Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, December 5, 2021

The End of Roe

From Mary Ziegler (Florida State), writing for the Atlantic:

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involves a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks. Such a ban is clearly unconstitutional under current law—Roe v. Wade and its successor case, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, recognize a right to choose abortion until fetal viability, which is at roughly 24 weeks. To uphold Mississippi’s law, the Supreme Court’s conservative justices have two options: They can ditch the viability line or get rid of Roe altogether.

Today’s oral argument signaled that the Court is poised to reverse Roe outright when it decides Dobbs, probably sometime in June or early July. That would be one of the most significant reversals of Supreme Court precedent in American history. Roe v. Wade has been the law for 50 years. Even Brett Kavanaugh spent much of his confirmation hearing proclaiming his fidelity to precedent. Today, the attorney for Jackson Women's Health Organization, the abortion provider challenging the Mississippi law, leaned hard on the idea that the Court must respect its own precedents—a strategic choice given that the Court’s conservative majority was never going to be sympathetic to the idea of abortion rights.

Read more here.

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