Donald Trump campaigned on putting conservatives on the Supreme Court.
His first appointment was Justice Neil Gorsuch.
And now Neil Gorsuch is about to do the one thing no one ever expected.
The talk of American politics the last week has been that states across the country are stepping up to protect innocent life.
Ohio, Georgia, and Missouri all passed “heartbeat bills” which protect the sanctity of life as soon as a baby’s heartbeat is detected.
This legislation bans abortion after six weeks.
Alabama passed an even stronger pro-life bill defending the unborn at every stage of pregnancy and punishing abortionists with up to 99 years in prison for killing innocent human life.
This immediately restarted talks that the Supreme Court was destined to take up a frontal challenge to overturn Roe v. Wade in the 2020 term.
Some court watchers believe that is unlikely.
The Supreme Court hands out its most controversial decisions at the end of its term in June.
That would mean a possible decision on Roe v. Wade would be made just weeks before the two party’s nominating conventions.
Chief Justice John Roberts is a squeamish establishmentarian and may think deciding to overturn Roe in the midst of a Presidential campaign would look “political.”
But the Supreme Court could be working on something else.
Politico spoke to multiple experts and they believe the Supreme Court’s five conservative Justices are negotiating a backup plan.
The court has refused to deny cert – meaning they have not rejected hearing the case – to a challenge to an Indiana law banning abortions on the basis of race or gender and to laws regulating how abortion mills take care of babies remains.
Politico exclusively reports:
“It’s puzzling, to be honest,” said Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler, an expert on the history of abortion law. “If they aren’t going to hear these cases, why don’t they just deny cert. If they are, they’re just pushing it closer and closer to the election and probably engendering maximum controversy….There’s something going on behind the scenes.”
Caroline Frederickson of the left-wing American Constitution Society thinks she knows what Justice Gorsuch and his fellow conservatives are working on – upholding restrictions and regulations on abortions and abortion clinics.
Politico also exclusively reports:
“I think there’s a lot of negotiation going on internally among the right-wing justices about how to do this in a way that doesn’t give those who believe in women’s access to health care a campaign issue,” said Fredrickson.
Fredrickson said she fears the various regulations effectively making abortion impossible without ever triggering the uproar that would accompany overturning Roe. “When you shut down all the clinics in a state, it’s a ban even if it’s not called that,” she said.
Conservatives are still holding out hope the Supreme Court will overturn the horror that is Roe v. Wade.
But that is up to Justice Neil Gorsuch and his fellow conservative Justices.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.