The Supreme Court ruled Friday that abortion providers in Texas will continue to be allowed to challenge the state’s restrictive abortion law but decided to not stop the law from being enforced.
The opinion, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, emphasizes that the question of whether the Texas law is constitutional is not the one before the court. The ruling allows lawsuits by the clinics to go forward in lower courts, while leaving the law in place for now.
Eight of the nine justices said the abortion providers may continue bringing legal challenges, and Chief Justice John Roberts, writing on behalf of himself and the court’s three Democrat-appointed justices, encouraged the district judge should act quickly.
A federal appeals court on Friday night temporarily reinstated Texas’ restrictive abortion law, staying a preliminary injunction granted earlier this week by a federal judge who sought to block the law.
The ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday night handed a win to anti-abortion advocates and lawmakers in Texas who have sought to prohibit most abortions after six weeks of conception.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it would hear a case in December that directly challenges the landmark 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade.
The high court set Dec. 1 as the date it would hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which means a decision could be reached by June 2022.
This case features a challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The case especially addresses the constitutionality of abortion bans that take effect before a fetus would be viable outside the womb.
Just before midnight on Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued an order denying injunctive relief to the Texas abortion providers who had sought to halt Texas’ new abortion law which prohibits abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
The majority opinion said the Court would not intervene because the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate whether the defendants, including state judges, can or will seek to enforce the law against them. The five conservative justices in the majority, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett, noted that federal courts have the power to enjoin people tasked with enforcing laws, and not laws themselves.
The Texas law gives citizens the power to sue abortion providers or anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion after six weeks gestation. This structure provided the legal technicality which allowed the near-ban on abortion to remain in effect.
Liberal activists and progressive media compared Texas’ new pro-life law to the Taliban after it went into effect Wednesday.
“I am calling on Joe Biden and the UN to lead a humanitarian effort to airlift women out of Texas,” tweeted BotSentinel founder Christopher Bouzy. “The North American Taliban has seized control of Texas.”
Well, isn’t this interesting.
Recall Roe v. Wade? The famous abortion decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that was issued in January of 1973? It said this:
This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment‘s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or … in the Ninth Amendment‘s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” — Roe, 410 U.S. at 153
In the vernacular, this quickly was reduced to a pro-Roe movement that self-identified as “pro-choice.” Or, as the saying goes, “abortion rights” boosters supported the idea of “my body, my choice.”