Supreme Court Justice Breyer Just Issued an Ominous Warning About Judicial Threats to Roe

“Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.”

Olivier Douliery / AP

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When the Supreme Court voted Monday to overrule 40-year-old precedent in favor of political belief, Justice Stephen Breyer used his dissent to issue a warning about potential judicial challenges to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that affirms a woman’s right to an abortion.

In Monday’s case, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overrule Nevada v. Hall, a 1979 decision that allowed an individual to sue a state in the courts of another state. While the conservative judges voted in favor of states’ rights, Breyer argued that “stare decisis requires us to follow Hall, not overrule it.”

In his dissent, Breyer cites Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that upheld Roe v. Wade on the basis of precedent. Then, Breyer issued what many are viewing as a warning given recent legislation restricting abortion in states such as Ohio and Georgia, calling the disregard for states’ right precedent “dangerous.”

“The majority has surrendered to the temptation to overrule Hall even though it is a well-reasoned decision that has caused no serious practical problems in the four decades since we decided it,” Breyer wrote. “Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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