Supreme Court Questioning New Texas Abortion Law: Report

By Jason Hall

November 1, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Expedited Challenges Over Texas Abortion Ban
Photo: Getty Images

The United States Supreme Court is listening to challenges against a Texas law prohibiting abortion after six weeks into a pregnancy, with at least one conservative justice who allowed the law to take effect questioning the structure of its enforcement as potentially problematic on Monday (November 1).

The Associated Press reports justices are hearing arguments in two cases over whether abortion providers or the Justice Department can raise federal court challenges to the law, which includes a specific enforcement scheme that those in favor of the law cite as keeping it from federal court review.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who previously voted with the majority, 5-4, to approve the law in September, acknowledged "a loophole" that he suggested closing.

“There’s a loophole that’s been exploited here, or used here,” Kavanaugh said via the AP, suggesting the "principle" and "whole sweep" of a previous Supreme Court case in 1908 would "suggest extending the principle here, arguably."

Kavanaugh was among the five conservative Supreme Court justices -- including three appointed by former President Donald Trump -- who voted in favor of the law, with Chief Justice John Roberts -- appointed by former President George W. Bush -- dissenting alongside the court's three Democratc justices.

Neither case being heard by the Supreme Court on Monday directly dealt with the right to an abortion as the key issue, however, motivation for both lawsuits argue the Texas law conflicts with previous rulings by the Supreme Court that prevent a state implementing abortion bans during the early months of a pregnancy.

Last month, the Supreme Court said it planned to hear arguments before ruling whether "the state can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil action."

You can read the Associated Press' full report here.

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