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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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