January 27, 2023

A worker clears the front steps as the morning rises over the U.S. Supreme Court building, which is still closed to the public during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Washington on April 26, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear arguments in a major Mississippi abortion case that pushes the limits of abortion laws set by the landmark reproductive rights case, Roe v. Calf, which were cemented, could reset.

The case will be the first major abortion dispute in which all three people appointed by former President Donald Trump will be considered in the Supreme Court, including the newest member, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The Supreme Court announced that it would hear the Dobbs dispute against the Jackson Women’s Health Organization (19-1392) in an order. The court will hear the case in its October term and a decision is expected to be reached in June 2022.

The case concerns a 2018 Mississippi abortion law that bans abortions after 15 weeks with limited exceptions. The law was blocked by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Under the existing Supreme Court precedent, states cannot prohibit abortions that occur before the fetus is viable, typically about 22 weeks or later.

In this case, Mississippi is asking the judges to re-examine that viability standard. The state argued that the viability rule prevents states from adequately defending maternal health and potential life.

“It is long time the court reassessed the wisdom of the profitability rule,” Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch wrote in a brief report filed with the judges.

A Mississippi abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, urged the Supreme Court not to take the case.

“In an uninterrupted series of decisions over the past fifty years, this court has ruled that the constitution guarantees everyone the right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy before viability,” wrote Hillary Schneller, an attorney who runs the clinic represents, in a file.

Schneller said Mississippi’s argument was based “on a misunderstanding of the core principle” of previous Supreme Court rulings.

She wrote, “While the state has interests throughout pregnancy.”[b]Prior to viability, state interests are not strong enough to support an abortion ban. “

Conservatives passed a number of bills that challenged Roe and were passed in 1973 in hopes of getting the court to reconsider its previous precedents. With the people appointed by Trump, the nation’s Supreme Court now has a Conservative majority of 6-3.

The struggle for abortion revitalized the confirmation hearings for Barrett, a devout Catholic who was the anti-abortion group favorite after the death of the liberal judiciary to replace Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

While Barrett has not made her exact legal views on abortion clear from the bank, the Democrats have taken up her earlier comments identifying aborted fetuses as “unborn victims” among other potential harbingers of their views.

The other two Trump nominees on the bench, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, voted last June to allow a restrictive abortion law to come into effect for Louisiana in the first major reproductive rights case before them. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Conservative, sided with the Liberals in the 5-4 decision that blocked the law.

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