OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is not happy about the court refusing to block Texas’ six-week abortion law.
According to The Hill, Sotomayor has called it “catastrophic” that Texas’ abortion ban law has not been stopped.
In a seven-page written rant, Sotomayor not only attacked her conservative colleagues, she sensationally claimed that the court “cannot capture the totality of this harm in these pages.”
“But as these excerpts illustrate, the State (empowered by this Court’s inaction) has so thoroughly chilled the exercise of the right recognized in Roe as to nearly suspend it within its borders and strain access to it in other States,” Sotomayor wrote. “The State’s gambit has worked. The impact is catastrophic.”
“Sotomayor explained that while she agreed with the court’s decision to hear the cases on an expedited basis, she would have halted the law from being enforced. The justice explained that there are women who became pregnant when S.B. 8 took effect, and ‘as I write these words, some of those women do not know they are pregnant,'” The Hill reported.
“None of this is seriously in dispute. These circumstances are exceptional. Women seeking abortion care in Texas are entitled to relief from this Court now,” Sotomayor wrote. “Because of the Court’s failure to act today, that relief, if it comes, will be too late for many.”
Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to a controversial Texas abortion law.
In briefs filed before the nation’s highest court, Texas officials argued that justices should reconsider the legality and constitutionality of the highly debated Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 in which the Supreme Court at the time struck down laws against abortion in all 50 states.
In September, abortion advocates and providers in the Lone Star State appealed to the high court to hear their arguments against the Texas law, SB 8, before there was a final judgment in a lower federal court “because of the urgency of the harm” the law allegedly causes.
Last Monday, the high court agreed to hear that quickened appeal.
“In response, Texas officials said that the Supreme Court should deny that request, noting that the 5th Circuit of Appeals is due to hear arguments in the case next month,” NBC News reported.
The Justice Department, which has filed suit against Texas over the law, asked justices on Monday to vacate a lower appeals court ruling that allowed the law to stay in effect while it is being litigated. The department’s brief also sought to have its legal challenge to be added during this term for briefings and arguments.
In response, Texas officials argued that the law ought to remain in effect and said that the Justice Department does not have standing in the outcome that allows for their lawsuit.
“The federal government cannot get an abortion, and the Constitution does not assign it any special role to protect any putative right to abortion,” Texas officials argued.
In its previous one-page decision, the Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals set aside a lower court ruling that placed a temporary halt on enforcement of the law.
“Great news tonight, The Fifth Circuit has granted an administrative stay on #SB8. I will fight federal overreach at every turn,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Twitter.
Senate Bill 8, signed into law in May, bars abortions in the state after fetal heart tones are detected, generally around six weeks. It empowers private citizens to sue anyone involved in providing an abortion after the establishment of heart tones.