US abortion law: Conservative Supreme Court does not bode well for women


The is we Supreme court‘s Failed to block New law to enter into force Texas Means that miscarriage After six weeks it is effectively banned in that state, even in cases of rape or incest. In the Whole Women’s Health vs. Austin Reeve Jackson In the case, a five-to-four majority of the court rejected the motion to block Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) in Texas.

As of September 1, SB 8 “makes it illegal for physicians to perform abortions if they detect cardiac activity on a fetus or fail a test to detect such activity.” This is about six weeks after a woman’s last period, which is long before Women They found out that they were pregnant.

There has been intense debate over women’s sexual reproductive rights since the landmark 1973 decision of the US Supreme Court inRaw vs. Wade When the court ruled that a woman had a constitutional right to an abortion because of her “right to privacy,” which is guaranteed by Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This step was hailed as a critical step towards protecting women’s rights.

However, anti-abortion activists struggle to limit a woman’s right to choose, notably through the state Planned Parenthood vs Casey in 1992. In this case, the Supreme Court upheld Roe, but allowed states to impose restrictions on first-trimester abortions, such as Government-imposed delays Between counseling and abortion, as long as it does not impose an “undue burden” on the woman. Previously, states were prohibited from imposing restrictions on first-trimester abortions.

Allowing the abortion ban in Texas to be implemented is an assault on women’s rights and would have a devastating effect on women in Texas. Undoubtedly, it will incentivize other countries to restrict abortions as well, and the ultimate goal of these restrictions is the complete abolition of abortion. Raw vs. Wade. This would effectively ban abortions across the United States. The likelihood of this happening has increased due to the current policy of the US Supreme Court.

US Supreme Court policy

The main role of the Supreme Court is to rule on points of constitutional and federal law. It hears about 100 cases annually on a range of constitutional issues from administrative law to criminal justice. Some court decisions, such as in Raw vs. WadeIt could commit the entire United States.

As of September 1, having an abortion in the state is now illegal after six weeks


The Court is made up of nine justices who are appointed for life by the President of the United States, subject to approval by the United States Senate. The politicization of the court naturally leads to a dichotomy: conservatives versus liberals. It has resulted in five to four split decisions when adjudicating contentious cases.

Before retiring in 2018, Conservative Judge Anthony Kennedy served as the “swing vote” on key cases. Join the four liberal judges sitting on two pivotal death penalty cases in Atkins vs Virginia (2002), which ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional if the person had an intellectual disability, and Roper vs Simmons (2004), which abolished the death penalty for those under the age of 18.

To further complicate the court’s policies, the Trump administration has had the opportunity to nominate three judges to the court in just four years. This is almost unheard of because judges have life spans, usually choosing when to retire or to sit until their death. This means that they often serve for long periods of time on the court, in old age.

Trump’s first candidate in 2017, Judge Neil Gorsuch, was a substitute for the equally powerful conservative, Judge Antonin Scalia. But, when Judge Kennedy He announced his retirement in 2018., that means the court lost the fairness of the swing vote. Kennedy was replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a right-wing centrist appointed to court under cloud of controversy and allegations of sexual assault.

Trump’s last nominee replaced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal and Lifelong advocate for women’s rights, with another powerful governor, Judge Amy Connie Barrett. These additions to the court brought a Republican president to a six-to-three majority in favor of the Conservatives.

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was replaced by right-wing Amy Connie Barrett by Trump


As expected, while Chief Justice Roberts usually stands by his Republican-appointed counterparts on controversial issues, he is now apparently trying to salvage the legacy of the “Roberts Court” by joining the Democratic appointees at certain points. However, this isn’t the kind of swing vote that the Chief Justice Kennedy would have hoped, because even when Roberts sided with the Liberals—as he did in this case—the Conservatives still had a five-to-four majority.

What does this decision mean?

In this case, the Supreme Court “technically failed to act” by not overturning the Texas law. (The case was an application for “injunctive relief,” which asked the court to prevent the enactment of legislation, rather than adjudication of cases.)

But the court can still decide to hear a case about whether or not the abortion ban in Texas is unconstitutional — and it is also likely that this decision will motivate other states to restrict abortions across the United States.

While US President Joe Biden stated that his administration “He will protect and defend“A woman’s right to choose, the Biden administration cannot interfere with the Supreme Court’s decision, because that would violate the principle of separation of powers.

Human rights organizations Continue to fight for women’s rightsIn the end, however, any future decisions about whether a woman has the right to choose an abortion in the United States rest with nine judges in Washington, DC.

Alice Storey is a lecturer in law at Birmingham City University. This article first appeared in Conversation.

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