US Supreme Court Rules Against the Constitution Again, Texas Abortion Law Stands

It was a bad day for the US Constitution, women’s rights, free speech, and more. The US Supreme Court upheld the Texas Abortion law.

If you believe in free speech, the US constitution, women’s rights, and the related issues at risk with the Texas Abortion Ban law, Friday was no doubt a disastrous day for you. Just before the weekend, the US Supreme Court, once again, chose politics over the rule of law. They ruled that the Texas abortion law will remain in place. As a result, parts of the US constitution have effectively been suspended. This along with the general overturning of Roe v Wade in the process, rolling back decades of progress for women’s rights.

The BBC is noting that the ruling opened the door for abortion clinics to sue, thus allowing minor legal skirmishes to continue:

The law, known as SB8, gives people the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant.

In its ruling, however, the court said that the law can remain in effect, leaving it in place.

Doctors, women’s rights groups and the Biden administration have heavily criticised the law.

The divisive law – which came into effect on 1 September – bans abortion after what some refer to as a foetal heartbeat. The law makes an exception for cases of medical emergency, but not for rape or incest.

Some in the American media have held out hope that this second ruling would be different from the first. Some took some of the comments from the justices as signs that the Texas bill might be in trouble. That hope has now evaporated and, instead, turned that hope into what appears to be the very definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

While the implications towards the US constitution and women’s rights are very obvious, the digital rights issues also lingers in the background as well. As we noted back in September, the law also cracks down on digital rights in a particular way. If you offer medical advice related to an abortion, that opens you up to legal liability. It doesn’t matter if your advice resulted in an abortion or not, the liability still stands.

What’s more is that ride hailing services are also threatened by this law. If a driver happens to drive someone to a location that could result in an abortion, then those drivers are also legally liable under the law. Whether the driver knew that this was happened does not matter. In response, at least two ride hailing services (Uber and Lyft) offered to pay for the legal expenses of drivers that find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

Critically, it turns ordinary citizens into bounty hunters, incentivizing them with cash rewards for turning in their loved ones, friend, neighbours, and anyone else for that matter. The worst fears about this aspect actually did play out online. At one point, would-be bounty hunters streamed into Reddit hoping to obtain advice for turning people in and collecting the cash rewards. Reddit, in turn, banned the related subreddit for obvious violations of community guidelines surrounding harassment.

A so-called “pro-life” organization also attempted to set up a whistleblowing website to make it easier for Texan’s to blow the whistle on each other as well. Multiple hosting companies responded by pulling the plug on the website for various violations of their privacy guidelines. The site eventually turned to Epik which offers domain solutions for ultra right wing echo chamber websites. Surprising some, Epik ultimately pulled the plug on the whistleblowing website as well. During the sites brief uptime, the site was also subjected to a flood of fake reports from TikTok users among others – an effort to pollute the sites data set. That ultimately showed how much people were against such an operation in the first place.

Some in the media see a glimmer of hope with the latest ruling. That stems from the fact that the ruling allowed lawsuits from abortion clinics to move ahead. While, on the surface, that sounds promising, you have to also take into account the fact that the Supreme Court has now issued two major rulings that chose political ideology over the rule of law. As a result, it confirms that the Supreme Court has been transformed from a body that represents the rule of law into a political body where the rule of law and the Constitution are mere suggestions at this point. It’s really hard to see this as anything other than a ploy to toy with opponents before smacking each case down one at a time.

Making matters worse is the fact that this current Supreme Court isn’t going to change any time soon. Already, it is inspiring lawmakers to draft laws in a similar manner to the Texas law. One report says that the California govorner is eyeing the possibility of implementing a similar law to ban assault weapons. From Yahoo! News:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday he is working on a bill that would help private citizens sue manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of assault weapons or ghost gun kits.

Newsom said he was responding to a Supreme Court decision made Friday that allowed a controversial abortion law in Texas to stand. The law bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and invites ordinary citizens, rather than state officials, to enforce it by suing abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion.

The court’s decision was technical, Insider’s Oma Seddiq reported and did not rule on the constitutionality of the law, which is still being challenged in court.

But Newsom blasted the court for not blocking the law in statements released on Twitter Saturday.

“SCOTUS is letting private citizens in Texas sue to stop abortion?! If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom wrote. “If TX can ban abortion and endanger lives, CA can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives.”

You can almost see things unravelling in real time with almost anything becoming fair game. Violent video games? Disinformation? Dissenting voices? Pornography? Pushing and shoving? Seeing all of this, you have to ask yourself: What exactly is off the table at this point? Best case scenario, it’s whatever the political right doesn’t like. Even that represents a very uncertain future for the country and the rule of law. If you think litigation and legal insanity was at high levels before, what America could be in for at this rate will make the past seem like rainbows and everyone holding each others hands by comparison. How are those checks and balances working out now?

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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