SCOTUS Under Pressure to Overturn Roe v. Wade, ‘It’s Up to The People’

OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion

Jason Miyares, the Republican Attorney General for Virginia, has urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The state’s previous Democratic government led 21 other states to urge the justices to overturn Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and to reaffirm Roe’s core ruling.

“The [new] Attorney General has reconsidered Virginia’s position in this case,” Miyares wrote to the justices. “Virginia is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several states to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion.”

As a result, he said Virginia will work with 19 Republican attorneys general and a dozen Republican governors across the country to call for states to control abortion laws.

“It is Virginia’s position that the court’s decisions in Roe and Casey were wrongly decided,” the attorney general wrote, referring also to the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which barred states from placing unnecessary obstacles in the way of abortion access. “This court should restore judicial neutrality to the abortion debate by permitting the people of the several states to resolve these questions for themselves.”

Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican senator, said last month that Roe v. Wade is the greatest injustice of our lifetime, and the Supreme Court has an opportunity to rectify it.

Roe v. Wade is “very much in play” after the first day of oral arguments, Hawley said in an interview with Breitbart.

Hawley added, “It would mean the reaching of a landmark goal that I mean, frankly, I have to say just personally, that Roe is one of the reasons that the major reason that I went into politics, and I think that’s true for many, many other people. That’s one of the major reasons I was interested in the law. And this is the greatest injustice of our lifetimes.”

“I just have to say that someone who believes that that row is one of the worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court, I think it would be a monumental moral landmark and reverse a great injustice.”

In Mississippi, a law aimed at banning abortions after 15 weeks is being reviewed in the Supreme Court.

At the hearing, Justice Clarence Thomas posed a highly potent question that should concern pro-abortion liberals.

”Does a mother have a right to ingest drugs and harm a pre-viable baby? Can the state bring child neglect charges against the mother?“ he inquired.

The lawyer for Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the organization that wants the law overturned, stated: “That’s not what this case is about, but a woman has a right to make choices about her body.”

The deciding vote might come from Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

CNN reported that Roberts and Kavanaugh may be seeking a compromise, where they won’t completely overturn Roe v Wade:

Roberts suggested the court could look at Mississippi’s 15-week law as a new viability standard, rather than Roe and Casey, which is over 20 weeks. And Kavanaugh, meanwhile, has asked to confirm that Mississippi isn’t asking the court to outright prohibit abortion, a way to say it’s not overturning Roe while limiting access.

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.

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

Kavanaugh suggested that a majority of states – or at least many states – would maintain abortion access.

“The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice … and leaves the issue to the people to resolve in the democratic process,” Kavanaugh explained.

In other Scotus news, last week, in a case led by Republican attorneys general, the court heard oral arguments on preserving a Trump-era regulatory measure aimed at reducing the number of migrants who can receive taxpayer benefits.

After the Biden administration made the decision to not defend the rule legally, the Republican AGs stepped in to resolve the issue. Instead, the GOP AGs have attempted to replace the rule with one that is far less restrictive.

“More than a dozen Republican attorneys general, led by Arizona’s Mark Brnovich, have sought to defend the 2019 public charge rule, which broadened the definition of ‘public charge’ to include an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period — and included a substantial number of benefits,” reported Fox News on Saturday.

According to the outlet:

The “public charge” consideration is used when a legal immigrant on a temporary visa seeks permanent legal status, and officials consider whether the immigrant is likely to be reliant on welfare.

Those benefits included in the 2019 rule included Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as most forms of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

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