The way Texas's anti-choice law actually works in practice is so diabolical and dystopian that it almost sounds fake. A Rube Goldberg machine of state-sanctioned misogyny. A quick thread on what the Supreme Court allowed to take effect last night:… Image
Under SB8, any random person can sue anyone who "aids and abets" abortion. This includes *paying for* abortion, and *using insurance*. So, if you give a friend money, or file an insurance claim, or are an insurance company who pays a claim, you might be a target. Image
If an anti-choice vigilante wins, they get to collect a statutory $10,000 bounty AND their attorney's fees. If a doctor or clinic or anyone accused of "aiding or abetting" somehow wins, they get...nothing, and DON'T get attorney's fees reimbursed. Their legal costs are their own. ImageImage
SB8 also allows lawsuits against people who INTEND to perform abortion or "aid or abet" abortion. This is an open invitation to anti-choice activists to file lawsuits against everyone they don't like and try to drown them in frivolous litigation. Image
The law also applies to *each individual abortion* performed. Doctors and clinics who regularly provide abortion care are now staring down the possibility of paying $10,000 plus costs and fees every time they do their jobs. Image
This part is insane: People can bring suits up to FOUR YEARS later. And if a court decision briefly protects the right to abortion and then gets overruled, defendants can't rely on that, EVEN IF the decision was good law at the time. Perpetual threat of devastating liability. Image
Where do these get filed? One option for vigilante claimants is the county where they live, regardless of where the alleged conduct took place. The law PROHIBITS transfers without the consent of all parties. If you live in El Paso and get sued in, like, Galveston, tough shit. Image
SB8 also casually makes it so that anyone who tries to prevent Texas from enforcing any current or future anti-choice laws is required to pay the other side's attorney's fees if they lose. Again, the goal is to make defending abortion rights prohibitively expensive in perpetuity. Image
And just to be safe, the law specifies that any court ruling that any part of SB8 is unconstitutional is temporary and can be overruled as soon as a friendlier court comes along. Utterly deranged, but also, what the conservative legal movement has been working for for decades. Image
Texas Republicans DID carve out an exception: If a would-be claimant is the same person who impregnated a woman via rape or incest, they CAN'T sue to stop the survivor from having an abortion. (They can still bring vigilante suits over other abortions, though, don't worry.) Image
There are little things, too: Texas already requires women seeking abortion to undergo a sonogram and hear an "explanation" of the sonogram images, with only a few exceptions. SB8 changes references to the "fetus" on the paperwork the patient must sign to "unborn child." Image

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More from @jaywillis

12 Sep
You guys think I should do a little book review, or what 😉
I kid you not, Stephen Breyer’s “the law isn’t political” book is 100 pages long and its list price is $19.95. I am in awe.
12 pages in and he just finished his summary of the undergrad Intro to Constitutional Law lecture on Marbury v. Madison and I want to die
Read 9 tweets
12 Sep
I’m gonna write more about this soon, but there is basically no limit to how loudly you can and should be trying to bully Stephen Breyer into retiring. He quite obviously doesn’t grasp the stakes here. Public pressure needs to get him there.
I’m not kidding when I say there thousands of somewhere-left-of-center lawyers who are younger than 83 years old and could accomplish exactly what Stephen Breyer is substantively achieving on this Court. That he thinks he’s special and different is delusional and infuriating.
I mean, maybe. But my view is the millions of people who have to deal with the consequences of his bullshit shouldn’t be held collectively responsible for managing that hubris. He’s the one with power, not us. The only thing being asked of him is that he exercise it responsibly.
Read 4 tweets
3 Sep
A Texas SB8-style vigilante enforcement bill, but that lets me collect a $10,000 bounty and attorney's fees every time a law professor writes a "No, Technically, Roe Is Still Good Law" op-ed that is just a repurposed except from their 20-year-old fed courts outline
EXCEPTION: Columns by Josh Blackman will carry a $20,000 bounty
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep
Come on, you have to be fucking kidding me dude…
"Sure, the conservative justices have spent their entire careers working to one day overrule Roe, but have you considered that they EXPLICITLY SAY they didn't overrule Roe??" -Noah Feldman, an honest-to-God Harvard Law School professor, I'm going to lose my fucking mind hahahaha
Sorry, "we know Roberts will eventually vote to strike down the Texas law"? Is there a different Roberts who didn't once write that a funeral for aborted fetuses was “an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy," or...?
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep
Now that the Supreme Court has blessed Texas’s amateur bounty hunter scheme, there is nothing to stop every GOP legislature from passing an identically-structured law to squeeze abortion providers out of their states. It’s an open invitation, from 5 right-wingers to all of them.
Even if this Court *were* to strike down SB8 after briefing and oral argument, which I wouldn’t bet on, it’s what happens in the interim that matters: In the years it takes to decide the case, the law stays on the books, and abortion in the state disappears and can’t come back.
If a copycat bill isn’t already pending in some other state, I’ll be surprised if multiple versions aren’t introduced elsewhere by the end of the week. The sooner anti-choice lawmakers act on this signal, the harder it will be for providers to survive the litigation wars to come.
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep
The decision of 5 conservatives—Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett—to functionally overturn Roe draws 4 dissents, including from Roberts. This is why conservatives pushed for the 6-3 supermajority: They can afford to lose one and still win.…
Here's the entire majority opinion, which is basically an extended legalese congratulations to Texas Republicans for passing a bill that runs an end-around existing abortion precedent. Just five justices pleading powerlessness while greenlighting the result they've always wanted.
The Roberts dissent TLDR: Hey uh guys this law is batshit crazy and maybe we should think about the consequences for the conservative legal movement of allowing it to stand? Also, though, I reserve the right to happily vote to uphold this law when the time comes.
Read 7 tweets

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