29 September (WNN) — Senate lawmakers will hold a hearing Wednesday to investigate the US Supreme Court’s use of a so-called “shadow docket” focused on the court’s decision not to block a controversial Texas abortion law, which several legal scholars say that it is unconstitutional.
The high court drew the ire of many earlier this month when a majority of judges refused to intervene and blocked the “heartbeat” law, which bans abortions after six weeks — even when a fetus The heartbeat can be detected.
The law also relies on the general public to enforce the law, allowing citizens to file a lawsuit against any woman seeking an abortion and any woman who assists them in that effort.
Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to weigh the court’s use of the shadow docket. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT.
The Texas law is one of several nationwide passed by Republican-held legislatures in recent years to challenge the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the United States.
Abortionists asked the Supreme Court block the law in an emergency application, but the court voted 5-4 – with an unsigned order – to stay out of the issue.
Unsigned orders are known as “shadow dockets”, or a break from the standard procedure whereby courts, or most judges, make decisions without explaining the reasoning behind them.
Critics of the court’s use of the shadow docket say it gives the court too much power, in that it allows judges to set legal precedent without adequate review – or to convince them that they rule a certain way. Why are you doing
“The Supreme Court must act with the highest respect for judicial integrity to earn the public’s trust,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said in a statement this week. “This anti-choice law is a devastating blow to the constitutional rights of Americans.”
“The court allowed it to see the light of day without public consultation or transparency,” he said. “At a time when public confidence in government institutions has eroded, we must examine not only the constitutional impact of allowing the Texas law to take effect, but also the misuse of the shadow docket by a conservative court. ”
Liberal Justice Elena Kagan said in the Texas case that the unsigned majority order “shows how far a court’s ‘shadow-docket’ decisions can go from the general principles of the appellate process.”
“In all these ways, the majority decision embodies the shadow docket decision-making of this court – which becomes more non-rational, inconsistent and impossible to defend every day,” she said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the moderate judges on the bench in the Texas case, said in disagreement that he would have blocked the law during appeals, an argument that appears to go to the heart of the shadow docket.
“We have been asked at this point to address these novel questions [about the Texas abortion law] At least initially – at first, during two days, without the benefit of consideration by the District Court or the Court of Appeal,” he wrote. “We are also asked to do so without the general merit briefing and without oral Is. Argument.”
Members of the US Supreme Court pose for a group photo in court in Washington, DC on Friday. From left to right, Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justices John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor are seated. Standing, from left to right, are Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Connie Barrett. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Chief Justice John Roberts. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |
Associate Justice Amy Connie Barrett. Pool photo by Erin Scheff/WNN |