State courts from Oregon to Georgia will now decide who – if anyone – can get an abortion under 50 different state constitutions

Professor Lindquist discusses how state-level litigation, as well as legislation, will shape reproductive rights now that Roe is eliminated. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, state laws, rather than federal laws, will now determine whether someone can legally get an abortion. It also means that state Supreme Courts will become much more critical in deciding the validity of state laws on abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion, “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”  

As a scholar of constitutional law, Professor Linquist believes that the overruling of Roe v. Wade is a chance to better understand the important role state supreme courts play in determining individual rights, including abortion rights. Professor Lindquist’s research indicates that elected state judges tend to find state laws unconstitutional more often than appointed state judges do. She explains how in the context of abortion, elected court judges have to answer to their constituencies. In conservative states, that means they may be more hesitant to invalidate restrictive abortion laws under their state constitutions.