Opinions Relating to Orders - 2020

Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson

JUSTICE BREYER, with whom JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR and JUSTICE KAGAN join, dissenting. The procedural posture of this case leads a majority of this Court to deny the applicants’ request for provisional relief. In my view, however, we should grant that request. I agree with THE CHIEF JUSTICE, JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, and JUSTICE KAGAN. Texas’s law delegates to private individuals the power to prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion during the first stage of pregnancy. But a woman has a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion during that first stage. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, 846 (1992); Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, 164 (1973). And a “State cannot delegate . . . a veto power [over the right to obtain an abortion] which the state itself is absolutely and totally prohibited from exercising during the first trimester of pregnancy.” Planned Parenthood of Central Mo. v. Danforth, 428 U. S. 52, 69 (1976) (internal quotation marks omitted). Indeed, we have made clear that “since the State cannot regulate or proscribe abortion during the first stage . . . the State cannot delegate authority to any particular person . . . to prevent abortion during that same period.” Ibid. The applicants persuasively argue that Texas’s law does precisely that. The very bringing into effect of Texas’s law may wel