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Idaho governor signs onto major abortion-rights challenge

Gov. Little has joined 11 other Republican governor in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify there is no constitutional right to an abortion.
Credit: KTVB
Idaho Gov. Brad Little

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed onto an amicus brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could overturn the court's landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

On Thursday, he joined Republican governors from 11 other states in supporting a Mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks. 

"Protecting the lives of preborn babies has always been and will continue to be a priority of mine. I am also a defender of state sovereignty," Little said. "My decision to join this lawsuit to protect lives and states' rights reflects my conservative approach to constitutional interpretation. The 'right' to an abortion is a judicial creation. It is not a right expressed in the U.S. Constitution. I am asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify there is no constitutional right to an abortion and restore state sovereignty by allowing states to regulate all abortions consistent with the principles of democratic self-governance."

The law would allow exceptions in cases of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality. 

As of today, the governors of Idaho, Montana, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, and Oklahoma have joined a Governors' amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The case centers around a 2018 Mississippi law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks except in medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality. Lower courts held that Mississippi's law violated the holdings in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), in which non-elected justices recognized a right to abortion exists contrary to the text and original meaning of the Constitution.

The Governors' amicus brief requests the Supreme Court overrule Roe and Casey because there is no constitutional right to an abortion and, according to the principle of federalism, rights not granted in the U.S. Constitution should be entrusted to states to control.

Justices are likely to hear the case this fall and could rule on it in the spring. 

The Mississippi case is the first big abortion-rights test in a Supreme Court reshaped with three conservative justices nominated by then-President Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden joined 17 other attorneys general in a similar amicus brief.

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