John Roberts appears to side with Supreme Court’s liberal jurists on Texas abortion ban

Chief Justice John Roberts appears to have tipped his hand with regard to two major abortion cases set to come before the Supreme Court.

And the fact that he sided with the left probably tells you everything that you need to know.

The Texas law

Among the blockbuster abortion cases that are likely to be ultimately decided by the high court questions the constitutionality of the so-called Texas Heartbeat Act.

As reports note, the law more or less bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically as early as the six-week mark in pregnancy. Perhaps more significantly, the measure puts enforcement in the hands of the people of Texas, allowing them to sue anyone who furthers an abortion, besides the would-be mother.

Its method of enforcement has made it difficult for abortion advocates to challenge the law.

The good news

On Friday, the Supreme Court weighed in with a ruling that brought both good news and bad news to both sides.

The good news for those challenging the law is that the Supreme Court has ruled that the legal battle can continue. For those who support it, the good news is that the Supreme Court has ruled that the law can remain in effect while the litigation continues.

To be clear, the SCOTUS did not rule on the merits of the law itself this time around. But that didn’t stop Roberts from voicing his dissent.

The chief justice weighs in

Writing Friday, Roberts sided with the court’s three Democrat appointees in a dissent that emphasized that the Texas law violates precedent set by the Supreme Court in cases including Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, among others. He also argued that the method of enforcement puts “the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system” at stake.

According to NBC News, Roberts wrote: “The Constitution is the ‘fundamental and paramount law of the nation,’ and ‘[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.'”

He added: “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the Constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery.”

Many are taking these comments as a sign that Roberts will strike down the Texas law, as well as a similar measure put in place in Mississippi banning abortions at the 15-week mark. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health by next summer.

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