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The SCOTUS hearing on SB8 is today

I have no idea what to expect.

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up on Monday the highest-profile legal challenges to Texas’ new abortion law. The Supreme Court previously declined to act on the near-total abortion ban, making next week’s proceedings the first time the high court is stepping in on lawsuits seeking to stop it.

The court will consider two suits against the law, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 8, which blocks abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. One is waged by the federal government, the other by a group of abortion providers and advocates.

The Supreme Court’s review will focus on how SB 8 is enforced, not abortion rights themselves. It’s hard to predict what the court could decide, but its ruling will likely determine the future of abortion care in Texas and shape the legal battles to come.

See here for the more in depth look at the legal questions; the Trib story is a recap of where are are now. Like I said, I have no idea what to expect. There are too many members of this court that cannot be trusted. What they do with this case will tell us how deep that goes.

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2 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    12 days and counting……

  2. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    HATS OFF

    Oyey, oyey, oyey audio recordings from this morning’s oral arguments, as well as court reporter transcripts, have already been posted:

    See here:

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_audio/2021

    For those who read the briefs (incl. amici briefs), there really weren’t any surprises in the legal arguments and contentions, though the questioning and lively exchange do provide fodder for speculation about how the cases will be handled beyond just tealeaf divination.

    What was somewhat surprising though was that some justices don’t understand the role of the Texas Attroney General. Namely, that he is not the chief law enforcement officer of the state (thought the chief lawyer), and that proscecution (criminal) is handled by DAs and county attorneys at the local level (albeit in the name of the State), but with no control by the Attorney General. That was relevant to the comparison of SB8 to more traditional heartbeat acts in other states that have already been challenged the traditional way (by seeking Ex Parte Young relief against state officials charged with enforcement).

    The Texas AG has many civil enforcement roles (like DTPA/Consumer Protection and child support collection), but all these responsibilities are based on statutory enactments while SB8 expressly prohibits state-actor enforcement. And that, of course, includes the excutive branch of the state government of which the AG is one separately-elected element.

    But then there is wacky stuff also emanating even from the ivory towers: like the contention that SB8 is a actually a criminal law.