A highly divided Supreme Court allowed the Texas state’s laws prohibiting most abortions to remain in effect and currently deprives most women in the second largest state of the United States of their abortion rights.
The court voted 5 to 4 to reject abortion providers and other emergency appeals that tried to prevent enforcement of the law that went into effect on Wednesday. But the judges also said that their order may not be the final decision on whether the law is tenable, because there may still be other challenges.
A Texas law signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in May prohibits abortion after a medical professional detects cardiac activity, usually around six weeks, and is known to many women Before I became pregnant.
This is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling of the High Court in 1973, and is part of a broader push by Republicans across the country to impose new restrictions on abortion. At least 12 other states have issued bans early in pregnancy, but they have all been prevented from taking effect.
The high court’s order to refuse to stop Texas law was issued before midnight on Wednesday. Most people said that the people who filed the lawsuit did not meet the high burden required to suspend the law.
“In reaching this conclusion, we emphasize that we do not intend to finally resolve any jurisdiction or substantive claims in the applicant’s litigation. In particular, the order is not based on any conclusions about the constitutionality of Texas law, nor There is no limit to other procedurally appropriate challenges to Texas law, including in Texas courts,” the unsigned order said.
Chief Justice John Roberts disagrees with the three liberal justices of the court. Each of the four judges with different opinions wrote a separate statement expressing their disagreement with the majority.
Roberts pointed out that although most people rejected the request for emergency relief, “the court order clearly stated that it cannot be understood as maintaining the constitutionality of the law in question.”
The vote in this case highlights the influence of liberal Justice Ruth Bud Ginsburg’s death last year and then President Donald Trump’s replacement of her by conservative Justice Amy Connie Barrett. If Ginsburg continues to stay in court, there will be five votes against the Texas law.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor called the decision of her conservative colleague “shocking.”
She wrote: “When applying for a ban on a blatantly unconstitutional law designed to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evading judicial review, most judges chose to bury their heads in the sand.”
Texas legislators enacted the law to evade federal court review by allowing ordinary citizens to file civil lawsuits in state courts against anyone involved in abortion except for patients. Other abortion laws are enforced by state and local officials and may be subject to criminal sanctions.
In contrast, Texas law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in the promotion of abortion. In other cases, this includes anyone who drives a woman to a clinic for an abortion. According to the law, anyone who successfully sues another person is entitled to at least $10,000.
In her objection, Judge Elena Kagan called the law “clearly unconstitutional” and said it allowed “private groups to impose unconstitutional restrictions on behalf of the state.” Justice Stephen Breyer said, “Women have the federal constitutional right to have an abortion during the first stage of pregnancy.”
Opponents of the measure sought review by the Supreme Court after the Federal Court of Appeals refused to allow a rapid review of the law before it went into effect.
In a statement after the High Court’s action earlier on Thursday, Nancy Northup, the head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, representing abortion providers who opposed the law, vowed to “continue to crack down on this ban until Texas The state restores abortion access.”
“We are shocked by the Supreme Court’s refusal to prevent the flagrant violation of Roe v. Wade’s law. Right now, abortion seekers across Texas are panicking – they don’t know when and where they can have an abortion, if any. Texas The state’s politicians have temporarily succeeded in mocking the rule of law, subverting abortion care in Texas, and forcing patients to leave the state—if they have the ability—to obtain constitutionally protected health care. This should allow everyone in this country to care about the constitution. People feel chilly,” she said.
For a long time, Texas has had some of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country, including a comprehensive law passed in 2013. The Supreme Court eventually repealed the law, but before more than half of the more than 40 clinics in the state closed.
Even before the Texas case reaches the High Court, the judges plan to resolve the issue of abortion rights in major cases after the court resumes hearings in the fall. The case involved the state of Mississippi, which required permission to enforce an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.