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Capitol Briefs: Hawley asks US Supreme Court to overturn federal abortion cases

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn two major cases as part of a battle over a Mississippi abortion law. 

Hawley joined fellow GOP Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on a brief in the pending case over a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, urging the court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. The group argued the decisions had no basis in the U.S. Constitution and urged it to return abortion policy to state legislatures. 

“This status quo is untenable. Where a legal doctrine has repeatedly failed to offer clarity — where it has proved unworkable in the past and will likely engender unpredictable consequences in the future — its existence constitutes an open invitation to judges to interpret it according to their own policy preferences, usurping the constitutional prerogatives of the legislature,” the group said. “Roe and Casey should be overruled, and the question of abortion legislation should be returned to the states.”

  • The case is over a 2018 Mississippi state law that has been halted by several lower courts before being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The law would ban abortions after 15 weeks and does not include exemptions for rape or incest. 
  • Mississippi filed its own brief in the case asking the court to overturn its previous decisions last week. 
  • Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 case, set the standard 24-week window in federal abortion policy. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey upheld Roe in 1992 after a Pennsylvania state law attempted to impose similar restrictions.

A similar Missouri law is set to go before a federal court after being blocked since 2019.