SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments in Landmark Abortion Case

Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which has the potential to radically upend the current landscape of abortion jurisprudence. At issue in the case is whether a Mississippi law banning most abortions past 15 weeks of pregnancy is constitutional. This case is different from others that have come before the Court because it directly asks the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

State Solicitor General Scott Stewart argued on behalf of the state of Mississippi, the Center for Reproductive Rights' Julie Rikelman argued on behalf of Jackson Women's Health, and U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued on behalf of the Biden Administration.

Some highlights from the oral arguments:

Justice Thomas, who has openly called for overturning Roe and Casey, focused on asking the advocates how they would frame the issue in the case.

Questioning by Chief Justice Roberts signaled that there might be a way to uphold the Mississippi law without "formally" overturning Roe and Casey.

Justice Kavanaugh challenged counsel for Jackson Women's Health on her assertion that the Court won't overturn bad precedent.

It's hard to know what the final outcome of the case will be. But Democrat lawmakers are doing what they can to try and intimidate the Court into making the decision they want. As Professor Jonathan Turley points out, they have a history of doing so: 

Threatening the Supreme Court has become something of a required public exhibition of faith for Democrats, a demonstration that abstract notions like judicial independence will not distract from achieving political results. . .

Democrats routinely denounce conservatives as activists and threaten to change the Court if they continue to rule conservatively. Notably, while pointing to conservatives voting together as proof of ideological bias, these same leaders do not denounce the liberal justices who routinely vote as a block from  the left of the Court. They are not ideologues because they are ruling “correctly.”

Roe is being used by many as an excuse to engage in raw court packing and jurisdiction stripping.

At least one justice seems to be feeling the pressure.

To learn more about today's oral arguments and the future of abortion law in America, join RNLA this Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET for a webinar on "Originalism and Roe" featuring Americans United for Life's Katie Glenn and the Ethics & Public Policy Center's Ed Whelan.

Register here today!