Speed Reads

Roe and Casey? Never heard of 'em!

Mississippi governor says anti-abortion advocates have 'reason for optimism' as SCOTUS debates Roe and Casey

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) described Wednesday's Supreme Court oral arguments on a major abortion case as "a watershed moment in American history" during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

Reeves also said "people like me, who hope" SCOTUS overturns two key decisions that guarantee a woman's right to an abortion within certain limits have "reason for optimism."

After Wednesday's oral arguments over Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization, commentators from both left and right concluded that the court's conservative majority was likely to overturn both Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote that he expects SCOTUS "will either overturn Roe v. Wade outright or cripple the landmark ruling by eliminating the 'fetal viability' standard at its core." Ryan Cooper of The Week came to a similar conclusion, blaming Democrats for lacking the backbone to pass federal legislation that would guarantee abortion rights. Rachel Bovard wrote at The Spectator World that Roe and Casey were "beginning to show their cracks."

If the court overturns these precedents, decisions about abortion restrictions would return to the states, of which 21 are certain to immediately implement some sort of abortion ban, according to the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute. Several states, including Mississippi, already have "trigger laws" on the books that would automatically ban almost all abortions if Roe and Casey were overturned.

Mississippi currently bans abortions after 15 weeks. That ban, which Reeves signed into law in 2018, led directly to the case currently before SCOTUS.

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision by June.