Texas Abortion Law Case Will Be Heard By The United States Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court will hear arguments to a Texas statute that prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and offers no exceptions for rape or incest two months after refusing to intervene.
The nine-member court, which includes six conservative justices, will hear two hours of arguments from both sides in a carefully watched case with far-reaching human and political consequences.
Texas, the country’s second-largest state, is being sued by Democratic President Joe Biden’s Justice Department and a group of abortion providers for imposing “plainly unconstitutional” abortion restrictions.
SB8 prohibits abortions after a heartbeat has been discovered in the womb, which is usually about six weeks, when many women are unaware they are pregnant.
Other Republican-led states have imposed abortion restrictions, but the courts have overturned them because they contradicted previous Supreme Court judgments guaranteeing the right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is usually around 22 to 24 weeks.
The “Texas Heartbeat Act” is unique in that it protects the state by allowing citizens to sue doctors who perform abortions, as well as anyone who assists facilitate them, after a heartbeat is detected.
They can be paid with $10,000 for filing cases that go to court, raising complaints that the rule encourages vigilantism.
Because of a principle known as “sovereign immunity,” said Mary Ziegler, a constitutional law professor at Florida State University and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, the Justice Department’s participation has been hampered by the Texas statute’s phrasing.
“The US Constitution’s Eleventh Amendment restricts the circumstances in which governments can be sued,” Ziegler told AFP.
“When an official is enforcing a potentially unconstitutional legislation, the Supreme Court has carved out an exception that allows litigants to apply for an injunction,” she said.
“Texas claims that no authority can theoretically apply the legislation under SB8,” Ziegler said. “To this point, Texas has successfully argued that it is immune from suit.” Abortion providers petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the Texas law from taking effect on September 1, but the court denied, citing “procedural difficulties.” Biden was among those who chastised the Supreme Court for neglecting to address a legislation that “blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade,” the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the right to abortion. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.