Which media got it wrong about the Texas Supreme Court decision on abortion

Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images. The Supreme Court ruled this week to uphold, for now, Texas law that prohibits abortion – except when th...


Supreme Court grants leave to uphold Texas six-week abortion ban

Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images.

The Supreme Court ruled this week to uphold, for now, Texas law that prohibits abortion – except when the mother’s life is in danger – when a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually in the sixth week of pregnancy. It is unenforceable by public officials, but allows people to sue those who help and encourage an abortion and obtain up to $ 10,000 in civil suits.

“The court move means the law – which is one of the strictest in the country and prohibits abortion before many people know they are pregnant – will stay on the books, ”CNN reported.

“Supreme Court, by 5 to 4, refused to block Texas law banning abortions after six weeks – strong but not definitive indication the court will soon overturn Roe vs. Wade, said Thursday morning Political playbook.

These examples show how the media unduly covers the Supreme Court.

Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Guillaume Baude Recount The New York Times Wednesday, “The case was overestimated. The idea that unless the court acted last night, it de facto overturned Roe vs. Wade this is not true. “

Constitutional lawyers who spoke to Mediaite criticized the way the press reports on the country’s highest court.

“This is a really unusual law, and it came to the Supreme Court in a really complicated procedural stance. It doesn’t help that his subject is the biggest lightning rod in American politics, ”said the Cato Institute Ilya Shapiro. “So yes, the media got it wrong, as were activists on both sides. Frankly, if the challengers had agreed to take legal action earlier and set up a friendly test case under SB8, the law would have already been ordered by the courts of the state of Texas.

“Many in the media seem unable to understand even the basic facts or the procedural stance of cases,” the lawyer said. Howard slugh. “They focus on the outcome ‘of the end result’ of a case, then say extremely inaccurate things about how the tribunal got there and ignore all the nuances, even though these factors often change the importance of the court dramatically. “decision of the final result”. “

Slugh went on to say that “the Supreme Court has said it has serious concerns that Texas’ abortion law is unconstitutional, but noted that the plaintiffs had sued defendants who were not involved in the enforcement of the law – and therefore the court had no reason to decide the constitutionality of the law. The media responded as if the court had ruled in favor of the Texas law and in doing so significantly misinformed voters what really happened.

Texas-based constitutional law professor Josh blackman echoed Slugh and provided the context he said the media is gone.

Blackman explained that because Texas law does not allow state officials to enforce it, Planned Parenthood “tried to get around this” and sue a state district judge, Warden Jackson, and be part of their cause, although “originally intended Parent[hood] wanted to sue all the judges in the state ”by creating a class action suit,“ but they did not go that far ”.

“So when the case got to the Supreme Court, there was only one judge involved in the case, Justice Jackson. He was the only party there, ”he continued. “Even though the Supreme Court gave Planned Parent[hood] whatever they wanted, they wouldn’t have solved their problem because every other judge in Texas could still have heard such a case.

Therefore, said Blackman, “All criticisms of this dispute are unfair, given the Planned Parent case.[hood] raised. There was no way for them to get the relief they wanted because the judge had not certified the class.

The Supreme Court is not covered objectively because, according to Blackman, “people don’t understand the nuances of most cases.”

“They just see the abortion,” but “don’t realize that there are very specific procedural issues that limit the ability of the court to rule,” he said.

In addition, “the court cannot issue injunctions against a law. The courts only issue injunctions against the parties. And the only party was Judge Jackson, ”Blackman said. Therefore, the Supreme Court could not have issued an injunction against the Texas abortion law.

Blackman noted that “virtually all reporters” who wrote about the Supreme Court ruling “simply missed this huge problem because it is impractical. This does not correspond to a narrative.

Regarding the Supreme Court’s non-intervention this week, Slugh noted that the nation’s highest court “had serious concerns about the unconstitutionality of Texas abortion law, but noted that the plaintiffs had sued. defendants who were not involved in law enforcement – and therefore the court had no reason to rule on the constitutionality of the law.

“The media responded as if the court had ruled in favor of the Texas law and in doing so significantly misinformed voters what really happened,” he continued.

It’s not just what the Supreme Court has done regarding Texas law that the media has misled the public. The media misinformed the American people about the High Court in general.

For example, “most cases are not ideological … something the media might not see because they are low key,” Blackman said. Such cases include questions of tax and commercial law – which are generally of no interest to the general public or to the general public. These cases are generally decided unanimously by the Supreme Court. “The 5 to 4 cases attract a very high percentage of media attention because they are more salient issues: abortion, guns, affirmative action, right to vote, electoral law,” he said. “These are the problems that make the headlines.”

Would newsrooms hiring more lawyers to cover the court ensure the accuracy of Supreme Court coverage? Not really, said constitutional scholars.

“I don’t think the sloppy coverage can be corrected by hiring more lawyers in the newsroom; some of the most inflammatory things written and spoken about this episode were done by people with JD who should be better informed, ”Shapiro said. “Instead, this foofaraw is largely due to the Supreme Court’s bypassing the political debate on abortion almost half a century ago; like the same late judge Ruth bader ginsburg recognized, Roe vs. Wade has distorted our legal and political discourse.

Slugh said newsrooms “should just hire more low-skilled people.”

“It does not take an attorney to read the words” This order is not based on any finding as to the constitutionality of Texas law, and does not in any way limit other appropriate procedural challenges to Texas law, including in Texas state courts “and understand that the court has not answered the ultimate question,” he continued, citing the unsigned order.

Blackman had this advice for newsrooms: “I think what would be helpful is for reporters to call people on both sides of the spectrum. I spoke to a dozen journalists yesterday, some quoted me, others did not. At least I try to educate the best I can. If you look at the editorials released today, I think it’s 99 to one, right? Almost all of them are on the left, and maybe one or two on the right. Media biases are all hobbies, but at the very least talk to law professors on both sides of the issue and they might shed light on what is missing.

Words of wisdom. If only the media would exercise that judgment when covering the country’s highest court.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Which media got it wrong about the Texas Supreme Court decision on abortion
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