(TheRedWire.com) – Fifty years after the US Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, pro-life Conservatives may have something to celebrate. In December, the nation’s highest court declined to temporarily block a Texas law permitting citizens to sue those who aid a woman in obtaining an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Those who risk lawsuits include doctors, nurses, and everyone down to the person who drives a woman to an abortion provider.
It was the first law of its kind ever created in the United States. It’s unknown if it will ultimately survive court scrutiny, but it’s the law in Texas for now. At least 31 states have copied the Texas law. Interestingly, the copies have nothing to do with abortion. States are using the principle of the law in other controversial legislation on topics outside of abortion. Scholars say it could just be the tip of the iceberg which could threaten many Constitutional rights.
Did States Find a Loophole in the Texas Law
Texas legislators designed the law as a civil bypass to abortion rules. By allowing citizens to take civil action, the state isn’t passing any laws that directly contradict legal precedent.
Imagine for a moment that states enacted similar laws, but instead of it being about abortion, it’s a different polarizing issue.
It appears that’s exactly what’s happening. In blue states, legislatures are enacting civil laws allowing citizens to sue someone for using a gun. States could also create civil laws to ban books or promote or hinder transgender athletes.
In red states, they use a similar philosophy in education bills that deal with gender or sexual identity in sports.
Democrats are preparing to weaponize the Texas law to enact policies the courts say are unconstitutional. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) asked lawmakers to introduce legislation structurally similar to Texas’ abortion law that would target the gun industry, those who make kits for ghost guns, and untraceable guns bought online.
Newsome said if Texas can ban a woman’s right to an abortion, California can use it to get around the Second Amendment to save people’s lives.
Experts Express Deep Concerns
Political scientists say the environment is ripe for copycat legislation to flourish. Still, some say using civil courts to create policy is more about advancing political agendas than a social agreement to distribute power fairly. Others say it could undermine the US Constitution and numerous constitutional rights if state governments create so-called vigilante movements.
Political scientists aren’t alone in their concerns. During the Supreme Court hearing regarding Texas’ abortion law, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh said he believed Texas created and exploited a loophole that could encourage other states to limit Constitutional rights. He said civil laws could impact free speech, the exercise of religion, and Second Amendment rights.
So, what do you think? Are states taking the loophole too far?
Copyright 2022, TheRedWire.com