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Just minutes after it became clear that the Supreme Court was not issuing an opinion on Texas’ abortion law Monday morning – when many thought it might – Democrats attacked the justices for failing to take action in the case, calling once again for the court to be packed.
“The Supreme Court has allowed Texas’s abhorrent anti-abortion law to remain in effect for 83 days,” Demand Justice, a pro-court-packing organization run by former Obama administration staffers, tweeted. “We cannot keep waiting for this Court to act in the interests of the American people – it’s time to #ExpandTheCourt.”
“Many guessed the Supreme Court would weigh in on the Texas law today but it turned out to be a giant head fake,” Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon added. “It is insane we let the third branch of government conduct itself with so little transparency when it comes to rights this fundamental.”
A police officer patrols in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Fallon is a former press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and worked for the Department of Justice as a press staffer during the Obama administration.
The Supreme Court heard procedural arguments about the new Texas abortion law – which bans abortion after a heartbeat is detectable in the baby – earlier this month. The arguments were not about the substance of the law but rather over who could bring a legal challenge against the law and how.
Because the court heard the case on a highly expedited basis, many speculated that it would also issue the ruling quickly. When the court announced it would release at least one opinion Monday, court-watchers and news organizations readied for a blockbuster opinion on a major abortion law.
Chief Justice John Roberts sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)
Instead, the court issued an opinion on a groundwater dispute between Tennessee and Mississippi.
“John Roberts playing ‘haha made you look’ when it comes to abortion rights is about all you need to know about this Supreme Court. #ExpandTheCourt,” Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang tweeted.
“SERIOUSLY. AN ORIGINAL JURISDICTION CASE,” Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser tweeted, using the legal term for disputes between states that go directly to the Supreme Court.
Anti-abortion demonstrators pray and protest outside of a Whole Women’s Health of North Texas, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in McKinney, Texas. Observers of the Supreme Court thought Monday that it may rule on a procedural issue in the case, but it did not. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
“LOLZ at all of us for thinking that the Supreme Court might do something sensible in an abortion case today,” he added. “The Supreme Court is bad, y’all.”
“If we still believed that the Supreme Court actually wanted to protect our constitutional rights that went out the window (once again) this am,” MiQuel Davies, who works with the group Physicians for Reproductive Health, said. “There is a constitutional right to abortion. S.B.8 is unconstitutional and cruel. I can’t.”
The Monday attacks on the court are just the latest from Democrats railing against the court, which has a 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed justices. Earlier this year, some Democrats were attacking the most senior Democrat-appointed justice, Stephen Breyer, over the fact he would not retire so President Biden could replace him while Democrats hold a majority in the Senate.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Dec. 1 in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is about a Mississippi abortion law that bars abortions after 15 weeks. That case is on the substance of the law and could potentially result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Fox News’ Bill Mears contributed to this report.