Supreme Court sends Texas abortion case to appeals court instead of to judge who previously blocked the law

By Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow
Dec 16, 2021

The Supreme Court returned the lawsuit over Texas’s restrictive abortion law to a federal appeals court Thursday, rejecting a request by abortion providers to send the case to a district judge who had previously declared the law unconstitutional.

The order came from Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who last week wrote the majority opinion that left in place the law, which bans most abortions after six weeks. The decision granted a narrow path for providers to challenge the law’s unique enforcement structure.


The supreme court’s abortion ruling is even more unsettling than it may seem

In allowing Texas’s outrageous abortion ban to stay in place, the court signaled that it is willing to sacrifice its own legitimacy and power in order to destroy Roe

Moira Donegan
Sat 11 Dec 2021

Don’t be fooled by the supreme court’s nominal hedging on its endorsement of SB8, the Texas abortion ban that deputizes private citizens to sue anyone who assists in an abortion after six weeks’ gestation. In a ruling on Friday, the court held that a lawsuit by Texas abortion providers could go forward – but only on narrow grounds. Only those state officials responsible for licensing medical providers may be sued, the court ordered – no one else involved in the state’s practical maintenance of SB8 is liable. The ruling said, for instance, that the providers could not sue court clerks, those bureaucrats tasked with actually docketing the lawsuits that would enforce SB8.


Judge rules citizen enforcement of Texas abortion law unconstitutional

By Tim Reid
Dec 9, 2021

(Reuters) - A judge in Texas ruled on Thursday that a law prohibiting abortions
after about six weeks violated the state's constitution because it allows
private citizens to sue abortion providers.

State District Court Judge David Peeples was ruling on a contentious Texas law
that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, usually after about
six weeks and when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant.


The Mississippi Abortion Case and the Fragile Legitimacy of the Supreme Court

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is an open challenge to the Court’s authority, and perhaps broadly reflects a spirit of legal self-help that is running through the land.

By Jeannie Suk Gersen
December 4, 2021

The legal landscape of the past weeks and months has prompted questions of which people and entities are legitimate interpreters and enforcers of the law and what happens when you take the law into your own hands. Mississippi and other states took the recent changes in personnel on the Supreme Court as an invitation to defy the Court’s constitutional rulings on abortion, and those states now seem likely to prevail.

During oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, last Wednesday, the three liberal Justices often seemed to be delivering dirges, as though they had accepted a loss and were speaking for posterity. Mississippi’s ban on abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy, which boldly flouts the Court’s precedents setting the line at around twenty-four weeks, is likely to be upheld by the conservative Justices.


Ohio Lawmakers Have Introduced An Abortion Ban That Goes Even Further Than The Texas Law

“It is changing a constitutional definition of when a person is recognized in the law to a fertilized egg starting at conception,” one reproductive rights advocate said.

Nicole Fallert, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on November 18, 2021

A group of Ohio lawmakers want to pass an abortion law that would be even more restrictive than the six-week ban in Texas, a move reproductive rights advocates say has already had a chilling effect among those in the state’s right-to-choose community.

Ohio House Bill 480 would make abortion at any stage of pregnancy illegal. It also includes some of the same elements as the six-week abortion ban, known as SB 8, that went into effect in Texas on Sept. 1 — namely, that it would allow virtually anyone to file lawsuits against any person who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion” for up to $10,000.


An unusual alliance appears likely to fracture Texas’s abortion ban

Most Supreme Court justices seem to understand that SB 8 is a direct attack on the Constitution.

By Ian Millhiser 
Nov 1, 2021

The abortion providers suing to block SB 8, Texas’s aggressive anti-abortion law, came into Monday’s Supreme Court argument with four votes on their side. Two months earlier, four justices thought the law should have been temporarily blocked while the legal challenge against it was sorted out — although the five most conservative justices voted against the abortion providers the first time Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson was before the Court.

The same case is now back before the justices, this time raising a narrow dispute about who’s even allowed to sue to block the law. And the abortion providers appear likely to have picked up a crucial extra vote to gain the majority.


How extremist Christian theology is driving the right-wing assault on democracy

The Texas abortion law is one step toward the true goal of Christian dominionism: Destroying democratic government


Progressive policies and positions are supposed to be rooted in reality and hard evidence. But that's not always the case when it comes to the culture wars that have such an enormous impact on our politics — especially not since the unexpected evangelical embrace of Donald Trump in 2016, culminating in the "pro-life" death cult of anti-vaccine, COVID-denying religious leaders. If this development perplexed many on the left, it was less surprising to a small group of researchers who have been studying the hardcore anti-democratic theology known as dominionism that lies behind the contemporary Christian right, and its far-reaching influence over the last several decades.


The Fight for Democracy in Texas

Together, Texas's three bills represent dramatic incursions on the basic rights to vote, bodily integrity, and public safety.


The January 6 assault on the Capitol threatened U.S. democracy. Individuals unhappy with the voters’ choice of Joe Biden as president used violence to try to prevent Congress from completing the electoral vote count and certifying the election results.

Now, similar Constitution-ignoring, citizen-enforced actions are being incited through law at the state and local level. This is creating serious new threats to our democracy, but also new openings for collaborative action by movements usually focused on single issues.


Conservatives are hell-bent on reasserting control over women’s bodies—and a fresh hell starts today with what women in the Lone Star State are waking up to.

Molly Jong-Fast, Contributing Editor
Updated Sep. 01, 2021

The Supreme Court declined to act and let Texas’ insane new abortion law stand, for now, in what looks to be the day Roe v. Wade began to die.

As of today, SB8, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, bans abortions at six weeks, with no exception for rape or incest, while targeting anyone who “aids or abets” another person’s abortion. The idea is to make anyone who helps a woman get an abortion a legal target, even her Uber driver, with any citizen able to collect a bounty on abortion providers.


Supreme Court Asked to Block Texas Law Banning Most Abortions

The law, set to go into effect on Wednesday, bans abortions after about six weeks and deputizes citizens to file suits to enforce it.

By Adam Liptak
Published Aug. 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Abortion providers in Texas asked the Supreme Court on Monday to block a state law banning abortions in the state as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The law, one of the most restrictive in the nation, is poised to go into effect on Wednesday.

If the Supreme Court does not intervene, lawyers for the providers said, access to abortion in Texas could largely end.