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Gun Rights Activists Join Abortion Rights Activists To Fight Texas Abortion Law

Added 10-22-21 01:21:02pm EST - “The Texas law "could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First or Second Amendment rights," the Firearms Policy Coalition tells SCOTUS.” - Reason.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Gun Rights Activists Join Abortion Rights Activists To Fight Texas Abortion Law”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The legal conflict over abortion often divides Americans along predictable political lines. The fight over Texas' new anti-abortion law, however, has now united gun rights activists and abortion rights activists on the same side.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a national gun rights outfit, filed a friend of the court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday in support of Whole Woman's Health, the abortion rights group that is leading the legal fight against Senate Bill 8, the sweeping Texas anti-abortion law that recently went into effect.

"The approach used by Texas to avoid pre-enforcement review of its restriction on abortion and its delegation of enforcement to private litigants," the gun rights group told the Supreme Court, "could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First and Second Amendment rights or, indeed, virtually any settled or debated constitutional right." The Firearms Policy Coalition "takes no position on whether abortion should be protected by the Constitution," the brief stated, "but believes that the judicial review of restrictions on established constitutional rights, especially those protected under this Court's cases, cannot be circumvented in the manner used by Texas."

S.B. 8 was designed by Texas lawmakers to allow the state to dodge accountability for its own law in federal court. How? By outsourcing the law's enforcement to private actors. According to S.B. 8, "any person" may sue "any person who…aids or abets the performance or inducement of abortion" and win a $10,000 bounty plus legal fees if the civil suit is successful. According to Texas, this scheme insulates the state from having to answer for its law in federal court since no state official is enforcing the law.

The Supreme Court declined to block the law from going into effect last month, with a 5-4 majority stating that while Whole Woman's Health had "raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue," the law also raised "complex and novel antecedent procedural questions" that the majority did not wish to tackle at that time.


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