On October 27, 2021, the National Women’s Law Center joined an amicus brief led by The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Paul, Weiss to the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson. The brief explains how Texas’s Senate Bill 8—which effectively bans abortion by authorizing civil actions by private parties in place of enforcement actions by governmental officials—threatens both Texans’ constitutional right to abortion and the future of civil rights litigation.

The brief outlines how the SB 8 scheme to blatantly undermine enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment finds its origin in the racist history that led to the enactment Section 1983, the federal statute that empowers individuals to seek justice in federal court when their federally recognized civil rights are violated by state and local governments. Allowing SB 8 to avoid federal review would not only deny the people of Texas their constitutional right to abortion, it would create a blueprint for other state and local governments seeking to undermine federal rights.