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Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearings on Supreme Court Abortion Law Ruling

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Friday that it intends to hold hearings on the Supreme Court’s use of its “shadow docket” to uphold Texas’s new anti-abortion law.

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

“The Supreme Court must operate with the highest regard for judicial integrity in order to earn the public’s trust,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, said in a statement. “This anti-choice law is a devastating blow to Americans’ constitutional rights – and the Court allowed it to see the light of day without public deliberation or transparency. At a time when public confidence in government institutions has greatly eroded, we must examine not just the constitutional impact of allowing the Texas law to take effect, but also the conservative Court’s abuse of the shadow docket.”

Dates and witness lists have not yet been hammered out.

The “shadow docket” is a means by which the Court issues a ruling without hearing oral arguments and is typically used to hand down emergency decisions, such as the recent striking down of President Joe Biden’s federal eviction moratorium and the overturning of local attendance limits at churches and large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around midnight on Wednesday, the 6-3 majority right-wing Court ruled in a 5-4 unsigned decision to let stand the Texas Heartbeat Act – also known as Senate Bill 8 or SB8. The Court’s three liberal Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor along with Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, however, it does not take a trained legal mind to see how and why SB8 is plainly unconstitutional and by far the gravest threat to the future of reproductive freedom to ever appear on the docket of the nation’s highest judicial body.

The medieval legislation outlaws abortions in all cases after six weeks and deputizes private citizens to sue anyone who aides an individual looking to terminate a pregnancy, even if they are total strangers. The state even offers a $10,000 bounty to vigilantes that are able to prove their case in court. Curiously, the law contains no penalties for filing frivolous lawsuits, and people have begun trolling the anonymous tip line.



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