The Supreme Court rendered a “diabolical” decision by refusing to let women continue to seek abortions “up to at least viability,” especially since the justices previously halted a state law that interfered with believers’ religious liberty, an MSNBC legal analyst said.
She worried that the procedural ruling means the majority of justices “don’t intend to give Roe v. Wade continuing life.”
On Friday’s episode of “Morning Joe,” guest host Willie Geist asked former Obama administration U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade about a Texas law that bars abortionists from performing an abortion if they can detect a fetal heartbeat.
In a 5-4 decision offered Thursday, the Supreme Court allowed the law to remain in effect while the case wends its way through the court system — an action McQuade claimed violates the “right” to an abortion, which she considers as sacrosanct as the freedom of religion.
“What is so upsetting and diabolical about this decision is that the Supreme Court is really hiding behind what they referred to as ‘procedural complexities’ that they want to see play out in the lower courts before they get involved,” she said.
“That might make sense, except for the fact that for every minute that goes by while they decline to hear the merits of the case, the rights of women seeking abortions in Texas is being violated,” continued McQuade, who is now a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.
She added that the justices’ decision against issuing a stay of the Texas heartbeat law “flies in the face of something they did early this summer, when they did intervene in a case in California involving religious liberty … even though that case and not yet played out.”
The Supreme Court stopped California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) from enacting strict capacity limits on churches and other houses of worship in the name of fighting COVID-19. Ultimately, justices ruled against the state regulations, which they found unduly burdened religious liberty, on five separate occasions. Los Angeles County officials decided this week to pay $400,000 to Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church based on those rulings.
While the First Amendment enjoins the government from making any law “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion, justices couched the constitutional “right” to an abortion in a newfound “sexual privacy” guaranteed by “penumbras, formed by emanations” of the Constitution’s text.
The fact that the Supreme Court’s newly conservative majority did not treat the two issues equally suggests they may overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, McQuade told MSNBC viewers.
She explained that “one of the standards” for denying a stay request of the Texas bill “is the likelihood of success on the merits. And the majority didn’t address that” on Thursday.
“There are five justices that concern me,” she said. “Their silence there I think does not bode well long term for Roe v. Wade.”
Allowing the Texas law, which permits “any person” in the state of Texas to sue anyone who facilities an abortion after approximately six weeks’ gestation, may indicate how the justices will rule on another abortion case facing the high court, McQuade offered.
“I think, Willie, that there’s some tea leaves here” about Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The state of Mississippi passed a law limiting abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, well below the threshold established by Roe and its 1992 successor case, Casey v. Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers say the state has more interests in protecting unborn life besides the one they establish, fetal viability.
“It is a possibility that when the Supreme Court hears this case, Dobbs, in the next tern, that that may be the opportunity to overrule Roe v. Wade,” McQuade said.
Treating the decision as though it were a living being facing termination, McQuade said, “I think that suggests to me that the handwriting may be on the wall that they don’t intend to give Roe v. Wade continuing life.”
Earlier in the week McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan during the Obama administration, described the Texas law, which could prevent more than 48,000 abortions a year or 132 a day, as “diabolical.”
The term “diabolical,” derived from the Greek language, is defined as “of, relating to, or characteristic of the devil : DEVILISH.”
MSNBC legal analyst @BarbMcQuade says the Texas abortion law, which allows private citizens to sue anyone who assists in an abortion, is “diabolical” and “incentivizing bounty hunters.” pic.twitter.com/MHF8TzDOc1
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2021
McQuade said on Friday that if justices overturn Roe, it will represent “a terrible sign in this country that the law and the regard for precedent changes simply because there is now a conservative majority on the court.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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