Dem-Controlled Senate Panel to Probe High Court's Texas Abortion Ruling A sign is left at the doors of the United States Supreme Court to protest the court's refusal to act on a Texas law governing women's access to reproductive healthcare on September 2, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Matthew Rodier/Sipa via AP)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 03 September 2021 01:32 PM
The Senate Judiciary Committee will probe the Supreme Court’s practice of deciding complex cases on an emergency basis as a result of the justices refusing to halt Texas' abortion law.
The Hill reported that the high court used the increasingly common practice this week when it ruled on the Texas abortion ban.
The so-called “shadow-docket” allows the court to produce rulings without having received a comprehensive set of court documents or without hearing oral arguments, according to The Hill.
“The Supreme Court must operate with the highest regard for judicial integrity in order to earn the public’s trust,” Judiciary Chair Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. said Friday in a statement.
“This anti-choice law is a devastating blow to Americans' constitutional rights—and the Court allowed it to see the light of day without public deliberation or transparency. At a time when public confidence in government institutions has greatly eroded, we must examine not just the constitutional impact of allowing the Texas law to take effect, but also the conservative Court’s abuse of the shadow docket.”
In a series of tweets, the Judiciary Committee’s Democrats added: “The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing examining the Texas abortion ban and the Supreme Court’s abuse of its ‘shadow-docket.’”
And it said: “The Supreme Court’s midnight order calls into question the consequences of the conservative majority’s increased use of the ‘shadow docket’ in judicial review, which can hinder public confidence and leave lower courts in the dark about how to apply the Court’s precedent:
The Hill noted that just before midnight on Wednesday, the high court used the procedure once again to deny a request to block the Texas law, which prohibits abortions after the presence of a fetal heartbeat, usually six weeks into pregnancy.
The justices voted 5-4 to reject an emergency request by abortion and women’s health providers for an injunction of enforcement of the ban, according to Reuters.