On December 10, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States issued rulings in a pair of cases related to Texas’ S.B. 8. S.B. 8 restricted abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy and authorized private civil right of action related to violations of the law. One case, United States v. Texas, questioned whether the federal government had standing to sue to block enforcement of S.B. 8. The other, Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson, questioned who providers could sue to prevent enforcement of the law.
The court issued a per curiam decision in United States v. Texas. The court dismissed the case as improvidently granted and denied the federal government’s request to vacate a stay against a lower court injunction. Three lower court rulings were made prior to the Supreme Court hearing this case.
In Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson, the court ruled 8-1 that abortion providers may file suit in federal court against certain Texas executive officials to prevent them from enforcing provisions of S.B. 8 against abortion providers. It further held by a 5-4 vote that the abortion providers cannot bring suit against state judicial officials to prevent private lawsuits from being tried. Two lower court rulings were made prior to the Supreme Court hearing this case.