Sen. Roy Blunt has joined other U.S. lawmakers in signing an amicus curiae brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the precedents set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey when it hears the case of June Medical Services LLC v. Gee in March.

June Medical Services LLC v. Gee has to do with a Louisiana law that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital located whithin 30 miles of wherever the abortion is performed.

Specifically, the brief criticizes the language of Roe and Casey, claiming that the Fifth Circuit’s difficulty interpreting the language of those cases “Illustrates the unworkability of the ‘right to abortion’ found in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) and the need for the Court to again take up the issue of whether Roe and Casey should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled.”

Some have called the case nearly identical to that of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, where the Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law requiring admitting privileges placed an “undue burden” as defined by Casey on individuals seeking an abortion.

Amicus curiae — latin for “friend of the court” — briefs are written by individuals who are not directly involved in a legal action but who have a “strong interest” in the issue, according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

The case follows the passage of several bills restricting abortion across the country in spring of 2019, including in Missouri. On the last day of the spring 2019 session, the Missouri legislature passed the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,” which bans abortions at eight weeks except in the case of medical emergencies.

The brief was signed in total by 207 members of Congress from 38 states. In addition to Blunt, several Republican U.S. representatives from Missouri also signed on, including Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner.

  • Spring 2020 state government reporter. I am a senior studying data journalism. I can be reached by email at ashlynohara@mail.missouri.edu or on Twitter at @ashlyn_ohara.

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