The stakes could not be higher as the U.S. Supreme Court mulls the Mississippi abortion case, which could mean an end to Roe v. Wade.
But how will the justices vote? Based on their abortion stance and judicial history here are how all the justices may vote on the case which could end abortion in the US as we know it:
Justice Clarence Thomas
In 2000, Justice Thomas declared that Roe was “grievously wrong.” He recently said that the court “created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text.” Thomas appears to be a solid vote to uphold the Mississippi law.
Justice Neil Gorsuch
According to Bloomberg, “Gorsuch hasn’t directly advocated overturning Roe, but has sided with abortion opponents when given the chance. He’s been quicker to discard precedents than his fellow Trump appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. When Barrett and Kavanaugh declined to overturn a ruling limiting religious rights this year, Gorsuch was critical, saying the court lacked the ‘fortitude’ to give a clear answer.” He is a shaky vote in support of the Mississippi law.
Justice Samuel Alito
Bloomberg notes, “Like Gorsuch, Alito has been a consistent vote against abortion rights but hasn’t directly called for Roe to be overturned. In a speech this year, he bristled at suggestions that he and the court nullified Roe when they let Texas start banning abortions after six weeks. ‘We did no such thing,’ he said.” He is a solid vote to uphold the Mississippi abortion law.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett
Before becoming a judge, Barrett was a staunch critic of Roe as a professor at the University of Notre Dame. Bloomberg writes, “She signed a 2013 newspaper ad that called Roe ‘infamous’ and said abortions had killed ‘55 million unborn children,’ as well as a 2006 ad that said signatories ‘oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death’.” She is a tentative vote in support of the Mississippi law.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh, who like Coney Barrett and Gorsuch was an appointee of President Donald Trump, refused to describe Roe as “settled law.” He only said it is “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court.” Bloomberg reports, “He has voted to overturn precedents three times since joining the court, and said the bar for doing so should be ‘high’ but ‘not insurmountable’.” He is likely to vote to uphold the Mississippi law.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Roberts is a wild card on the Supreme Court. Bloomberg reports, “The chief justice stands alone as having voted on both sides of abortion cases. Roberts was in dissent when the court struck down a Texas abortion restriction in 2016. Four years later, he voted to strike down a near-identical Louisiana rule, saying he was bound by the earlier ruling but at the same time laying out a legal test likely to favor abortion restrictions in future cases. He joined the court’s liberal wing in voting to block Texas’ six-week abortion ban this year.” He is a vote that is a question mark regarding the Mississippi law. If all the other five conservative justices move to uphold the law, even if Roberts votes against it, he will be in the minority.
Justice Stephen Breyer
Breyer, who has been attacked by his party this year for not wanting to pack the Supreme Court, is a staunch supporter of abortion and is a solid vote against the pro-life Mississippi law.
Justice Sonya Sotomayor
Sotomayor, appointed by former President Barack H. Obama, is a staunch backer of abortion and throughout the arguments on the case has openly gone against the Mississippi leaders defending their law. She will vote against upholding the law.
Justice Elena Kagan
Bloomberg reports, “Like Breyer and Sotomayor, Kagan has defended abortion rights, calling the Texas law ‘patently unconstitutional.’ She is the court’s staunchest advocate of stare decisis, the legal doctrine that says the justices will follow their precedents absent compelling reasons.” She won’t support upholding the Mississippi law.