Politics 'Landmark opportunity': Supreme Court faces biggest abortion fight in decades
A key Biden judicial nominee is poised for confirmation. Here's why that may matter for the Supreme Court.
Senate Republicans are taking a cautious approach to President Biden's judicial nominees, even though one of them may be bound for the Supreme Court.After all, Jackson is also a top contender to be Biden's first Supreme Court nominee.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to hear arguments in a Mississippi abortion case kicked off what could become the biggest abortion fight in decades.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerns the state’s ban on abortion before 15 weeks. The court in taking up the case said that it would consider the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” The implications of its decision will be large, according to advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the abortion debate.
The Supreme Court Just Took Up a Case That Poses a Major Threat to Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a Mississippi law barring almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, setting up an opportunity for the court’s new 6-3 conservative majority to reexamine Roe v. Wade.This case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will be the first time the court considers a state restriction on abortion since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed last fall. It’s one in a wave of state laws limiting abortion passed in recent years that are designed to challenge the decades-old ruling.
“This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, one of the largest anti-abortion advocacy groups.
The SBA List, along with many other anti-abortion organizations, has been pushing since last year for the court to grant certiorari, especially after the Senate confirmed former President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, Justice. But when the court continued to the case for its Friday conferences without any movement, some opponents of abortion began that even with a 6-3 conservative majority on the court, their cause was not getting positive attention.
Supreme Court throws abortion fight into center of midterms
WASHINGTON (AP) — In agreeing to hear a potentially groundbreaking abortion case, the Supreme Court has energized activists on both sides of the long-running debate who are now girding to make abortion access a major issue in next year’s midterm elections. For many evangelicals, the case could serve as a validation of more than four decades of persistent work and a sometimes awkward relationship with former President Donald Trump, whose three Supreme Court appointments sealed a 6-3 conservative majority.
Now that the court is hearing the case, the script is flipped. In aresponding to the decision, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue claimed that the acceptance of the case’s petition was the result of a Republican plot to overthrow the abortion precedent set by Roe v. Wade.
“Never forget that McConnell and others mocked us and gaslit us through the Kavanaugh fight for claiming that legal abortion was in jeopardy,” she wrote. “They knew. They lied. We knew.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also sounded the alarm that Roe's precedent could be in danger andthe Senate to take action to protect abortion in case the Supreme Court's 1973 pronouncement comes into question.
“This shouldn’t just be up to the Supreme Court,” Warren said. “Congress can — and must — pass a law to protect the right to a safe and legal abortion, no matter what Trump’s justices say.”
Texas governor signs 'heartbeat' abortion ban into law
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed into law a so-called "heartbeat ban" abortion bill -- barring most abortions at the onset of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many people know they are pregnant. © Kai Eiselein/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News/AP Protestors gather across from each other for rallies, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Moscow, Idaho. "Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion," Abbott said. "In Texas, we work to save those lives.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, on the other hand, told the Washington Examiner that the case presents the court with an opportunity to show it is not in the business of essentially legislating contentious issues such as abortion.
"The Supreme Court shouldn’t invent new laws — as they did in Roe — because Supreme Court justices aren’t super-legislators," he said. "Across the country, and in Mississippi, the American people have worked to limit Roe and Casey’s radically pro-abortion status quo. The Supreme Court now has an opportunity to affirm this American system and recognize that states can enact compassionate, common-sense, pro-life legislation."
In recent years, abortion opponents at the state level have pushed to trigger a Supreme Court battle over a law challenging the national abortion precedent set by Roe and confirmed in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Last summer, the court dealt a blow to the movement with its decision in a majorinvolving hospital admitting privileges. In the case, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing to find that a law all but outlawing abortion was unconstitutional.
What banning abortion at 6 weeks really means
So-called heartbeat bills ban nearly all abortions.The law contains an exception for medical emergencies, but no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Anti-abortion advocates are hopeful though that the court will decide in their favor on the question of viability. Pointing to more restrictive early stage abortion laws in other countries, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said that if the court finds that pre-viability prohibitions are unconstitutional, there’s broad public support in many states to tighten abortion laws.
"Currently the United States is one of only seven countries, including China and North Korea, that allows abortions through all nine months of pregnancy," she said. "An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that this goes way too far."
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Imagining a Post-Roe America .
The Supreme Court now has an opportunity to gut its 1973 abortion ruling. A savage landscape of inequality and culture war awaits.For those who favor greater reproductive rights, the Supreme Court’s decision to reconsider long-established precedent is deeply ominous. There won’t be a ruling until spring or summer of 2022, and it’s impossible to guess exactly what the new conservative majority might support. The Court could surprise us, as it did with the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v.