What to Expect From Next Week’s Big Supreme Court Abortion Case

Justice Samuel Alito is just out there trying to rewrite abortion law.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in clown getup driving a clown car
We'll learn more about Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's desire to push his extremist agenda onto the American public during oral arguments in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. Austen Risolvato/Rewire News Group illustration

This piece first appeared in our weekly newsletter, The Fallout.

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the first abortion case to land before the justices since the conservative bench overturned Roe v. Wade. It’s also the first case to test the viability of the Comstock Act to ban abortion nationwide. And while much of the media attention surrounding the Court has focused on Justice Clarence Thomas and his myriad of ethics problems, the real main character in next week’s medication abortion case is Justice Samuel Alito.

If there was ever a justice who would enthusiastically revive a Reconstruction-era purity law and use it to ban abortion nationwide, it’s Alito. After all, he used his majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to not just reverse Roe, but also Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 Supreme Court case that had saved the federal right to abortion from its first legal challenge. The Court in Casey saved the right to abortion in part by reversing a decision by then-Appellate Judge Alito to reaffirm Roe.

So it seems Alito takes this kind of thing personally—and that’s a terrifying possibility when we’re talking about crafting national abortion law and policy.

We’ll learn even more about Alito’s ability and desire to impose his extreme anti-choice agenda on the rest of the country next week. The arguments against mifepristone expansion are as ludicrous as they are legally groundless. Most anti-abortion lawsuits are transparent political stunts designed to craft policy in the courts where the conservative legal movement has otherwise failed in Congress.

But in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, it’s hard to imagine a more obvious policy heist in the courts than what the conservative movement has cooked up. The case places multiple legal principles like standing, prohibitions on judge shopping, and bringing legal claims in a timely manner all on their head for the singular purpose of upending medication abortion access. And that makes it perfect fodder for Alito.

Rewire News Group will be at the Court before oral arguments on Tuesday morning, covering them real-time on X, then breaking down the highlights and lowlights on Boom! Lawyered later in the day. This is the first of two major abortion rights cases at the Court since Dobbs, and we’ll bring you expert analysis on what it all means.