Biden v. Texas 2022 - Case Summary

University / Undergraduate
Modified: 6th Mar 2024
Wordcount: 595 words


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Legal Case Summary

Summary: This landmark case discusses the legality of Texas' controversial abortion legislation, SB 8.


The facts of the Biden v. Texas case revolve around a controversial Texas law known as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8). SB 8 is an abortion statute which prohibits most abortions in the state after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, a period before many women even realise they are pregnant. This legal limit is far stricter than that established by the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which ensures the right to an abortion before fetal viability (generally around 22 weeks of gestation).

Significantly, SB8 allows almost any private citizen to bring a civil lawsuit against anyone who performs or aids and abets an abortion in violation of the statute. This unique enforcement scheme has been viewed as an attempt to evade judicial review of the law.


The case presents several significant issues. One primary issue is whether Texas' novel enforcement scheme - delegating enforcement to private individuals rather than state officials - allows the state to circumvent federal constitutional constraints and judicial review. Therefore, at its core, this case discusses the balance of powers between state and federal government and the respective jurisdiction of each in areas of contested constitutionality.

A secondary, but equally critical issue, revolves around the parameters of the constitutional right to an abortion. The implementation of SB8 essentially curtails this right in Texas, presenting a fundamental challenge to the limits set by Roe v. Wade.


The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have significant repercussions. If the Court rules in favour of Texas, it may empower more conservative states to pass similar legislation, potentially eroding women's rights to an abortion across many parts of the U.S.

If the ruling is in favour of Biden, it could reaffirm the extent of federal jurisdiction over states and reassert the constitutional right to an abortion as set out in Roe v. Wade.


At the time of writing, a final decision on this case is still pending from the Supreme Court. The high stakes nature of the case coupled with the judicial and legislative complexities have led to lengthy deliberation amongst the Supreme Court Justices.


  • Supreme Court of the United States (2022). Application to Vacate Stay. 21-954. Biden et al. v. Texas et al.
  • Texas Legislature Online (2021). S.B. No. 8.

Journalist Brief

In the case of Biden v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing a controversial Texas abortion law known as Senate Bill 8 (SB8). The law, which is more restrictive than others in the country, prohibits most abortions after six weeks' gestation. Unusually, it also allows private individuals to sue anyone helping someone else get an abortion. The case's outcome hinges on whether Texas can side-step federal law in this way and essentially eliminate the right to an abortion in the state. A decision is still forthcoming, but the impact either way will be significant.


What is the central issue of the case?

Answer: The primary issue is whether Texas has the ability to bypass federal law using a novel enforcement scheme within its abortion legislation.

What could the potential impacts of the decision be?

Answer: Depending on the decision, it could significantly impact women's right to an abortion in the U.S.

Who can sue under Texas' SB 8 law?

Answer: Almost any private individual, regardless of state residency and personal connection to the matter, can sue under this law.

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