FederalIssues20 Texas Congressional Members Call for Supreme Court Overrule of Roe v. Wade

The members, including Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, filed the amicus brief in a Supreme Court case asking the high court to reconsider its previous, controversial abortion ruling.
January 3, 2020
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On Thursday, 207 members of Congress — including both Texas senators and 18 Texas members in the House of Representatives — filed an amicus brief in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee calling for the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe v. Wade.

Last year, Louisiana passed Act 620, requiring every physician performing abortions to “have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced.”

A clinic at the center of the case is located in Shreveport, and the possibility of its closing caused concern among some that a new facility might be opened up just miles away in Texas — prompting the city of Waskom to pass an ordinance declaring itself a “sanctuary for the unborn.”

Opponents of the law contend that it creates an “undue burden” on abortion facilities and should be ruled as unconstitutional.

The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the state, but the case was appealed to the Supreme Court.

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The brief filed by the members of Congress argued that the court should rule in favor of Louisiana in the pending case to uphold the state’s law..

“Like abortion facilities in many States,” reads the brief, “Louisiana abortion clinics—including June Medical—have a long history of health and safety violations, and Louisiana abortion doctors have a long history of professional disciplinary actions and substandard medical care.”

Because of the health and safety violations, the brief contends that “June Medical lacks standing to challenge Louisiana’s emergency admission law.”

Furthermore, the brief argues that the Fifth Circuit did not err in its ruling by declaring that the law does not present any “undue burden.”

Ultimately, the members of Congress argued that the case should be used as a way to reconsider Roe v. Wade.

“As the Court pulled away from Roe, the States moved forward to regulate abortion to the maximum extent allowed to protect the ‘state interests’ permitted in Roe, Casey, and Gonzales,” it states. “These incessant retrenchments show that Roe has been substantially undermined by subsequent authority, a principal factor the Court considers when deciding whether to overrule precedent. Casey clearly did not settle the abortion issue, and it is time for the Court to take it up again.”

In addition to Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, the list of lawmakers who signed the amicus brief includes the following representatives:

  • Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01)
  • Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02)
  • Van Taylor (R-TX-03)
  • John Ratcliffe (R-TX-04)
  • Lance Gooden (R-TX-05)
  • Ron Wright (R-TX-06)
  • Kevin Brady (R-TX-08)
  • Michael Conaway (R-TX-11)
  • Kay Granger (R-TX-12)
  • Randy Weber (R-TX-14)
  • Bill Flores (R-TX-17)
  • Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19)
  • Chip Roy (R-TX-21)
  • Pete Olson (R-TX-22)
  • Roger Williams (R-TX-25)
  • Michael Burgess (R-TX-26)
  • Michael Cloud (R-TX-27)
  • Brian Babin (R-TX-36)

The state of Texas through the Attorney General’s office also filed an amicus brief earlier this week in the case.

“Texas, like other States, has a strong interest in protecting both women’s health and unborn life, and regulates abortion in order to further those important state interests,” wrote Kyle Hawkins, the Texas Solicitor General.

“This case presents the opportunity to discard two plainly erroneous decisions” — those two Supreme Court decisions being Singleton v. Wulff (1976) and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016).

In Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law increasing regulations on abortion facilities — somewhat similar to the Louisiana law being challenged.

The current case is scheduled for oral arguments in March and a decision from the Supreme Court will likely be given in June.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.