Ferdinand’s Sells Homegrown Flowers to Help Others as Maine Joins Texas Amicus Brief


Diane Toepler, Owner of 20 Year Old Ferdinand, 243 Congress Street Face Masks Are Required for Entry.

“Ferdinand the Bull” a Children’s Book for Whom Diane’s Store is Named.  The Store is Located at 243 Congress Street, Portland.

A Potential Customer Admires the Dahlias for Sale at Ferdinand’s This Afternoon.  Almost Half of the Proceeds goes to Support the National Planned Parenthood and Similar Other Non-Profits.

“Since the pandemic I’ve learned that I want to do more for my community.  I had to figure out how to fund my interests,” said Diane Toepler, owner of the 20 year old store, Ferdinand.  “One of my interests is the abortion restrictions now law in Texas.”

Diane who loves flowers planted 75 dahlia plants earlier this year in a neighbor’s garden.  They have bloomed prodigiously. Far more prodigiously than she could ever use in her home.

So, for the last three Fridays and Saturdays Diane has been selling them to customers – a bouquet of ten stems sells for $10.00 with almost half of that money going to the national Planned Parenthood and other similar non-profits in whom she has an interest.  So far, she has sold 50 bouquets and will continue to do so as long as the dahlias continue to bloom.

In a related matter, Attorney General Aaron Frey joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general earlier this week in filing an amicus brief in support of the US Department of Justices’ (DOJ) challenge to Texas’s new unconstitutional ban on abortions after six weeks – the brief specifically supports DOJ’s motion for a preliminary injunction of the law, which went into effect earlier this month.

The brief, filed on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, argues that banning nearly all pre-viability abortions within Texas’s borders, the law, Senate Bill 8, violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent affirming the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability.  The brief further contends that the Texas legislature sought to circumvent prior Supreme Court rulings and to prevent judicial review of the law by delegating enforcement authority to private individuals instead of the government and, as such, Senate Bill 8 is an “unprecedented attack on our constitutional order” and the rule of law.

The coalition contends that the clear purpose of Senate Bill 8 is private enforcement mechanisum does not shield Texas’s unconstitutional law from judicial review.  The brief describes how Texas created a structure within its state court system that requires courts to provide monetary and injunctive relief to claimants who bring cases against doctors who provide abortions and those who “aid and abet” such constitutionally protected care.  The coalition argues that the federal district court should not allow Texas to render the constitutionally protected rights recognized in Roe v. Wade legally void through the laws transparent scheme.

Finally, the brief argues that it is essential for the federal district court to grant a preliminary injunction of the law to stop the inseparable harm that Senate Bill 8 is inflicting on the people in Texas and across the country including the amici states.

“The unconstitutional ban on abortion care in Texas is particularly egregious,” said Maine’s Attorney General Frey.  “Banning all abortions after six weeks will lead to disastrous health outcomes for Texans.  What is also galling about this law is its delegation of authority to a vigilante-style system of private enforcement which runs counter to the Constitution and the rule of law.  Implementation of this law must be blocked.”

The Judge has said he will hear the case on October 1, 2021.  As to whom he will render a decision is anyone’s guess.