Politics

SCOTUS announces it will hear abortion case that could possibly challenge Roe. v. Wade

The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear a case from Mississippi that could challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a right to abortion.

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19- 1392, concerns a law enacted by the Mississippi legislature that banned abortions if “the probable gestational age of the unborn human” was determined to be more than 15 weeks. The statute included narrow exceptions for medical emergencies or “a severe fetal abnormality.” Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic sued, saying the law ran afoul of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that affirmed Roe’s core holding. Judge Carlton W. Reeves of Federal District Court in Jackson, Miss., blocked the law in 2018, saying the legal issue was straightforward and questioning the state lawmakers’ motives.

“The state chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades-long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Judge Reeves wrote. “This court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature.” “With the recent changes in the membership of the Supreme Court, it may be that the state believes divine providence covered the Capitol when it passed this legislation,” wrote Judge Reeves. “Time will tell. If overturning Roe is the state’s desired result, the state will have to seek that relief from a higher court. For now, the United States Supreme Court has spoken.”

Lynn Fitch, Mississippi’s attorney general, urged the justices to hear the state’s appeal in order to reconsider their abortion jurisprudence. “‘Viability’ is not an appropriate standard for assessing the constitutionality of a law regulating abortion,” she wrote.” Lawyers for the clinic said the case was straightforward. The law, they wrote, “imposes, by definition, an undue burden.” “It places a complete and insurmountable obstacle in the path of every person seeking a pre-viability abortion after 15 weeks who does not fall within its limited exceptions,” they wrote. “It is unconstitutional by any measure” [New York Times].

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POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WIRED

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