Hillary Clinton: Supreme Court 'Gutted' Roe v. Wade in Texas Ruling
By Fran Beyer | Thursday, 02 September 2021 02:21 PM
Hillary Clinton blasted the Supreme Court for its refusal to block a Texas ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy — leaving in place a state law that prohibits the vast majority of abortions.
In a tweet, the former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee argued that “the Supreme Court officially overturned five decades of settled law and permitted Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban to stand.”
“Yes: They gutted Roe v. Wade without hearing arguments, in a one-paragraph, unsigned 5-4 opinion issued in the middle of the night.”
Clinton in a follow-up tweet cited liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent that stated: "The Act is a breathtaking act of defiance—of the Constitution, of this Court’s precedents, and of the rights of women seeking abortions throughout Texas."
But the National Review took issue with Clinton’s interpretation of the high court's 5-4 decision, writing that “If Clinton had read the Court’s opinion, it should have been immediately clear that its decision did not turn on the constitutional matter of whether the right to an abortion can be found in the Constitution, but on a much more mundane procedural question.”
The majority decision reached by the conservative majority, excluding Chief Justice John Roberts, states “this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the NR noted.
“The Texas law permits private citizens to sue abortion providers for performing abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. It does not compel state law enforcement action against the providers,” the NR argued.
In an unsigned majority opinion, the justices noted “federal courts enjoy the power to enjoin individuals tasked with enforcing laws, not the laws themselves.”
The government lacks the power to enforce the law, and the only private citizen named in the suit “filed an affidavit stating that he has no present intention to enforce the law,” the nation’s high court noted.
The Texas law would affect most procedures in the state, where 85% to 90% of abortions are obtained after six weeks of pregnancy, and would likely force many clinics to close, abortion rights groups have argued.
The ban is the first permitted since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.