Maddow Weblog | Why the Texas GOP’s abortion ban is again on the Supreme Court docket

Precisely two months in the past right this moment, 5 Republican-appointed U.S. Supreme Court docket justices gave the inexperienced gentle to Texas’ new abortion ban, successfully halting Roe v. Wade protections within the nation’s second largest state. However as we have mentioned, even on the time, it was clear that the ruling wouldn’t be the ultimate phrase on the topic, and the conservative justices had not issued an opinion on the deserves of the case.

Two months later, as NBC Information reported, the case is again.

The Supreme Court docket on Monday is taking over two challenges to the nation’s most restrictive abortion regulation: the Texas measure that has all however stopped abortions within the state. The court docket’s choice to contemplate the problem on an unusually accelerated schedule ramps up the drama over abortion, because the justices put together to listen to an much more consequential case a month from now. On Dec. 1, Mississippi will urge the court docket to overrule Roe v. Wade and declare that there isn’t a constitutional proper to abortion.

The oral arguments, which started this morning, truly contain two challenges to the construction of Texas’ abortion ban, referred to as S.B. 8, which was its state legislative invoice quantity.

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One authorized problem was introduced by a clinic in Texas known as Entire Girls’s Well being, whereas the opposite was introduced by the Biden administration’s Justice Division. The justices heard oral arguments in each circumstances back-to-back.

At first blush, it is perhaps tempting to assume these associated circumstances will result in a Supreme Court docket ruling on reproductive rights, for the reason that underlying difficulty includes a state abortion ban. However on this occasion, that is not fairly proper. To know the query earlier than the justices, let’s revisit what makes Texas’ regulation so uncommon.

Not like the same old abortion bans authorised by GOP policymakers, Texas Republicans tried to protect their ban by shifting enforcement of the regulation from the state to abnormal residents. The result’s successfully a vigilante system: If some random particular person learns {that a} Texan had an abortion after six weeks of being pregnant — earlier than many ladies even know they’re pregnant — he may file swimsuit towards the doctor who carried out the process. And the nurse who was within the room. And the pal who drove the girl to the well being clinic. And the member of the family who gave the girl some cash to assist pay for the journey.

In response to the state’s new regulation, a random particular person, successfully deputized by Texas Republicans, may sue any of those folks for $10,000 — plus attorneys’ charges — turning anti-abortion activists into bounty hunters.

The purpose was to create a authorized barrier of kinds: Texas would have the courts consider that for the reason that state is not immediately chargeable for imposing the regulation, Texas cannot be sued for having created the regulation, even when it is plainly at odds with present precedent. In truth, some have recommended that the regulation cannot be challenged in any respect, because it solely empowers non-public residents and never the state.

And that’s the query earlier than the excessive court docket right this moment. As NBC Information’ report added, “The justices should determine whether or not abortion suppliers in Texas and the Justice Division have the authorized proper to problem the regulation in court docket and to hunt orders banning state court docket clerks and judges from doing something in response to the lawsuits.”

A choice just isn’t anticipated till the spring. Texas’ abortion ban will stay in impact within the interim.

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