Horizontal Federalism and Abortion after Dobbs

The Supreme Court should limit or abolish the federal constitutional right of abortion. DobbsWhile this won’t resolve the legal and constitutional issues surrounding abortion regulation, it will change the landscape. Overruling Roe  CaseyThe entire bill would eliminate the constitutional barrier to regulation by the state or the prohibition on abortion within state borders. However, there would be questions regarding the scope of state regulation that may apply to travel between states.

California has indicated that it might seek to establish a “sanctuary” jurisdiction for women seeking abortion in California. It is also possible that Mississippi and Texas could consider passing laws prohibiting such conduct. This could lead to a variety of issues related to “horizontal Federalism”, including the Full Faith and Credit and Right To Travel clauses (which are both protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities clauses).

Rick Hills has posted a couple of posts at Prawfsblawg that address these questions and other related topics that might be of interest to VC readers. These are the posts.

Rick flags also this 2006. NYT William Baude wrote an opinion piece that explores the same issues.