MI congressmen ask Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade abortion ruling

Grant Boone
January 6, 2020

The lawmakers - 38 senators and 168 House members - filed an amicus brief urging the court to "reconsider" the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortions across the nation, as well as the court's 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe v. Wade and barred states from placing an "undue burden" on access to abortions.

Right to Life Michigan said the Lousiana law at the center of the Supreme Court case should be upheld regardless of whether Roe v. Wade is overturned. The brief argues Roe v. Wade is an unworkable opinion.

The lawmakers argue that the ruling in Whole Woman's Health vs. Hellerstedt created "confusion among Congress and state legislatures alike as to which laws might withstand constitutional scrutiny".

The brief argues that the court's Roe v. Wade decision went beyond the scope of its power, violated the process for amending the U.S. Constitution, and undermined the legitimacy of America's judicial system.

The Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Texas in the case of Whole Woman's Health vs. Hellerstedt but concerning the Louisiana law, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2018 that since the state wasn't as large as Texas, there was less "undue burden" placed on women and let the law stand. Supreme Court to allow a Louisiana law that requires abortionists to obtain hospital admitting privileges near where the procedure was taking place. Lipinski has been singled out by abortion rights groups for his opposition to abortion, and is facing a primary from the left. Abortion rights opponents are seizing the moment to advance their most radically anti-choice positions. "And judging by the brief, the party has its sights set squarely on eliminating the right to legal abortion".

June Medical Services challenged a Louisiana law, passed in 2014 and now not in effect, which required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortion is performed.

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While those arguments are bad, it's astonishing for lawmakers and advocacy organizations to ask the Court to revisit and overturn Roe and Casey in June Medical Services.

Except that when it comes to abortion rights and the courts, nothing the right does is surprising anymore, and conventional wisdom no longer applies. This new legislation, known as the "Roe Act", would extend abortion access past 24 weeks gestation.

With the help of Republicans in the U.S. Senate, 1 in 4 federal appeals court judges is a Trump appointee.

AUL acknowledges this fact in its brief: "The current presidential administration, as have numerous previous administrations, campaigned on and calls for the overruling of Roe".

In other words, according to AUL and conservative lawmakers, everyone expects the Roberts Court to end legal abortion eventually, so why wait when the Court could do so this summer in June Medical Services? "Casey clearly did not settle the abortion issue, and it is time for the Court to take it up again". "They gamed the system and stacked the Supreme Court just for this moment".

Meanwhile, the Democrats primarily argued that stare decisis, the principle through which existing Supreme Court cases are given deference, dictated that Roe should remain good law.

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