The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has made a grievous blunder in its decision to deny injunctive relief to plaintiffs in Whole Woman’s Health et Al v. Austin Reeve, Judge, et Al. This grievous mistake will erode any and all subsequent SCOTUS decisions, especially with regard to abortion.
SB 8 is clearly unconstitutional because it bans most abortions in Texas. Chief among SCOTUS’ reasons for the denial to plaintiffs of injunctive relief is that plaintiffs have not met their burden of making a strong showing they are likely to succeed on the merits. The right of a woman to have an abortion is still the law of the land; SB 8 is contrary to that established in Roe v. Wade. Therefore, even a cursory look would alert even the most unsophisicated observer – let alone the learned justices of SCOTUS – that, yes, plaintiffs have met their burden.
SCOTUS’ other reasons for the denial of injunctive relief are completely absurd. For example, SCOTUS stated another reason is that “The sole private-citizen respondent before us has filed an affidavit stating that he has no present intention to enforce the law.” Having no present intention does not negate a future intention.
Morever, what about the intentions of literally countless other private citizens to enforce the law? Surely, at least one among them would admit to having a present intention to enforce the law? This is an absurd reason, but again, plaintiffs have met their burden. Having done so, SCOTUS should clearly have granted plaintiffs injunctive relief and acted to protect the law as it stands now. Doing so would give legitimacy to SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at a later date.
My point is simply this: If SCOTUS is to have its rulings held legitimate and respected throughout this great nation of ours, it should act to protect and enforce the law. The law regarding abortion as it stands currently is that a woman has the right to an abortion. SB 8 is contrary to that right; therefore SCOTUS should have granted plaintiffs injunctive relief instead of inventing “novel” reasons for denying plaintiffs relief. Doing so, upholding and protecting the law now would legitimize SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at a later date when that happens. Anyone who keeps an eye on SCOTUS will affirm that is where SCOTUS is going.
For that key reason, SCOTUS showed no wisdom at all and severely blundered in denying plaintifs’ injuctive relief. Granting plaintiffs injunctive relief may, at the moment, benefit pro-abortion supporters. However, in the long run, it would actually benefit the contrarian view because it would show to the whole nation and, indeed, world that SCOTUS acted swiftly and justly to protect the law, even when it was not palatable to the majority of the justices to do so. Thus, when SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade, that action would be legitimate.
Alexander Vang is an assistant city attorney for Albuquerque. His statements here are his own private thoughts and do not represent the views of the city of Albuquerque.