NSThe US Supreme Court’s failure to block the enforcement of the new law in Texas means that abortion after six weeks is effectively banned, even in the case of rape and incest.In Women’s Overall Health v Austin Reeve Jackson In the case, a majority of five to four court members rejected an application to block Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB 8).
From September 1st, SB 8 will make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion if they detect embryonic cardiac activity, or if they do not perform tests to detect such activity. “. This is about 6 weeks after a woman’s last period, much earlier than many women realize they are pregnant.
Since the groundbreaking decision of the United States Supreme Court in 1973, there has been intense debate about women’s sexual reproductive rights.Roe v. Wade When a court ruled that a woman has the constitutional right to abortion because of her “right to privacy”. This is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. This was welcomed as an important step towards the protection of women’s rights.
Still, anti-abortion activists have fought to limit women’s right to choice. Planned parent-child relationship v Casey In this case, the Supreme Court upheld Roe, but allowed the state to limit abortion, including government-mandated delays between abortions, unless the state imposes an “excessive burden.” .. woman. Previously, the state was banned from introducing abortion restrictions.
Allowing the Texas abortion ban to come into effect is an attack on women’s rights and will have a devastating effect on women in Texas.It definitely activates other states to further limit abortion, and the ultimate goal of these limits is to completely overturn. Roe v. Wade.. This would effectively ban abortion nationwide. The current politics of the US Supreme Court makes this happen more likely.
Supreme Court of the United States Politics
The important role of the Supreme Court is to determine the main points of constitutional and federal law. It hears about 100 cases a year on various constitutional issues, from administrative law to criminal justice.Some court decisions such as Roe v. Wade, Can bind the entire United States.
The court consists of nine judges appointed by the President of the United States for life, subject to confirmation by the United States Senate. The politicization of this court naturally creates a gap between conservatives and liberals. And that led to a painstaking 5-4 decision in arbitrating a controversial issue.
Prior to retiring in 2018, conservative judge Anthony Kennedy acted as a “vote” for important cases. He joined four liberal judges with two important death sentences. Atkins vs Virginia (2002), if a person has an intellectual disability, the death penalty is unconstitutional, and Roper v Simmons (2004) withdrew the death penalty for people under the age of 18.
To further complicate court politics, the Trump administration had the opportunity to appoint three judges to court in just four years. This is almost unprecedented, as judges have a lifetime tenure and usually choose when to retire or sit to death. This means that they often serve in court for long periods of time until old age.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first candidate for 2017, succeeded the similarly stubborn conservative Judge Antonin Scalia. But when Judge Kennedy announced his retirement in 2018, this meant that the court had lost the justice of its swing vote. Kennedy was replaced by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a right-wing centrist politician appointed to court under a cloud of controversy and allegations of sexual assault.
Trump’s finalist replaced Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal and lifelong advocate of women’s rights, with another solid conservative, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The Republican president’s addition to these courts led to a majority of six to three in favor of conservatives.
As expected, Judge Roberts was usually on the side of a Republican-appointed opponent on a controversial issue, but now he will save the legacy of the “Roberts Court” by joining the Democratic nominee in certain respects. Seems to be. But this is the Kennedy-type that Chief Justice wanted, as Roberts still stands on the side of the liberals (as in this case), but the conservatives still make up the majority of the five to four. It’s not a swing vote.
Meaning of this decision
In this case, the Supreme Court technically “failed” by not invalidating Texas law. (This case was an application for “injunction relief” that asked the court to prevent the enactment of the law, rather than arbitrating the matter.)
However, the court may decide to hear a proceeding over whether Texas’s abortion ban is unconstitutional. This decision could also allow other states to further limit abortion across the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration “protects and defends” women’s choices, but the Biden administration violates the principle of separation of powers and interferes with the Supreme Court’s ruling. Can’t.
Human rights groups continue to fight for women’s rights, but ultimately, future decisions about whether women have the right to choose abortion in the United States are left to nine judges in Washington, DC. Has been done.
Alice Storey is a law instructor at Birmingham City University.This article first appeared conversation..