Five Fast Facts on Today’s Oral Arguments at the Supreme Court
Today, the Supreme Court is hearing two challenges to Texas’s SB 8, the most restrictive abortion law in the country, which has been in effect since September 1st.
This law—which bans abortions as early as six weeks and puts the power of enforcement in anyone’s hands—is being challenged by both abortion providers in the state and the Justice Department, who believe it should be blocked.
But it’s critical to note that this hearing isn’t a challenge to the constitutionality of abortion. It’s a challenge to the law’s procedural mechanisms, which encourage private citizens to sue in an effort to avoid judicial scrutiny.
The question the Supreme Court is dealing with today: Can the federal government and abortion providers sue to block a law that is ostensibly not enforced by the government?
Next month, the Supreme Court will hear a much more direct challenge to Roe V. Wade and Planned Parenthood V. Casey on December 1st, when the Justices review a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks.