Ketanji Brown Jackson, US President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nomination, on Tuesday said that she would abide by stare decisis and both Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey are settled as precedent. The 51-year-old was speaking before the Senate committee during her confirmation hearing.
Abortion laws in the United States created national discourse after Texas announced a new legislation, which ensured a near-total ban and gives the liberty to private citizens of sueing an abortion provider on grounds of violating the law. It led to a shutdown of clinics in the state.
The law forbade abortion once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, which is around six weeks in. It further offered no exceptions for rape or incest. Since Roe V Wade, Texas was the first state to ban abortion this early in pregnancy.
The Supreme Court in December said that it is considering to overturn or significantly change the 1973 Roe ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion.
Jackson’s opinion on the abortion laws in in line with what now-Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett said during their hearings.
“Roe and Casey are the settled law of the Supreme Court. Concering the right to terminate a women’s pregnancy, they have established a framework and the court has reaffirmed,” Biden’s nominee said.
She further added that stare decisis or precedent ruling – principle or rule established in a previous legal case is important as it provides and establishes “predictability and stability.”
“It also serves as a restraint in this way on the exercise of judicial authority because the court looks at whether or not precedents are relied upon, whether they’re workable, in addition to whether or not they’re wrong, and other factors as well.”