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Bill Cassidy: Texas Heartbeat Bill Could Be ‘Destroyed’ by SCOTUS

Sen. Bill Cassidy talks with reporters as he leaves the Capitol after the first day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, in Washington, D.C., February 9, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Reuters)

Senator Bill Cassidy (R., La.) said the Supreme Court could yet strike down the new Texas law prohibiting abortions upon detection of a fetal heartbeat, as long as challenges to the law work their way through the courts in an “appropriate manner,” in an interview on ABC News’s This Week on Sunday.

Host George Stephanopoulos asked what Cassidy thought of the “underlying substance” of the law, given its unusual enforcement mechanism. The law prevents state officials from enforcing the restrictions on abortion but allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman have an abortion for $10,000 in damages.

“I think the Supreme Court will swat it away once it comes to them in an appropriate manner,” Cassidy said. “If it is as terrible as people say it is, it will be destroyed by the Supreme Court.”

However, Cassidy said Democrats were using the controversy over the new law to distract from other issues that the Biden administration failed to treat.

The Supreme Court ruling allowing the law to go into effect “had nothing to do with the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade, it was only on if the plaintiffs had standing,” Cassidy said. “People are using it to gin up their base to distract from disastrous policies in Afghanistan, maybe for fundraising appeals.”

Democrats including President Biden have slammed the law as violating Roe v. Wade.

“The Texas law will significantly impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes,” Biden said in a statement on Wednesday. “My administration is deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly five decades ago and will protect and defend that right.”

While at least twelve other states have attempted to enact so-called heartbeat bills, Texas is the first state in which a heartbeat bill came into effect, according to the Associated Press. In a 5-4 decision on Wednesday, the Court declined to block the law from going into effect, following a challenge from abortion providers.

“This order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts,” the majority wrote in its opinion.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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