How close does the Texas law that bars most abortions after six weeks come to saying 'Defendants can't assert constitutionally protected rights?'

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Nov 02, 2021 01:03 AM 0 Answers
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In the CNN video Toobin: This is the most important question a justice asked

CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin shares his thoughts on the Supreme Court justices' questions as they hear oral arguments on a Texas law that bars most abortions after six weeks.

a sound bite from US Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett is presented and then explained. Justice Barrett says:

I'm wondering if, in a defensive posture in state court, the constitutional defense can be fully aired?

CNN Reporter Jessica Snyder explains:

Amy Coney Barrett effectively asking here about the structure of this law, and in particular the fact that this law says even if an abortion provider is sued, which at least two doctors have been so far, when they go into court, they can not use as a defense the constitutionality of abortion. They can not go forward and say to the judge "Well, the supreme court has held that abortions are legal; it is constitutional for a woman to get an abortion prior to viability (22 to 24 weeks)."

That's part of the law here that's being questioned.

Answer(s) to Are there constitutional arguments for preventing/avoiding judicial review of state law in some scenarios? Are there any historical examples of this? are essentially No.

But here I'm asking something substantially different.

Question: How close does the Texas law that bars most abortions after six weeks come to saying "Defendants can't assert constitutionally protected rights?"

Clarification: Is there actually anything in the law that literally says that or comes close, or is it more that that would be the result of the law, even though there's nothing explicit in its writing that says a defendant couldn't?

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  • November 2, 2021