Do you remember hearing something about a case a long time ago, I think it was called Roe v. Wade? I hear it’s kinda famous. Well anyway, ever since, people rolling around with a Jesus fish on their car, have been on a crusade to do something about that. Especially the ones rolling around in Texas.
In Roe v. Wade, SCOTUS recognized you have two competing rights. A female’s bodily autonomy, versus the life of a fetus. But a fetus has never really been legally ruled as a life with constitutional rights, although it’s never been ruled out either. So back in the day, SCOTUS came up with a trimester system, where the first trimester, a woman’s bodily autonomy was the prevailing right, the second trimester they were somewhat equal, and the third trimester, the fetus had the prevailing right. Seemed fair to any fair minded person, but still the war rages on.
The latest battle on this front took place in Texas, and their fancy new SB8 abortion law. Knowing they couldn’t directly contradict Roe v. Wade’s precedent, Texas went for the most inventive shit ever. They passed a law that said, if you received an abortion, or were the physician who performed one, you could be sued by anyone in the great state of Texas. So they didn’t make it a criminal action, which was their way of not going against the Roe precedent, but they made it so it could cost people so much money, they wouldn’t do it.
They argued that they concede the first six weeks of pregnancy, but opponents argue six weeks can be nearly impossible to have cause to think one is pregnant, and give them the time needed to make the decision and have the procedure. One would basically need to take a pregnancy test shortly after each time they had sex to do all that within the time frame Texas set forth.
In steps Whole Women’s Health (WWH), a Texas abortion provider who submitted a petition to SCOTUS, that just said, “WTF is this bullshit?”
Originally, they asked SCOTUS to block the law, but they declined to do so. So now that it’s in effect, SCOTUS is hearing the case on their normal merits docket. So the question facing them is, can government pass a law that violates precedent, if the precedent pertained to criminal law, and this new law is merely civil litigation?
This particular case hinges around state officials who were sued by abortion providers for violating their constitutional rights as outlined in Roe v. Wade, and Mark Dickson, who most abortion providers consider to be a Jesus freak and all around asshole. They expect him to be the overzealous douchebag suing people left and right over this.
The government officials were like, “We have sovereign immunity, or whatever the fuck you call it. You can’t be suing us like this.”
Also interesting to note, when they asked SCOTUS to put the law on hold, SCOTUS declined to do so, because they were like, “you’re asking us to prevent the government from enforcing the law, but the way this fucktwats wrote it, they don’t enforce it, the people do, by suing providers. So we can’t force them to stop doing something the law doesn’t have them doing in the first place.” This of course supports Texas’ creativity in passing this in the first place.
Counsel for WWH came out swinging, and declared shenanigans. Counsel flat out accused them of blatantly violating Roe v. Wade precedent, then trying to be clever and using the whole civil litigation scheme to get around it.
When questioned by Justice Roberts about this scenario where people are being sued trying to exercise a constitutional right, counsel for Texas argued that there was precedent for this. People are sued for lawful possession of a firearm all the time, and they’re just trying to exercise they’re 2nd amendment right. So what’s the big fucking deal suing people for trying to exercise their constitutional right to bodily autonomy as identified in Roe v. Wade.
In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS sided with Whole Women’s Health. They they can in fact proceed to a pre-enforcement challenge of this ridiculous law. Furthermore, Justice Roberts, along with Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor were like, “What the fuck is even the purpose of our judicial review if punks like these assholes in Texas can just skirt our rulings with creative bullshit like this. We need to nip this shit in the bud right meow.”
Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.