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The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will take up arguably one of the most abortion cases in at least three decades.
The nation’s highest court will hear a direct challenge out of Mississippi to Roe v. Wade’s landmark holding that the Constitution provides a right of access to abortion.
“It’s the case opponents of abortion have long sought and advocates of abortion rights have dreaded, coming before a strongly conservative lineup of justices. Three were appointed by then-President Donald Trump, who said he would choose nominees willing to overturn Roe,” NBC News reported.
“The issue of whether the Constitution provides a right to seek an abortion is not before the court in the Texas challenges, but it is squarely presented in Wednesday’s case. At the heart of it is a Mississippi law — passed in 2018 but blocked by the lower courts — that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, allowing them only in medical emergencies or cases of severe fetal abnormality. Supporters say the law is intended to regulate ‘inhumane procedures’ and argue that a fetus is capable of detecting and responding to pain by that point,” the report added.
NBC News reported:
The case presents an attack on the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 and a follow-on decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey about two decades later. The court held that a state can impose some restrictions on abortion provided they do not present an “undue burden,” but cannot ban the procedure before fetal viability, generally considered to be 23 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
Mississippi said it must be free to take account of advancements in medical knowledge that would shift the point of viability earlier in the pregnancy. But abortion-rights advocates said viability, defined as the time at which a life could be sustained outside the womb, has remained the same since Roe was decided.
In its submissions, Mississippi said the Supreme Court made a fundamental error in its landmark abortion rulings, arguing, “Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion.” The state also said the court was wrong to rule that state laws outlawing abortion violated a woman’s right to privacy. “Nowhere else in the law does a right of privacy or a right to make personal decisions provide a right to destroy a human life,” it said in its brief to the court.
In a separate case regarding abortion, liberals were angry that the Supreme Court did not issue an opinion last week regarding Texas’ abortion law Monday morning.
Several prominent Democrats attacked the justices for failing to take action in the case and used the opportunity to call for packing the court with liberal justices.
“The Supreme Court has allowed Texas’s abhorrent anti-abortion law to remain in effect for 83 days,” Demand Justice, a pro-court-packing organization run by former Obama administration staffers, tweeted. “We cannot keep waiting for this Court to act in the interests of the American people – it’s time to #ExpandTheCourt.”
“Many guessed the Supreme Court would weigh in on the Texas law today but it turned out to be a giant head fake. It is insane we let the third branch of government conduct itself with so little transparency when it comes to rights this fundamental,” wrote Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon, the former press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Liberals did not contain their outrage:
“John Roberts playing ‘haha made you look’ when it comes to abortion rights is about all you need to know about this Supreme Court. #ExpandTheCourt,” Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang tweeted.
“SERIOUSLY. AN ORIGINAL JURISDICTION CASE,” Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser tweeted, using the legal term for disputes between states that go directly to the Supreme Court.
“LOLZ at all of us for thinking that the Supreme Court might do something sensible in an abortion case today,” he added. “The Supreme Court is bad, y’all.”
Last month, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor complained not happy about the court refusing to block Texas’ six-week abortion law.
Sotomayor called it “catastrophic” that Texas’ abortion ban law was 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.”
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.
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.