US Supreme Court hears debate on Roe vs. Wade: Laymen’s chance to shine like the best lawyers or theologians

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US Supreme Court hears the most important case of the century, abortion case challenging Roe v. Wade

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim

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What we’re covering here in CNN

  • The conservative-leaning Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this morning on a case concerning a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks.
  • The justices are being asked to uphold the ban and overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision legalizing abortion nationwide prior to viability, which can occur at around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
  • A Supreme Court decision that overturns the ruling could bring abortion bans to as many as half the states in the country already poised to prohibit the procedure.

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3 replies

  1. Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked a question that seems aimed at the arguments made by abortion rights advocates that a decision overturning Roe v. Wade would be a step towards the Supreme Court eventually issuing a decision that would outlaw abortion nationwide.

    Kavanaugh asked Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart to confirm that his state is not making an argument that the court should prohibit abortion.

    Mississippi is arguing that the Constitution is silent or neutral on the abortion question. Kavanaugh asked Stewart to confirm, which he did.

    “We’re saying it’s left to the people, your honor,” Stewart said.
    Kavanaugh suggested that a majority of states – or at least many states – would maintain abortion access.

    “I don’t think anybody would be moving to change their laws in a more restrictive direction,” Stewart said.

    More background: Kavanaugh was confirmed after a contentious process in 2018, which included assuring GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that he wouldn’t overturn Roe.

    But his questions signal that he is open to voting in favor of a decision that would drastically limit Roe, if not reverse it outright.

  2. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday in a case that threatens to overturn the constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion across the country. The immediate and overall consensus after the arguments came to a close in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: Roe v Wade is in serious danger.

    The conservative majority on the Supreme Court appeared largely supportive of a 2018 Mississippi law that seeks to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law directly contradicts Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that protects a person’s right to abortion. The decision made it a constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion until a fetus’s viability, which is around 24 weeks. Mississippi’s 15-week restriction is attempting to cut that almost in half.

    Conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch openly suggested that the current viability line under Roe is arbitrary and can be moved, which would effectively overturn the high court precedent. Chief Justice John Roberts along with the two newest members of the court, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, were less vocal. All three, however, seemed to be open to tinkering with the gestational limits on abortion, which would also effectively overturn Roe as it stands now.

    Although they were in the minority, justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan were vehement in their support for abortion as a constitutional right. All three continually pushed back against the argument made by Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart that Roe is not settled law. Each reiterated the far-reaching implications for women and birthing people if the decision were to be overturned.

  3. (CNN) The Supreme Court seemed poised Wednesday to uphold a Mississippi law that bars abortion after 15 weeks, but it is less clear if there is a clear majority to end the right to abortion nationwide, although conservative justices expressed skepticism about the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

    The dispute represents the culmination of a decades-long effort on the part of critics of the landmark opinion that legalized abortion nationwide to return the issue to the states, a move that would almost immediately eviscerate abortion rights in large swaths of the South and the Midwest.
    Chief Justice John Roberts seemed to be looking for a middle ground to allow states to ban abortion earlier — moving up the viability line from the current 22 to 23 weeks — but leaving in place some remnants of a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. He said 15 weeks was not a “dramatic departure” from viability.

    Another key justice, Brett Kavanaugh, however, noted that even if the issue were returned to the states, abortion would still be available in some of those states. He conceded that supporters of abortion rights have a “forceful argument” but asked if there were two interests at stake, why the court should be the arbiter.

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