On Thursday, Reason reported that the architects of the Texas abortion law are enraged — because the core provision of the law is being hijacked and exploited by activists who hope to have it defeated in court.
Specifically, noted Jacob Sullum, the bill's enforcement mechanism where anyone who facilitates an abortion after six weeks of gestation can be sued by any outside private party is now triggering lawsuits from people who deliberately want the lawsuits to provoke a constitutional challenge.
"The first two S.B. 8 lawsuits both target San Antonio gynecologist Alan Braid, who recently announced in a Washington Post opinion piece that he had deliberately violated the law," wrote Sullum. "Braid's intent was to invite lawsuits that would help settle the issue of whether S.B. 8 is constitutional. That is also the avowed aim of the two plaintiffs who have sued him, Oscar Stilley and Felipe Gomez. Stilley, a disbarred Arkansas attorney who is serving a home-based federal sentence for tax fraud, said he was troubled by the fact that S.B. 8's reliance on private civil actions had frustrated constitutional challenges. Gomez, an Illinois lawyer whose license has been suspended, describes himself as a 'pro-choice plaintiff' who likewise would welcome a ruling against S.B. 8."
According to the report, the proponents of the bill are upset that the only lawsuits so far are coming from people who want to bring down the law.
"These out-of-state suits are not what the bill is intended for," said Chelsey Youman of the anti-abortion group the Human Coalition. She said that her organization does not plan to file a real lawsuit against Dr. Braid.
If it were to ultimately be upheld, the Texas law would essentially demolish current case law on abortion rights laid out in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Supreme Court is also separately considering a more traditional 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi.