'A very clever trap': Harvard Law professor predicts SCOTUS conservatives will block Texas abortion law
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe weighed in on Supreme Court arguments over the draconian Texas abortion ban — and why he believes at least some of the conservatives, particularly Justice Brett Kavanaugh, may be ready to throw it out.
"Professor, for those nonlawyers out there, what do you hear there that makes you think [Kavanaugh] is saying something about Roe?" asked anchor Erin Burnett.
"It's a very complicated question," said Tribe. "What he is saying is that we might change the law, and make it possible to restrict abortions earlier. He is obviously thinking about the Mississippi case. He is giving a hint about that. But at the same time, he is showing what is particularly unfair about the Texas procedure."
Tribe then outlined why even conservatives such as Kavanaugh might find the Texas law, which pays out bounties to citizens who turn in people who provide or abet abortions, to be unworkable.
"Under the Texas law, if... the court says that the Texas law has got to be put on ice while the litigation continues, and then, it turns out that abortions that have been performed in Texas under the protection of a preliminary injunction become the subject of a bounty suit later on under the statute which has a four-year statute of limitations, then... can [there] be retroactive liability? People are just having the rug pulled out from under them," said Tribe.
Tribe said that although Kavanaugh is clearly not a fan of Roe v. Wade, he still appears poised to strike down the Texas law while reserving the right to approve other restrictive abortion laws in the future.
"Kavanaugh, as we already knew, is not a fan of Roe v. Wade or Casey, and he is probably going to be one of five or six justices who in the Mississippi case rolls back abortion protection," added Tribe. "But on the other hand, he is pointing out what a Catch-22 our law creates. So, I would hate to have been in his position at that point, but it's a very clever trap that Justice Kavanaugh set."
Laurence Tribe says Kavanaugh set a "very clever trap" for Texas solicitor general www.youtube.com
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