Home Christian News Texas Abortion Ban Stays in Force as Justices Mull Outcome

Texas Abortion Ban Stays in Force as Justices Mull Outcome

The court seemed particularly concerned about the “chilling effect” similar laws would produce on other constitutional rights, including speech, religion and gun possession, said Sarah Marshall Perry, a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

The court’s intervention has few counterparts in recent history, and those include Bush v. Gore, the fight over publication of the government’s secret history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers, and Richard Nixon’s effort to keep from handing over the Watergate tapes that ultimately doomed his presidency.

The justices have never said why they opted to hear the Texas cases so quickly or how soon they might be decided.

The time since the arguments is less than a blink of an eye in high-court terms, where months typically elapse between arguments and a decision. But the justices themselves created the expectation that they would move quickly.

“This is obviously important, but there’s not a presidential election deadline looming,” Ziegler said. “Even by Thanksgiving would be extraordinarily fast.”

One possibility is that the court intends to issue a decision before the Mississippi abortion law arguments on Dec. 1.

But Perry said she thinks the court could hold off deciding the Texas case until after it hands down its abortion decision, probably in late June. That would leave the Texas ban in effect.

There’s much more that also might only become clear once a decision comes down.

If the court rules in favor of abortion providers or the Justice Department, will there be an accompanying order that blocks the law? That would be the quickest way to allow abortions after six weeks to resume. Justice Elena Kagan raised the prospect of an order during the arguments.

Will there be a majority opinion that speaks for at least five justices or will the court be fractured so that there are at least five for a particular outcome, but for varying reasons? Either side would be happy with five votes, but a majority opinion carries more force.

How many justices will write separate opinions, on either side? A proliferation of opinions can slow the process, as the justices circulate, comment on and revise opinions in their internal deliberations.

This article originally appeared here.

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Mark Sherman is a journalist with the Associated Press.