September 29, 2022

Supreme Court to hear challenges to Texas anti-abortion law

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on Friday that it would hear the case being brought by Texas abortion providers against the state’s ban on most abortions. 

According to a report in Fox News, the nation’s high court ruled in favor of hearing oral arguments despite some particularly creative verbiage in the law that would make it difficult to file suit on the issue:

“The Court concludes that the petitioners may pursue a pre-enforcement challenge against certain of the named defendants but not others,” the court, led by Justice Neil Gorsuch, said in his ruling. 

Currently, the law stays in place, pending legal challenges, since the ruling is a procedural one and is not a ruling on the law’s constitutionality.

“The petitioners then filed a request for injunctive relief with the Court, seeking emergency resolution of their application ahead of [the law’s] approaching effective date,” the court said.

“In the abbreviated time available for review, the Court concluded that the petitioners’ filings failed to identify a basis in existing law that could justify disturbing the Fifth Circuit’s decision to deny injunctive relief.”

Gorsuch’s opinion was backed by Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh in full and Justice Clarence Thomas joined the court’s controlling opinion in part and dissented in part.

Thomas agreed with the dismissal of the case against some of the defendants but argued that “there is no freestanding constitutional right to pre-enforcement review in federal court.” Thus, he said, the abortion providers’ suit should have been dismissed in its entirety:

“I would reverse in full the District Court’s denial of respondents’ motions to dismiss and remand with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction,” he said.

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