Supreme Court, Mississippi, Neil Devin discussed on WTOP 24 Hour News


Sleep happens dot com Two 41 on TOP and we continue to follow today's oral arguments one of the most closely watched Supreme Court cases in years the legal battle over Mississippi strict abortion law The law would uphold the state's ban on abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy It's a direct challenge of the roe versus wade decision that essentially guaranteed the right to abortion up to the point of viability roughly 24 weeks The high court is made up of 6 conservatives and three liberals Liberal justice Elena Kagan argued there's a reason the Supreme Court does not easily overturn past decisions To prevent people from thinking that this court is a political institution that will go back and forth depending on what part of the public yells loudest and preventing people from thinking that the court will go back and forth depending on changes to the court's membership Meanwhile conservative justices concentrated on the rights of fetuses if the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi law what will be the immediate effect on abortion rights elsewhere Joining us to talk about it Neil Devin's constitutional law professor at William and Mary law school thanks so much for being with us Happy to be here First what options do the justices have here when coming to a decision on this case There are three principle options One is to overturn row and let the states outlaw abortion if they see fit or allow for abortion rights if they see fit That's option one Option two is to reaffirm row which no one thinks the quarter is likely to pursue And then option three is for the court to essentially punt which is to uphold the Mississippi law but not really say what the standard of review is and have it be a little bit unclear whether there really are abortion rights going forward or they're not abortion rights going forward A number of states have what's called trigger laws that could go and effect if the abortion landscape changes explain what a trigger law is and how many states are prepared to implement them Well there are 12 states that have trigger laws and they vary from state to state Some give discretion with the attorney general to interpret what the Supreme Court has done to conclude if the court has overturned row Some give it to the governor Some give it to the state legislature And what would happen essentially is after the court's decision if it was unclear whether rose was overturned you would see political officials in the various states potentially saying that they consider overturned and seek to nullify abortion rights in their respective state under the trigger law But that's going to be chaotic and it's going to be a state by state situation We don't have a lot of time but there was a lot of talk today of stare decisis and the fact that a previous decision is the law of the land If the law of the land is overturned how does that play out on a national level Do we have any idea what that looks like Well it will call into question what justice Kagan said which is whether the court is a political court and presidents can change doctrine through appointments And that may raise a specter of other issues involving court reform There's a commission that President Biden has approved that is making recommendations governing the court size and other issues and calls for court reform will grow much louder if the court overturns roe not to mention what might happen with the abortion case itself and the abortion right itself Professor Devin thanks for your insight on this We really appreciate it You bet Neil Devin's constitutional law professor William and Mary law school Sports next Hey.

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