Supreme Court allows Texas’ Heartbeat Law to remain in force

By Dave Andrusko

Almost exactly 24 hours after the Supreme Court allowed Texas’s Senate Bill 8 to go into effect, five justices issued a one-paragraph statement just before midnight denying the request of pro-abortion litigants for injunctive relief to block enforcement of the Texas Heartbeat Act. 

Senate Bill 8 prohibits elective abortions after the preborn child’s heartbeat is detectable. Pro-abortionists assert the impact will be to curtail at least 85% of abortions performed in the Lone Star State.  

There were 57,275 abortion performed in Texas in 2019, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

The per curiam majority—Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett—wrote  

To prevail in an application for a stay or an injunction, an applicant must carry the burden of making a “strong showing” that it is “likely to succeed on the merits,” that it will be “irreparably injured absent a stay,” that the balance of the equities favors it, and that a stay is consistent with the public interest.”

While applicants have “raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue,” their “application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden,” the justices wrote.

After considering several issues, they concluded

[W]e cannot say the applicants have met their burden to prevail in an injunction or stay application. In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. 

Each of the dissenters— Justices Sotomayor, Breyer, Kagan, and Chief Justice Roberts—issued separate dissents.

Indicative of the almost universally hostile media coverage, the caption on the picture that accompanied the Reuter’s story [] read, “Storm clouds roll in over the U.S. Supreme Court” following its ruling on SB 8.