The United States Supreme Court declined to block a controversial Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks but did agree to an expedited review of the case. The law, known as S.B. 8, allows private citizens to file lawsuits against anybody who helps a person get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
On November 1, the High Court will hear arguments to decide if "the state can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil action."
The Justices will also determine if "the United States [can] bring suit in federal court and obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against the State, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit S.B. 8 from being enforced."
Justice Sonia Sotomayor penned a dissent arguing that the Supreme Court should block the law until the case has been decided.
"The promise of future adjudication offers cold comfort, however, for Texas women seeking abortion care, who are entitled to relief now," she wrote. "These women will suffer personal harm from delaying their medical care, and as their pregnancies progress, they may even be unable to obtain abortion care altogether."
The Supreme Court is also hearing a case on a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Mississippi has asked the court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Arguments for that case are set to begin on December 1.