Monday, November 01, 2021

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments Today In Texas "Heartbeat" Abortion Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning in two cases challenging the Texas "heartbeat" abortion ban. The question the Supreme Court agreed to consider is not the ultimate constitutionality of the ban, but whether Texas has effectively insulated the law from pre-enforcement challenge.  In Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, the question presented by the petition for certiorari is:

whether a State can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil actions.

In United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court's grant of certiorari was limited to the question:

May the United States bring suit in federal court and obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against the State, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit S.B. 8 from being enforced.

The SCOTUS blog case pages for the cases (1, 2 ) have links to all the filings by the parties, as well as to the numerous amicus briefs that have been filed. SCOTUS blog has an extensive preview of the arguments. The arguments will be streamed live by C-SPAN.  At 10:00 AM (EST) arguments in Whole Woman's Health can be heard here. At 11:00 AM (EST) arguments in U.S. v. Texas can be  heard here. I will update this post to furnish links to the transcripts and recordings of the arguments when those become available later today.

UPDATE: Here are links to the transcript and audio of arguments in Whole Woman's Health. And here are the links in United States v. Texas.