Supporters of former President Donald Trump believed that once the former president named an unprecedented three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court that hot-button issues like abortion would finally be addressed and dealt with by strong conservatives.
However, according to a Bloomberg report, that might not be the case in a particularly white-hot controversy surrounding Texas’ recently passed ban on virtually all abortions after a heartbeat is detected. The outlet noted that conservative Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh have voiced skepticism over Texas’ argument that federal courts lack the authority to block the new law.
While Texas is defending the new law on a number of legal fronts, waged by both President Joe Biden’s Justice Department and individual abortion providers, the Supreme Court, which so far has allowed the law to be upheld, is now prepped to hear arguments regarding the merits of the law.
What seems to be tripping up Kavanaugh and Barrett, and presumably every liberal justice on the high court, is the unusual enforcement mechanism written into the law that gives private citizens the right to file lawsuits to stop illegal abortions, thus bypassing the need for federal court involvement.
“The law lets private parties sue a clinic or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion — and collect a minimum of $10,000 in damages per procedure — but doesn’t authorize government officials to sue alleged violators,” the report noted.
But Kavanaugh clarified his reasons for being skeptical of that particular enforcement measure, saying it’s “a loophole that’s been exploited here, or used here,” suggesting that such a method could be used in the future to restrict Second Amendment rights or other similar issues.
According to SCOTUS watchers, the Texas abortion law could be heard by the high court within weeks, or possibly even days.
Not surprisingly, liberal justices expressed deep concerns that Texas’ new law is a constitutional violation of women’s rights, and the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
“The actual provisions in this law have prevented every woman in Texas from exercising a constitutional right as declared by this court,” Justice Elena Kagan said. “That’s just not a hypothetical, that’s an actual.”