The Supreme Court is about to announce its decision in a historic abortion case that will affect millions of Americans.
Here’s what we know about the timing of the decision.
When will the abortion decision be announced?
The short answer is we don’t know. The Supreme Court’s term usually ends in the last week of June or the first week of July, so probably earlier.
Does the court not have a timetable for when decisions will be announced?
The judges meet every week and review pending cases. All nine must agree that they are done and have nothing more to add. Then the decision is ready and should be published in the next week.
But all this happens privately.
The court usually announces “decision days” only a few days in advance. And they never say which cases will be decided on those days. So it’s a guessing game.
Many legal experts expect the abortion case to come in the last week of the semester.
Why do the great cases always seem to come last?
The big cases are the ones the judges care about the most, and they tend to be very divided about them. If the judges agree, they can issue a single verdict that speaks for all in less than six weeks.
But in a very big case — like Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization deciding the fate of Roe vs. Wade — they’re likely to be divided. And dissenters will write at length to explain why the majority is wrong.
The chief justice says he would like to have all the opinions ready and operational by the end of June, but he has limited control over his independently-minded peers.
Knowing that such decisions and disagreements will go down in history, they sometimes keep writing to the deadline and beyond.
Are there other reasons why the abortion case could be one of the last?
Safety may be a factor, but it’s hard to say. There have already been protests outside the court and threats against judges over the abortion case.
Some speculate that publishing the decision at the end of the term could make it easier to protect judges. That way, they can leave town immediately and not have to return to court.
Others think timing doesn’t matter.
And with the precedent set during the pandemic, judges could also announce the decision remotely, rather than appearing in court in person.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-15/when-will-the-supreme-court-make-a-decision-on-the-fate-of-roe-vs-wade When will the Supreme Court make a decision on the fate of Roe vs. Wade?