228 GOP lawmakers call on Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

Nearly 230 Republican members of Congress told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it should overturn Roe v. Wade and release its "vise grip on abortion politics."

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 1:56 PM

(CNN) -- Nearly 230 Republican members of Congress told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it should overturn Roe v. Wade and release its "vise grip on abortion politics."

The new brief is the latest filing in a dispute that will be heard next term and represents the most significant abortion-related case the justices have taken up in nearly a half a century. The 6-3 conservative court, bolstered by three of former President Donald Trump's appointees, could gut, or invalidate court precedent, and that's what the GOP lawmakers are calling for.

"Congress and the States have shown that they are ready and able to address the issue in ways that reflect Americans' varying viewpoints and are grounded in the science of fetal development and maternal health," lawyers for 228 Republican lawmakers, including leadership in both chambers, told the justices.

At issue before the court is a Mississippi law that bars most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. There is no exception for rape or incest. The court will render its decision by next June, in the lead up to the mid-term elections.

The lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are supporting Mississippi's request to allow the law to go into effect. They are represented by the group Americans United for Life.

In Thursday's brief, they asked the court to "affirm the constitutional authority of the federal and state governments to safeguard the lives and health of their citizens, born and not yet born."

Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide prior to viability which experts believe occurs around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The lawmakers say the court should revisit the viability line established in court precedent, because it "binds the States in a one-sided constitutional tug-of-war in which they are subject to intense factual scrutiny on the abortion advocates' issues but unable to establish the factual basis for their own vital interests."

Lower courts blocked the law after the Jackson's Women Health Center, the only remaining clinic in the state, brought the challenge arguing the law was a direct violation of Supreme Court precedent.

"In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's abortion cases have established (and affirmed and re-affirmed) a woman's right to choose an abortion before viability," a panel of judges on the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals said in December 2019. "States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not ban abortions," the court held and concluded that "the law at issue is a ban."

Earlier in the week, three other Republican senators -- Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Lee of Utah, who clerked for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito -- respectively, also weighed in in favor of Mississippi using their brief to make the argument that Roe should be invalidated even though it has been on the books since 1973.

Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court is reluctant to overturn past cases, relying upon a doctrine called "Stare Decisis" which is roughly translated to mean "stand by the thing decided." The doctrine reflects a respect for the accumulated opinions that have been handed down in history as well as the consistent development of legal principles.

But the trio argued that while Stare Decisis considerations may be important to the judicial process, "they are not absolute" and that abortion precedent needs to be revisited.

"A history of confusion in the lower courts, an unstable pattern of Supreme Court decisions, and a persistent lack of judicially manageable standards all suggest that a precedent is or has become unworkable," they said in their friend of the court brief.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is representing the clinic and its medical director, Sacheen Carr-Ellis. Lawyers for the center will respond to Mississippi's appeal later this year.

Last year, the group urged the justices to allow the lower court opinion to stand, arguing that Supreme Court precedent makes clear that before viability "it is up to the pregnant person, and not the State, to make the ultimate decision whether to continue a pregnancy."

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Rockville
Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 60°
Brazil
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Rain, Breezy & Much Cooler
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1663364

Reported Deaths: 27810
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63054211157
DuPage1073121374
Will905601118
Lake794341074
Kane67913866
Winnebago40662558
Madison39811590
St. Clair36119591
McHenry34360321
Champaign26817195
Peoria26730368
Sangamon25584283
McLean22826216
Tazewell20506330
Rock Island18679358
Kankakee17763246
Kendall16074112
Macon15178250
LaSalle14943285
Vermilion14137198
Adams13055152
DeKalb12056133
Williamson11989174
Whiteside8228180
Jackson805794
Boone785683
Coles7823121
Ogle751087
Grundy730385
Franklin7267113
Knox7176169
Clinton7080102
Macoupin6877104
Marion6857143
Henry659076
Effingham654499
Jefferson6477142
Livingston593297
Stephenson576392
Woodford572692
Randolph551299
Christian530082
Monroe5229100
Fulton519274
Morgan502598
Logan491474
Montgomery486179
Lee476060
Bureau440789
Saline431769
Perry430274
Fayette428163
Iroquois417077
McDonough371160
Shelby341847
Jersey333953
Crawford329230
Lawrence327732
Douglas324037
Union304948
Wayne299161
Richland278257
White277733
Hancock271835
Cass264230
Clark264039
Pike262357
Clay256753
Bond254524
Edgar254549
Warren242265
Ford241858
Carroll235138
Moultrie227633
Johnson223531
Wabash216119
Jo Daviess214129
Massac213548
Mason211452
Washington211328
De Witt204130
Greene203940
Mercer201735
Piatt199814
Cumberland188226
Menard170913
Jasper160121
Marshall140721
Hamilton132922
Brown10589
Schuyler105510
Pulaski103311
Edwards102517
Stark80928
Gallatin7848
Alexander71012
Scott7106
Henderson69614
Calhoun6832
Hardin59216
Putnam5594
Pope5436
Unassigned1662433
Out of IL100

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 994079

Reported Deaths: 16225
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1340942097
Lake657221150
Allen57000791
Hamilton45877460
St. Joseph43856606
Elkhart35467502
Vanderburgh31922473
Tippecanoe27644256
Johnson24778440
Hendricks23603353
Porter22676362
Madison18488404
Clark18336248
Vigo17227300
Monroe15089197
LaPorte14957249
Delaware14916255
Howard14547286
Kosciusko12115147
Hancock11562175
Bartholomew11413179
Warrick11205188
Floyd10966214
Wayne10812247
Grant9850216
Morgan9346176
Boone8793115
Dubois8194129
Dearborn813092
Henry8098149
Noble7911105
Marshall7767134
Cass7451119
Lawrence7368168
Shelby7085114
Jackson689887
Gibson6468113
Harrison639691
Huntington628799
Knox6262105
DeKalb621796
Montgomery6166109
Miami584894
Putnam572177
Clinton564571
Whitley556355
Steuben548772
Wabash5229101
Jasper517675
Jefferson504095
Ripley491684
Adams471373
Daviess4586112
Scott432968
Greene420496
Wells418087
Clay417060
White413461
Decatur4104101
Fayette401286
Jennings382060
Posey373643
Washington351048
LaGrange350978
Randolph339399
Spencer335842
Fountain331058
Sullivan326352
Starke309968
Owen309369
Fulton303166
Orange289762
Jay277144
Perry263552
Franklin261642
Carroll257632
Rush256732
Vermillion253554
Parke229126
Pike227143
Tipton224959
Blackford187040
Pulaski180354
Crawford157522
Newton155148
Benton150117
Brown142747
Martin137119
Switzerland133411
Warren119916
Union106315
Ohio83912
Unassigned0531