Breyer predicts Supreme Court will see ‘more and more and more’ abortion-related cases

March 28, 2024

Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer predicted Wednesday that the high court will see a jump in abortion-related cases in the future.

Breyer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the “harmful” decision in 2022 that overturned Roe v. Wade — ending the federal right to abortion access — would not reduce the number of abortion-related cases brought before the high court. He added that he and other liberal justices argued in the dissent of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health that it would make abortion cases more prevalent, and “not work well.”

“The majority thinks it’s going to turn the whole issue over to the legislatures of states, and we’ll never have to deal with it again,” Breyer said of the Dobbs decision.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether federal regulators overstepped their authority by loosening restrictions to make mifepristone — a drug used in medication abortions — more accessible. Breyer pointed to these arguments as an example of the abortion-related cases that will spring up.

“Yesterday morning, they dealt with a big issue, and there will be more and more and more,” the former justice said.

Justices appeared skeptical of the effort to cut access to the abortion pill during oral arguments, signaling the Supreme Court would likely retain widespread access to mifepristone.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs ended the constitutional right to an abortion and allowed states to make their own policies.  Since then, the high court has still had to confront disputes surrounding the issue.

Breyer, alongside Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, took issue with the majority opinion in the Dobbs decision that said letting the voters decide will remove the courts from the abortion question.

“Far from removing the Court from the abortion issue, the majority puts the Court at the center of the coming interjurisdictional abortion wars,” the three liberal justices wrote in their dissent.