Nearly 900 state legislators signed an amicus brief filed on Monday urging the United States Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade ahead of the opening arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, NBC News reported Monday.
According to NBC, who obtained a copy of the brief before it was filed, the brief was filed by State Innovation Exchange, a progressive legislation advocacy group. Reportedly, all but two of the 897 signers are Democrats – the two remaining are Independents. Lawmakers from every state except Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Wyoming signed.
Reportedly, the brief argued that SCOTUS has a responsibility to uphold the legal precedents set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1973 and 1992, respectively. The opening arguments for Dobbs are scheduled to begin this fall.
"The brief argued that the Supreme Court has a responsibility to uphold the legal precedents set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey – the two main decisions that legalized abortion in the United States – which they maintain provided pregnant people the constitutional right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy free from state interference.
‘If the Court fails to uphold the rule of law and precedent, and instead guts or overturns Roe, there will be disastrous consequences for women seeking abortions, as well as for their families. Legislators from states at risk of banning abortion in the absence or gutting of Roe have an interest in protecting Roe so abortion remains legal in their state,’ the brief states."
Dobbs, the pending Court case, deals with the constitutionality of Mississippi’s proposed 15-week abortion ban introduced in 2018. As I previously covered, two dozen state attorneys general filed an amicus brief urging the high court to overturn Roe while Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed her own brief with the same request, stating that “Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong. The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition.”
Earlier this month, SCOTUS voted 5-4 to uphold Texas’ new abortion legislation, S.B. 8, which outlaws abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected. An emergency request to block the law was submitted by abortion advocacy groups before S.B. 8 took effect. This decision, and the Court’s decision to hear Dobbs, could mark the beginning of changes in abortion legislation across the country.