them, either. In addition, the Temple did not show that it planned to open an abortion telehealth clinic in the state of Indiana in the immediate future.

On Oct. 25, 2023, federal district court judge and Obama-appointee Jane Magnus-Stinson dismissed the case without leave to amend for lack of standing.[1] On Nov. 22, 2023, The Satanic Temple filed its notice to appeal the decision to the Seventh Circuit.[2]

Court summary[3]

The Satanic Temple, Inc. ("the Satanic Temple") seeks to provide mail-order drugs for its members in Indiana to have abortions. Indiana, however, criminalizes most abortions. Ind. Code § 16-34-2-1(a) ("S.B. 1"). The Satanic Temple has sued Attorney General Todd Rokita and Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears ("Defendants"), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief on behalf of itself and its members who have become pregnant involuntarily ("Members"). The Satanic Temple alleges that S.B. 1 violates the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") by prohibiting its Members from performing its Satanic Abortion Ritual; the Fifth Amendment by committing a taking of its Members' uteruses; the Fourteenth Amendment by discriminating against its Members who become pregnant unintentionally in favor of women who become pregnant by rape or incest; and the Thirteenth Amendment by forcing upon its Members the conditions of slavery. Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim and lack of standing.


  1., Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Order on Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim — Document #66, Oct. 25, 2023
  2., Notice of Appeal — Document #68, Nov. 22, 2023
  3. CourtListener, The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. Rokita, Order on Motion for Leave to File AND Order on Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim — Document #66, District Court, S.D. Indiana