Supreme Court conservatives want to topple abortion rights -- but can't agree on how
March 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 21.5%. 2 min read.
Conservative Supreme Court justices have demonstrated a desire to reverse prior decisions on abortion rights. The question, with Chief Justice John Roberts no longer the undisputed swing vote on abortion, is when and how far at least five justices will go to overturn rulings that support a constitutional right to end a pregnancy.
(CNN)Conservative Supreme Court justices have demonstrated a desire to reverse prior decisions on abortion rights.
The question, with Chief Justice John Roberts no longer the undisputed swing vote on abortion, is when and how far at least five justices will go to overturn rulings that support a constitutional right to end a pregnancy.
The pending case from Mississippi already reveals signs of conflict among the justices: They have considered but then postponed action on the dispute for nearly six months, listing it for discussion in private sessions yet offering no word on whether they would reject it, as they have similar cases of early-pregnancy abortion bans, or schedule the controversy for oral argument and decision.
Roberts, 66, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, 56, have voted to ease the legal test covering state regulation of abortion and sent mixed signals on overruling core precedent.
The court's new, sixth conservative, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, 49, has yet to write on an abortion case.
On the left side of the bench, Justices Breyer, 82, Sonia Sotomayor, 66, and Elena Kagan, 60, have consistently voted to reaffirm abortion rights and diminish the power of states to restrict women's access to the procedure.
Casey, when the court reaffirmed Roe's declaration that women have a right to abortion before viability, which the justices placed at 23-24 weeks, and forbade government from putting an "undue burden" on the right.
"Roe is grievously wrong for many reasons," he wrote in a dissenting opinion when the court in 2020 struck down a Louisiana abortion regulation, "but the most fundamental is that its core holding -- that the Constitution protects a woman's right to abort her unborn child -- finds no support in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment. "
That test, detailed in a 2016 case that struck down a Texas law, requires judges to balance the health benefits that a regulation might offer pregnant women with its potential burden on their right to an abortion.