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Arkansas Leaps to the Front Lines in the War on Women


The newly Republican Arkansas legislature has gone full metal wingnut, overriding the governor’s veto and enacting a statute that would make obtaining an abortion after 12 weeks illegal.

It’s not actually easy for states to come up with laws that clearly violate Casey. The way the Court itself applied the “undue burden” standard drained it of almost any content, such that even laws that make it impossible for safe abortion clinics to operate within a state aren’t clearly illegal. But Arkansas has pulled it off — their ban is actually clearly inconsistent with Casey:

Before viability, the State’s interests are not strong enough to support aprohibition of abortion or the imposition of a substantial obstacle to the woman’s effective right to elect the procedure.

The best outcome, therefore, would be for a district or, if necessary, circuit court with enough integrity to apply black letter precedents to strike down the law and then for the Supreme Court not to take the case. I would just as soon not give noted scientician Anthony Kennedy another opportunity to narrow Casey.

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