The Supreme Court of the United States inflicted a new snub Thursday, January 20 to opponents of a law in Texas which, for four months, prohibits abortion from six weeks of pregnancy.
The high court, which has a solid conservative majority (six judges out of nine), refused, without explaining its reasons, to refer the case to a federal judge who, in the first instance, had blocked this legislation.
Concretely, this means that the case remains in the hands of the very conservative federal appeals court in New Orleans, where the procedure is bogged down.
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The three progressive judges of the Supreme Court dissociated themselves from their colleagues in a text with an acid tone.
“Today, for the fourth time, the Court refused to protect pregnant women in Texas
,” Judge Sonia Sotomayor wrote on their behalf.
“The Court is looking the other way” as Texas “deprives its citizens of their constitutional rights
,” she added.
Since September 1, this southern state has prohibited abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, as soon as the heartbeat of the embryo is perceptible, at around six weeks of pregnancy, when most women are unaware still be pregnant.
A dozen comparable laws have been invalidated in the past because they violate the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court: the latter recognized in 1973, in its historic "Roe V. Wade" judgment, and reaffirmed in 1992, the right of Americans to abort as long as the fetus is not viable, around 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
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But Texas has devised an exceptional device: its law entrusts
to citizens the task of enforcing this prohibition, by encouraging them to take civil action against the people and organizations who help women to break it against the promise of 10,000 dollars of compensation. In the absence of an official official to whom to order not to apply the law, this mechanism complicates the intervention of federal justice. Seized several times, the Supreme Court took shelter behind these
"new questions of procedure"
to stay away.
Her inaction, seen as a sign of the influence of the three judges appointed by Donald Trump, shows that she is unwilling to defend the right to abortion.
She could even waive it in a separate filing from Mississippi.
During the hearing devoted to it, several of its magistrates seemed ready to annul the Roe v.
Wade, which would allow each state to do whatever it wants with termination of pregnancy.