On Monday, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in the cases challenging Texas’s repressive abortion law, which effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
The Court granted an expedited appeal of the law to the Court in late October. will hear two cases relating to the statuteExamining whether the federal Department of Justice and/or Texas abortion providers have legal standing to challenge the law.
The law, which has no exceptions for rape and incest, is singularly cruel in that it places the burden of enforcement on private individuals rather than the state. It encourages individuals to sue providers of abortion or anyone who assists a person to access an abortion for sums up to $10,000. This strategic framework allows for a wide range of options. the conservative bloc majority of the Supreme Court refused to place a hold on the law’s implementation in a 5-4 decision in September.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the four justices dissenting with the order, described the Court’s decision to enable enforcement of the law as “stunning.”
“Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” She wrote.
Texas is planning to continue asserting that neither abortion providers suing the state or the DOJ have standing to challenge the law — a dubious claim considering that abortion providers are directly targeted by the law, facing lawsuits from individuals who allege that they helped someone procure an abortion. The Justice Department is committed to maintaining the precedent that has been established in previous cases regarding abortion rights.
Texas’s abortion law “is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in September. “The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that no state can deprive individuals of their constitutional rights through a legislative scheme specifically designed to prevent the vindication of those rights.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit against Texas on behalf of providers in the state, condemned the law for impeding a person’s right to undergo a safe and routine medical procedure.
“Here, [where] a state enacts a blatantly unconstitutional statute, assigns enforcement authority to everyone in the world, and weaponizes the state judiciary to obstruct those courts’ ability to protect constitutional rights, the federal courts must be available to provide relief,” the organization said.