Attorney Ken Belkin to Newsmax: Texas Abortion Ruling Not 'Unconstitutional Chaos' (Newsmax/"National Report")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 03 September 2021 11:27 AM
Texas' law blocking abortion after six weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling to refuse to block it is not the constitutional crisis President Joe Biden is painting it to be, New York City constitutional and civil rights attorney Ken Belkin told Newsmax Friday.
"I agree with the president in part but also disagree," Belkin said on Newsmax's "National Report." "This is an unconstitutional law. But I don't agree that the Supreme Court has unleashed unconstitutional chaos."
He explained that the court has not fully taken up the case, but has "only decided not to enjoin, meaning not to issue an injunction preventing this law from going into place. The law is going to be litigated in the lower courts and I think it is inevitably going to be struck down as unconstitutional."
Biden, blasting the ruling, called it an unprecedented assault on a woman's constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade. The president further said the law's provision to allow people to sue for $10,000 for each abortion prohibited under the law means "complete strangers will now be empowered to inject themselves in the most private and personal health decisions faced by women."
Critics have said the Supreme Court made a shadow ruling, but Belkin pointed out that even with Roe v. Wade, it was a lower court that reaffirmed the decision.
"Let's not forget Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, and there was a second case the people often overlook, Planned Parenthood v. Casey from 1992, which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, so this issue has been litigated and precedent has been set," said Belkin. "The lower courts are going to have to rule on it, and eventually, it's going to make its way up to the Supreme Court, and I firmly believe that this Supreme Court is going to deny these types of cases certain, meaning they're not even going to hear them because the issue has already been ruled on."
It's also been noted that there is a conservative majority on the bench, but from a legal perspective, that means conservative jurists are not likely to disturb existing case precedent, Belkin added.
Meanwhile, there are other states that have "heartbeat" laws similar to the one from Texas but the difference in the Lone Star state is the $10,000 lawsuit provision.
"They've essentially deputized private citizens with the task of enforcing this, you know, abortion restriction, and they are allowing private citizens to bring civil cases instead of making it a government mandate where the government steps in and says this is illegal," said Belkin. "Either way, it's unconstitutional if you look at the existing case law. So Texas would essentially have to rework it and change that, perhaps pull that existing power away."
However, Belkin said he doesn't know that Texas can rework its law because, "quite frankly, rightly or wrongly, the Supreme Court has spoken on this issue and they have read into the Constitution a right to privacy with respect to medical situations, and that's essentially what the ruling in Roe v. Wade comes down to."
Many conservative legal analysts take issue with the Supreme Court for its ruling, because with it, the court "essentially created law," said Belkin. "If Congress wanted to step in and legislate and make a federal right for women to choose, that would be something more appropriate instead of having courts legislate from the bench."
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