An abortion rights activist holds posters outside the US Supreme Court before the court overturned a Texas law restricting abortion clinics on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden on Thursday beat up Supreme Court justices who opposed an attempt by abortion law advocates to stop Texas’s restrictive abortion law.
Biden also directed White House legal and policy officials to respond to the court’s decision by finding ways for federal agencies “to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions that are carried out by [Roe v. Wade]. “
The ruling by five Supreme Court Conservatives, including all three appointed by former President Donald Trump, “is an unprecedented attack on the constitutional rights of a woman under Roe v. Wade, who have been the law of the land for nearly fifty years. “Said Biden in a fiery statement.
The law bans most abortions after six weeks of gestation – before most women even realize they are pregnant – and empowers private individuals to sue, among other things, anyone who “helps and assists” in the proceedings.
In doing so, the law unleashes “unconstitutional chaos and empowers self-appointed executors to wreak havoc,” Biden said.
“This law is so extreme that it does not even allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest,” said Biden’s statement. “And not only does it allow total strangers to interfere in a woman’s most private decisions – it even gives them an incentive to do so with the prospect of $ 10,000 if they win their case.”
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-California, in a statement later Thursday morning condemned the “cowardly, nightly decision to perpetuate a blatantly unconstitutional attack on women’s rights and health.”
Pelosi pledged that her chamber will pass the Women’s Health Protection Act “to legislate reproductive health care for all women across America” when Congress returns from hiatus.
The President and Pelosi both criticized the majority’s decision to deliver their brief but consistent statement on the court’s “shadow file” without hearing any oral arguments from the parties in the case.
“If the majority do so without a hearing, without the opinion of a court below, and without due consideration of the issues, it offends the rule of law and the right of all Americans to seek redress in our courts,” President said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is also “evaluating all options to protect women’s constitutional rights, including access to an abortion”.
The five Conservatives – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – wrote that their order “is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas law.”
Rather, they ruled that the petitioners, a group of abortion providers and advocates of abortion law, had failed to act on important procedural issues in this case.
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Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined Liberal Judges Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer, wrote that Texan law was “not only unusual but unprecedented”.
He noted that the intent to give citizens the power to sue abortionists “appears to be to isolate the state from responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of the regulatory system”.
Other states have tried to pass “heartbeat” laws banning abortion, but judges have denied those efforts for violating the safeguards established by Roe.
Sotomayor, whose violent dissent called the majority order “numbing”, accused the Texas legislature of “circumventing” constitutional obstacles by effectively representing its citizens as “bounty hunters”.
“Today the court is finally telling the nation that it refused to act because the state’s move, in short, worked,” she wrote. “That is untenable. It cannot be that a state can evade federal judicial control by outsourcing the enforcement of unconstitutional laws to its citizens.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed SB 8 in May, told CNBC Thursday that he believes the Abortion Act and other politically divisive laws on social issues will not make his state any less attractive to businesses or individuals.
“You need to understand that there are a lot of companies and a lot of Americans who like the social positions of the state of Texas,” he said on Squawk on the Street.
“This is not slowing down the companies coming into the state of Texas at all. In fact, it is speeding up the process of companies coming into Texas,” Abbott said.
He added that Tesla CEO Elon Musk “had to get out of California because of California’s welfare policy, and Elon keeps telling me that he likes Texas welfare policy.”
Musk did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Abbott’s remarks.
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