The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since the balance shifted to a 6-3 court.
The High Court agreed to intervene in a lawsuit over a state abortion ban after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron asked the Court to do so. “This case began as a challenge to a Kentucky statute regulating abortion, but it is now a dispute about a State’s authority to ensure that its laws are fully defended through this Court,” according to the case.
With the original abortion case blocked by the Sixth Circuit, Cameron is challenging the federal courts’ ability to override state law, which the Court has agreed to do based on the “dual-sovereign system of government.”
The High Court only agreed to hear the case on the latter procedural question, avoiding the basis of the original case, which weighed Kentucky’s 2018 prohibition of a “law prohibiting abortions in which an unborn child is dismembered while still alive.”
The original case was previously approved by former Governor Matt Bevin to be challenged but was obstructed by lower courts that refused to allow a petition even to be filed. The case was then appealed by conservative Cameron to the Supreme Court on the basis that “States have a substantial interest in enforcing their laws. In recognition of this fact, the States get to decide for themselves who defends their laws in court.”
In support of the case, Susan B. Anthony’s List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released the following statement:
It is encouraging news that the Supreme Court will hear this case. We commend Attorney General Daniel Cameron for doing everything in his power to defend Kentucky’s pro-life laws, including its ban on barbaric live-dismemberment abortions, which was enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support. State legislators acting on the will of the people have both the duty and the right to protect their most vulnerable citizens – born and unborn. We look forward to seeing this right upheld.
Cameron initially asked the justices to reconsider the legality of the Kentucky law in view of a previous Supreme Court ruling on a Louisiana law, which Republicans believe may lead the way for pro-life policies.
Through a swing vote by Chief Justice John Roberts on the case, the Court struck down the Louisiana law that pro-abortion opponents said, “could have forced all but one of the state’s abortion providers to close.”
The case is Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, No. 19-5516 in the Supreme Court of the United States.