Kavanaugh, Barrett air skepticism of Texas abortion law

Kavanaugh, Barrett air skepticism of Texas abortion law

Pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 1. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images By JOSH GERSTEIN and ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN 11/01/2021 11:04 AM EDT Updated: 11/01/2021 12:47 PM EDT The Supreme Court wrestled Monday with the most significant abortion cases it has heard in nearly three decades, mulling the fate of a Texas law that has sharply restricted abortions in the state by opening health care workers and others to the threat of private lawsuits for facilitating the termination of a pregnancy. Two appointees of President Donald Trump — Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — raised the hopes of abortion rights advocates with their questions in Monday’s arguments. Both aired concerns that Texas’ abortion ban was designed to evade federal law and constitutional review. Kavanaugh seemed troubled by the possibility that allowing the Texas law to remain in effect could lead other states to pass laws that would intrude on various rights protected by the Constitution — one of the key arguments the abortion clinics challenging the law put forward when asking the court to strike it down. Kavanaugh theorized that a left-leaning state could offer a $1 million bounty against those who sell an assault rifle, like an AR-15, then claim it wasn’t using state power because only private parties could bring the suits. “There’s a loophole that’s been exploited here or used here,” Kavanaugh said. “It could be free speech rights. It could be free-exercise-of-religion rights. It could be Second Amendment […]

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