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After the conclusion of Supreme Court oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case Wednesday, courtroom analysts believe the justices will rule to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973.
“Supreme Court abortion arguments have concluded. It seems conservative justices have the votes to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban but the question is how far will they go in either gutting or completely overturning Roe v. Wade,” Reuters reporter Lawrence Hurley concluded.
“The case is submitted. The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022,” Mark Joseph Stern of Slate wrote on Twitter.
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Justice Amy Coney Barrett questioned safe haven laws, which Stern said is “basically game over for Roe.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaled he might be open to overturning Roe v. Wade because the court should be neutral on abortion rights.
“The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice … and leaves the issue to the people to resolve in the democratic process,” he said.
Justice Clarence Thomas asked attorney Julie Rikelman what the constitutional right that protects abortion is: “Is it privacy? Autonomy? What would it be?”
“If we were talking about the Second Amendment, I know what we’re talking about. Because it’s written, it’s there. What specifically is the right here that we’re talking about?”
Chief Justice John Roberts focused on the argument of fetal viability.
“Why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? Viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice, but if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?” Roberts asked Rikelman.
Justice Elena Kagan seemed to indicate she would be against overturning Roe.
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“Not much has changed since Roe and Casey,” Kagan said. “People think it’s right or wrong, for the same reasons they’ve always thought it was right or wrong.”
And Justice Sonia Sotomayor grilled Scott Stewart, the solicitor general of Mississippi, questioning: “How is your interest anything but a religious view?”