Group that represented clinic in Dobbs abortion case names new top lawyer

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REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

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  • Center for Reproductive Rights promotes T.J. Tu to general counsel
  • Center working with law firms to challenge state abortion bans and restrictions

(Reuters) - The Center for Reproductive Rights has elevated Travis (T.J.) Tu to serve as the new legal chief of the organization, replacing Andrew Sommer, who will retire June 30.

The center was co-counsel for the Jackson Women's Health Organization in the U.S. Supreme Court case decided on Friday that overturned the constitutional right to abortion nationwide.

A spokesperson on Tuesday confirmed the retirement as well as Tu's promotion to general counsel. The promotion took effect June 22 and was announced internally earlier this year, the spokesperson said.

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Tu, who most recently was associate general counsel, steps into the role as the center challenges "trigger laws" in some states. Such laws were designed to ban or severely restrict abortions upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

The group on Monday, along with lawyers from Boies Schiller Flexner and a local firm, won a temporary restraining order in its state court lawsuit challenging an abortion ban in Louisiana.

It has also filed lawsuits in states including Mississippi and Texas, according to court filings.

Sommer joined the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2020 as its first general counsel after 35 years at Wall Street law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

Tu joined as senior counsel in 2018 after practicing at law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler.

Read more:

U.S. abortion ruling ignites legal battles over state bans

Large U.S. law firms mostly quiet on abortion ruling, are walking a 'tightrope'

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at