BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Kay Ivey and 11 other Republican governors signed an amicus brief filed Thursday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
The brief signed by the governors is in the case of Thomas E. Dobbs, state health officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al., Petitioners v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al., which takes up Mississippi’s extremely restrictive abortion law.
The Mississippi law bans all abortions after 15 weeks, except when the mother’s life is in jeopardy or in cases of severe fetal abnormality. The law does not include exceptions for incest and rape. Since Roe v. Wade was established in 1973, women have had a constitutional right to abortion until roughly 6 months into a pregnancy. Lower courts have blocked the Mississippi law.
However, with a conservative majority of Supreme Court justices, it’s possible the hearing of the case could overturn Roe v. Wade– an outcome the dozen governors who signed the brief would welcome.
The brief argues that Roe v. Wade “upset the constitutional balance between States and the Federal Government.”
“The judicial constitutionalization of abortion,” the brief states, “represents an unwarranted intrusion into the sovereign sphere of the States.”
The brief also states that de-constitutionalizing abortion would “let democracy work again on this issue”, “lower the proverbial temperature in these debates” and “would allow States to explore different approaches to abortion.”
Ivey was joined in signing the brief, which can be read here, by other Republican stars such as Gov. Rick DeSantis and Gov. Greg Abbott from Florida and Texas respectively. South Carolina governor Henry McMaster led the effort.
An amicus brief, coming from the Latin phrase “Amicus Curiae” which means “friend of the court”, is a brief submitted to the court by a person or group not party to an action but who seeks to influence the court’s decision, according to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.