Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label sb 8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sb 8. Show all posts

Friday, December 10, 2021

TX Abortion Case Decided by US Supreme Court

To remind you, this is the case that deputized private citizens to enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act (S. B. 8) and rewarded citizens with a $10,000 bounty for their services. 

In its decision, the Supreme Court permitted courts to hear pre-enforcement challenges to test S. B. 8’s compliance with the Federal Constitution rather than forcing those who were subject to it to first violate the law, be prosecuted, and defend themselves before first raising such Constitutional challenges. Had the Supreme Court not so ruled, it was expected that the threat of the law would chill abortions across TX even if the law ultimately was found to violate the US Constitution.  

A pre-enforcement challenge permits anyone who thinks that a law violates the constitution to bring a lawsuit, in court, and have a court rule whether the law is enforceable or should be struck down before that person violates the law. It's like asking for permission for your actions in the face of a law, that exists, but is possibly violative of the US Constitution. 

The Court limited its holding by dismissing the Judge, Clerk, and Attorney General named in the lawsuit. Instead, the Court directed that a pre-enforcement challenge must be brought against executive licensing officials, in state court, or through other unnamed avenues.

Stay tuned, this was just round one of the TX abortion law. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Texas Abortion Law is Before the US Supreme Court on Monday - Are Your Ready?

Before the US Supreme Court on Monday, November 1, 2021, is Texas's abortion law, which seems to be about stopping abortions by changing the standard from viability, as is the current law under Roe v. Wade, to 6 weeks into pregnancy, but it's about so much more and you should really care. 

The law deputizes Texans to police their neighbors in a way that should ring out fears that we are transitioning into a dystopian society like a real-world Handmaid's Tale. 

Imagine for a second, if you can, that this law has nothing to do with abortions (regardless, if you are pro-life or pro-choice) and ask yourself, how do you feel about your neighbors receiving $10,000 for catching you speeding on the highway, or shoplifting, or putting an extension on your house without a permit. In Texas, if you catch someone violating the 6-week abortion rule, you can get paid $10,000. Crazy. 

Ironically, Texas's law has survived scrutiny under Roe v. Wade because of this unique enforcement scheme. In fact, the US Supreme Court previously denied an application for injunctive relief, on September 1, 2021, by explaining that there was no "private-citizen respondent before us [who had] intention to enforce the law" [they sued the government rather than a citizen enforcing the law to get $10,000] and therefore, the Court ruled that there was a procedural hurdle preventing it from making "any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas's law" when it comes to abortions. 

Now, on November 1, 2021, the Court will hear arguments as to whether the "United States [may] bring suit in federal court and obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against the State, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit SB. 8 from being enforced." If they can stop a judge from granting the $10,000, they stop the law.