A US federal judge has suspended a new abortion law in Texas. This is a success for the Biden government. She believes the Texas law is unconstitutional and has sued Texas over it. Claudia Brühler, a USA expert at the University of St. Gallen, explains how she got this far.
Political scientist Claudia Brühler is Lecturer in American Studies At the University of St. Gallen.
SRF News: A restrictive abortion law went into effect in Texas in September. A US federal judge has now suspended him. What is the significance of this step to the administration of President Joe Biden?
Claudia Brühler: US Attorney Merrick Garland called it a victory for women in Texas and a victory for the rule of law. But he also knows it’s just a stage win. Because on the one hand, Texas will now appeal and move the case. On the other hand, this does not mean that the remaining abortion clinics in Texas will be able to return to work immediately.
Under the new law, it is possible to prosecute a person retroactively for a period of four years.
Because under this law it is possible to prosecute a person retroactively for four years who either had an abortion or had an abortion.
In the United States, a 1973 Supreme Court ruling governs a woman’s right to have an abortion. ru vs. Wade called this ruling. Why did the strict Texas abortion law go into effect?
In the current Texas case, a legal trick was used. Law enforcement is not seen as a task of the state; Ordinary citizens have the right to sue. Lawsuits must be initiated through civil law. This makes it difficult for you to quickly go to the Supreme Court. This is legitimate feed.
To date, this Supreme Court ruling regulates abortion in the United States. Why is there really no national law?
Yes, that is the crucial question. Like I said, there are always different laws at the state level, but not at the state level.
Basically, the so-called Kulturkampf issues, which include abortion, are not discussed at the federal level. You are, so to speak, very sensitive.
This can be explained by the whole dynamism in American politics: Essentially, these issues called Kulturkampf, which include abortion, are not discussed at the federal level. It is, so to speak, very tough, very hot iron. We have some kind of political impasse here.
The Texas government has announced that it will appeal the court’s decision. With this, the Court of Appeal will decide on the abortion law. Will the court’s decision be overturned again?
Many doubt this because the Court of Appeal referred to here is considered conservative. So it is believed that he can protect Texas law. Many are already waiting for the Supreme Court, which will consider a similar law from Mississippi in December.
What is the role of the Supreme Court in abortion? Especially under former US President Trump, the highest court has become more conservative.
Become more conservative. But at the same time, she resolved some abortion-related issues in the spirit of the progressive camp. Ultimately, the question is whether the court wants to hear the case at all. The court – and this is a big difference for the Swiss Federal Court – decides for itself which cases it accepts. Ultimately, it boils down to the question of whether the Supreme Court feels responsible here.
The interview was conducted by Raphael Gunther.
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