Supreme Court Signals It May Overturn Roe v. Wade

Members of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority suggest they may make sweeping changes to limit abortion rights in the United States.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday indicated support for upholding Mississippi abortion law in a ruling that could overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide, Reuters reports.
  • The court has a 6-3 conservative majority.
  • Oral arguments went on for about two hours in the southern state’s appeal to revive its ban on abortion starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
  • “The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice … and leaves the issue to the people to resolve in the democratic process,” conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh said, speculating whether the court could be neutral on abortion rights, a move that would require overturning Roe.
  • Kavanaugh added that should Mississippi win, such a ruling would not prohibit abortion nationwide but would let states regulate it individually.
  • Justice Amy Coney Barrett indicated she believed there are instances in which overturning a major precedent like Roe v. Wade.
  • “There are circumstances in which a decision … must be overruled simply because it was egregiously wrong at the moment it was decided,” conservative Justice Samuel Alito said.
  • Scott Stewart, arguing for Mississippi, said the Roe and Casey rulings “haunt our country.” “They have no basis in the Constitution. They have no home in our history or traditions. They’ve damaged the democratic process. They’ve poisoned the law. They’ve choked off compromise,” Stewart said.