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Thirteen Republican Governors file...

Thirteen Republican Governors file amicus brief with SCOTUS support of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion case

By: Anne Summerhays - August 2, 2021

GOP Governors’ “friend of the court” brief support Governor Reeves, AG Fitch’s position on behalf of Mississippi. 

Last week, Thirteen Republican Governors filed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and other abortion cases. The officials ask the court to let states make their own rules on abortions that take place after 15 weeks.

The “friend of the court” brief was filed by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in the Mississippi abortion case.

“The time has come to return the question of abortion to where it belongs—with the States,” they wrote in the filing.

This takes place after the Supreme Court made the decision to take up Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in May of this year.

“We support the petition to the Supreme Court because similar to Mississippi’s law, Utah’s law prohibiting elective abortions after 18 weeks is constitutional. Nothing in the Constitution prevents states from enacting reasonable measures to safeguard the dignity of all human beings, including the unborn,” Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak said in a statement to FOX 13 on Thursday.

In late July, Mississippi’s Attorney General Fitch filed a brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health abortion ban case. AG Fitch defended the right of the people to pass laws that will protect the unborn as well as women’s health.

Fitch asks the Court to consider the policy and cultural shifts that have occurred in the decades since Roe. The AG argues that science and society have changed since Roe v. Wade and that the Legislature should respond to those advances.

Governor Tate Reeves told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that the question is not are you going to overturn Roe v. Wade, but rather has the science changed.

“Therefore, it makes sense for the court to review their decisions from the past and this is a vehicle in which for them to do it,” Reeves said.

The thirteen Republican Governors supporting Mississippi’s Governor Reeves and AG Fitch called upon the Supreme Court to overturn its precedent allowing abortion by filing a brief in the case concerning Mississippi’s abortion ban.

“This challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week law presents the court with an opportunity to remedy those problems by reconsidering and overruling their source — Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Unlawful from the day each was decided, both have kept Amici States in continual litigation as the Court changes the constitutional test and rules,” according to the brief.

Governors from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah joined South Carolina in signing onto the brief. Many of these states have already passed their own laws which heavily restricts abortion.

“For too long, the Federal Government has dived into issues reserved to the States under the Constitution. Although those forays usually come from the political branches, they have, on occasion, come from this Court as well,” the governors wrote. “Roe and Casey are quintessential examples of such misadventures.”

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: