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The Supreme Court discussion thread The Supreme Court discussion thread

05-16-2019 , 10:13 AM
7 States have passed bills this year which place new restrictions on abortion. Alabama's new law, in particular, is a nearly outright ban clearly designed with the expectation that it would be challenged in court, hoping to setup a new Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade given the new conservative majority on the court.

So it now seems absolutely certain that the court will end up hearing an abortion related case sometime in the future. How should they adjudicate these new laws?

FWIW, I've always thought that the decision in Roe is worth reading, because it makes an interesting legal and philosophical argument in support of the compromise the justices reached, attempting to balance the the constitutional "right to privacy" which entails women's right to self-determination and the "legitimate state interest" in regulating abortion, e.g.

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The pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy. She carries an embryo and, later, a fetus, if one accepts the medical definitions of the developing young in the human uterus.... As we have intimated above, it is reasonable and appropriate for a State to decide that at some point in time another interest, that of health of the mother or that of potential human life, becomes significantly involved. The woman's privacy is no longer sole and any right of privacy she possesses must be measured accordingly.
This balancing of interests leads them to make the viability of the fetus an inflection point with regard to when the state may legitimately assert an interest in requiring that the life of the fetus be protected.

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With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
Does the compromise outlined in Roe still make sense?

I also think there's probably room for a discussion about the role of the courts more generally, here, and particularly the way they are becoming politicized simply because the appointment process is so heavily politicized, i.e. the refusal to hold a vote on Merrick Garland, the Kavanaugh hearings, etc. But then one of the criticisms of Roe itself is that the compromise they reached might have been more appropriately reached via a legislative process, rather than by the courts. I've always thought that would have been optimal, but then I would not have traded the "optimal" legislative process for abortion being illegal the last 50 years either. So I am a supporter of Roe.
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05-16-2019 , 12:00 PM
this issue isn't really debatable. if you believe abortion is murder then there is no changing your mind to anything else..

its more relevant in my opinion to talk about how less than 25% of people in ANY state want to actually BAN abortion, and a majority of americans support Roe as it is.. and how the GOP has staked out this minority right wing position specifically to fire up their base, because they understand that a subset of voters are 1 issue voters.
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05-16-2019 , 12:51 PM
Planned Parenthood vs. Casey is also a key decision worth noting. FWIW I think Alabama’s new law will be found to be unconstitutional and I would think the “heartbeat” laws would be also found to be unconstitutional.
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05-16-2019 , 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Slighted
this issue isn't really debatable. if you believe abortion is murder then there is no changing your mind to anything else..

its more relevant in my opinion to talk about how less than 25% of people in ANY state want to actually BAN abortion, and a majority of americans support Roe as it is.. and how the GOP has staked out this minority right wing position specifically to fire up their base, because they understand that a subset of voters are 1 issue voters.
I'm not sure about that. I saw a post on Twitter that asked why doesn't abortion filter through the lens of 'religious liberty'? That seems the best way to look through this. I've posted a few times that Muslims think the soul enters the body at a different point than most Christians do, and as such a lot of Muslims, even conservative ones, do support a more liberal version of abortion than Christians. It seems that most secular people take a more liberal version than both. It seems like it's an issue of evangelical Christians wanting the best of both worlds where they want to discriminate against LGBT people just for themselves, but also they should set the standard for everyone when it comes to abortion
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05-16-2019 , 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by adios
Planned Parenthood vs. Casey is also a key decision worth noting. FWIW I think Alabama’s new law will be found to be unconstitutional and I would think the “heartbeat” laws would be also found to be unconstitutional.
The O'Conner penned opinion is the focal point of these heartbeat bills and is subject to being overturned or modified because of the medical advancements over the last 20+ years. Roe does not need to be explicitly overturned for the new legislation to be found constitutional- the court could simply reaccess the balancing point of state's interest vs mother's right.
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05-16-2019 , 03:49 PM
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05-16-2019 , 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jjjou812
The O'Conner penned opinion is the focal point of these heartbeat bills and is subject to being overturned or modified because of the medical advancements over the last 20+ years. Roe does not need to be explicitly overturned for the new legislation to be found constitutional- the court could simply reaccess the balancing point of state's interest vs mother's right.
Kind of.

The current (I believe) earliest survivor of a premature birth is 21 weeks 5 days. No idea what sort of shape the kid is in now - a fair number of births before 24 weeks end up with all sorts of severe disabilities.

AFAIK no one is credibly thinking that we're going to push the survivor time much earlier - you're getting into the area of needing an artificial uterus, aka science fiction. It ain't happening any time soon, and I'm not aware of any research even being contemplated in the area.

So, it might seem reasonable to take 20 weeks as a cut off for now - but this isn't a topic that lends itself to reasonable stances.

MM MD
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05-16-2019 , 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by hobbes9324
Kind of.

The current (I believe) earliest survivor of a premature birth is 21 weeks 5 days. No idea what sort of shape the kid is in now - a fair number of births before 24 weeks end up with all sorts of severe disabilities.

AFAIK no one is credibly thinking that we're going to push the survivor time much earlier - you're getting into the area of needing an artificial uterus, aka science fiction. It ain't happening any time soon, and I'm not aware of any research even being contemplated in the area.

So, it might seem reasonable to take 20 weeks as a cut off for now - but this isn't a topic that lends itself to reasonable stances.

MM MD
98.1% of abortions happen prior to 20 weeks.. but that as a cutoff is of course not what any of the illogical pro-birther's want.
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05-16-2019 , 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Slighted
98.1% of abortions happen prior to 20 weeks.. but that as a cutoff is of course not what any of the illogical pro-birther's want.
Right, but that is still approximately 13,000 a year. There are normally around 17,000 -19,000 murders a year. So, assuming an abortion after 20 weeks is a crime in those seven states, they are looking at a 60% increase in murder investigations.
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05-16-2019 , 04:45 PM
Hobbes,

What kind of care are some if these new laws like VA now requiring for fetus surviving the abortion? Would it include all measures of life support?
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05-16-2019 , 05:07 PM
Is that the oppressive patriarchy signing the law?
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05-16-2019 , 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jjjou812
The O'Conner penned opinion is the focal point of these heartbeat bills and is subject to being overturned or modified because of the medical advancements over the last 20+ years. Roe does not need to be explicitly overturned for the new legislation to be found constitutional- the court could simply reaccess the balancing point of state's interest vs mother's right.
Yes and I made my prediction with the ďrebalancingĒ idea in mind. The Alabama law and the heartbeat laws ban abortion a long time before the child is viable out of the womb.

Weíll see though.
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05-16-2019 , 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jjjou812
Hobbes,

What kind of care are some if these new laws like VA now requiring for fetus surviving the abortion? Would it include all measures of life support?
I think the Virginia law is reprehensible. As I, a layman, read Roe v Wade and Casey it seems like states can restrict abortions in the second and third trimesters but the donít have to so I think the Virginia will stand.
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05-16-2019 , 05:55 PM
It's a bull**** law.

If a mother delivers preterm at present, I've NEVER heard of a case where full court resuscitation of the preterm infant isn't undertaken. It frequently doesn't work, and the infant dies, but it's not from lack of trying.

MM MD
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05-16-2019 , 06:41 PM
Alabama GDP was $204,861,000,000 in 2016 according to BEA data.

Short AL.
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05-16-2019 , 08:41 PM
Well named,

I dont agree that it is a certainty that the court will hear an abortion case in the near future.
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05-16-2019 , 08:46 PM
I would never coerce my own mother to give birth to me. Why would we have it work that way?
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05-16-2019 , 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by John21
Alabama GDP was $204,861,000,000 in 2016 according to BEA data.

Short AL.
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05-16-2019 , 08:59 PM
I don't think Roe has to be overturned and tbh, I don't think it ever will be. R states will just arbitrarily limit abortions to a timeline that makes it nearly impossible to qualify for an abortion. They'll just keep pushing until it is something like 10 weeks or 8 weeks, meaning abortions will pretty much cease to (legally) exist.

I'm willing to hedge by saying that I wouldn't put it past the Court in its current form to just say **** precedent and toss it, but that hasn't been Roberts MO so far, so I would be surprised.
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05-16-2019 , 09:12 PM
Itís really now war, not politics. They have seized dominion over autonomy and conscience. They wage a war without weapons but are still using methods of weapons( fear and obedience). Which is not how to wage a war without weapons. Which means they donít know clearly what they have done. Which is an advantage to all who know anyway how to wage war without weapons. Hint- the weapons are both figurative and literal. Will the Supreme Court give them literal weapons (punishment)? Wonít they then be fighting a war without weapons with literal weapons which is exactly not how to do it?
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05-16-2019 , 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by formula72
Sorry, sometimes I outplay myself.
Short selling is an investment or trading strategy that speculates on the decline in a stock or other securities price.
I'm thinking the economic backlash (boycotting goods coming from AL and businesses doing business in AL) from pro choice activists in the rest of the country may render a SCOTUS reversal moot because the citizens of Alabama may effectively uphold it out of their own economic self-interest.
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05-17-2019 , 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Rococo
Well named,

I dont agree that it is a certainty that the court will hear an abortion case in the near future.
Do you think the S.C. might deny cert on an appeal when a circuit court strikes down the new laws? I'm guessing that might be the most likely way in which you could be right.
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05-17-2019 , 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Slighted
this issue isn't really debatable. if you believe abortion is murder then there is no changing your mind to anything else..
Indeed
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05-17-2019 , 03:23 AM
You don't need a Supreme Court if you could just vote on the subject. On the other hand, if you can't vote on the subject, because it's exclusively a decision of the Supreme Court, why exchange opinions about it?
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05-17-2019 , 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Shandrax
You don't need a Supreme Court if you could just vote on the subject. On the other hand, if you can't vote on the subject, because it's exclusively a decision of the Supreme Court, why exchange opinions about it?


Because anyone with opinions to punish conscience and autonomy canít be saved from confrontation by the Supreme Court nor Voters. The punished people are unlikely to stop coming for them as matters of autonomy and conscience.
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