LEGISLATURE-RESUMES-05262020-KS-391

At the conclusion of the returning session, Rep. Daneya Esgar, chair of the Joint Budget Committee, holds up the budget committee packet and encourages all lawmakers to read through the many pages. Colorado lawmakers return to the state Capitol on May 26, 2020, in Denver, Colorado. Legislators have returned after a 10-week pause due to fears from the spread of the coronavirus.

As the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday takes up challenges to a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, Colorado House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar slammed the justices for failing to block the legislation's implementation.

“I was outraged by the Supreme Court’s failure to block this law from taking effect, and I urge the court to do so now," Esgar said in a statement."SB8 is a dangerous attack on abortion rights that threatens patients’ health and access to critical care.

"The Supreme Court must adhere to decades of precedent, uphold Roe v. Wade and overturn Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional law. In Colorado, we will continue to defend access to abortion and ensure that our laws protect the fundamental rights of all people to access the health care they need.” 

The justices are hearing arguments Monday in two cases over whether abortion providers or the Justice Department can mount federal court challenges to the law, which has an unusual enforcement scheme its defenders argue shields it from federal court review.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who previously allowed the law to take effect in September in a decision that split the court 5-4, suggested that the unusual enforcement scheme could be problematic.

“There’s a loophole that’s been exploited here, or used here," he said, explaining that the question for the court is whether to “close that loophole.” Kavanaugh suggested that the “principle” and “whole sweep” of a 1908 Supreme Court case would “suggest extending the principle here, arguably” and closing the loophole.

Five conservative justices, including three who were appointed by President Donald Trump, were in the majority letting the law take effect. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s three liberal justices in dissent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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