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Texas’ 6-Week Abortion Ban Threatens Every Constitutional Right

S.B. 8. A Texas law which took effect on September 1, 2020, prohibits pre-viability abortions. Texas contracted S.B. to avoid federal legal responsibility. 8. The enforcement of the law was left to private parties.

It allows anyone to sue any person who assists or performs an abortion. This is usually done around six weeks after the pregnancy begins. The law promises that successful plaintiffs will receive a bounty of $10,000 and reimbursement for their legal costs. Texas maintains that because state officials have not implemented the law, it is impossible to sue them in federal court.

When the Supreme Court was considering whether that move could be legal, Justice Brett Kavanaugh got to the bottom of the matter and asked Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone what the implications were for the other Constitutional rights. Kavanaugh wondered what would happen if the state made a law which said that “everyone selling an AR-15 to anyone is liable for one million dollars to every citizen.” This kind of law would be exempted from federal court pre-enforcement review.

Stone acknowledged that his argument implied it would. Stone replied, “It doesn’t turn on the nature or the right.”

Kavanaugh stated that “Second Amendment Rights, Free Exercise of Religion Rights, and Freedom Speech Rights” could be “targeted by other states using Texas’s abortion law as an example. Kavanaugh said, “You also claimed that the amount and severity of the punishment doesn’t really matter.” “A state passes a law [that says]Anyone who refuses to offer a product or service in the same-sex marital relationship [is liable for] a million dollars if sued by anyone in the state—that’s exempt from pre-enforcement review?”

Stone said it clearly: “Yes Your Honor!”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor later retorted on the same lines of questioning. Imagine, she suggested, that “a dissatisfied state” was possible. [District of Columbia v.HellerThe landmark ruling upholding Second Amendment rights to self-defense and keeping arms in hand, “says that anyone possessing a firearm anywhere can be sued by any citizen anywhere in this country,” with a “million-dollar bounty.” This issue does not only concern abortion, she said. This includes any state right that is not satisfied.

Kavanaugh is right to be worried. State legislators could easily use the S.B. 8 attack rights that the Supreme Court recognizes. Americans should be concerned about this possibility, regardless of their political affiliation.