U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Texas Abortion Ban Challenge

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Oct. 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a Nov. 1 challenge from President Joe Biden’s administration and abortion providers against a Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on the procedure – a case that will determine the fate of the most severe abortion law in the United States.

This is the second major abortion case that the court, which has a Conservative 6-3 majority, has scheduled for the coming months, with arguments set for Dec. 1 over the legality of a restrictive law on l abortion in Mississippi.

The Texas and Mississippi measures are part of a series of Republican-backed state-level laws limiting abortion rights – at a time when abortion opponents are hoping the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade of 1973 which legalized the procedure nationwide. .

Mississippi asked judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the Texas attorney general said on Thursday that he would also like to see the ruling fall.

Judges on Friday postponed a ruling on the Biden administration’s request that judges block Texas law while litigation continues, prompting dissent from liberal Judge Sotomayor. Lower courts have already blocked Mississippi law.

Rarely does the Supreme Court, as it did in this case, decide to hear arguments while bypassing lower courts which were already considering the Texan dispute, indicating that the justices found the issue of great importance. public and requiring immediate consideration.

Texas’ measure bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, a time when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant. It makes an exception for a documented medical emergency but not for cases of rape or incest.

The Biden administration sued in September, challenging the legality of Texas law. In reviewing the case, the Supreme Court said it would determine whether the federal government is allowed to take legal action against the state or other parties to ban the enforcement of the abortion ban.

The other challenge the judges faced, filed by Texas abortion providers, is asking the court to decide whether the design of state law, which allows individuals rather than the government to enforce the ban, is allowed. The providers, as well as the administration, have said the law is designed to escape federal court scrutiny.

Mississippi law prohibits abortions from 15 weeks pregnant. Decisions in this case and the Texas case are expected by the end of June 2022, but could come sooner.

The Supreme Court previously allowed Texas law enforcement in the challenge brought by abortion providers. In this September 1 5-4 ruling, Tory Chief Justice John Roberts expressed his skepticism about the way the law is applied and joined the three dissenting Liberal justices.

Texas law is unusual in that it gives individuals the power to enforce it by allowing them to prosecute anyone who performs or assists a woman in having an abortion after heart activity is detected in the embryo. This feature helped prevent the law from being immediately blocked, as it made direct prosecution of the state more difficult.

Individual citizens can receive a minimum of $ 10,000 for successfully filing lawsuits. Critics have said the provision allows people to act as anti-abortion bounty hunters, a characterization its supporters reject.

The Biden administration had asked the Supreme Court to quickly restore the Oct. 6 order of a federal judge temporarily blocking the law. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Court of Appeals stayed that order days later.

Report by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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