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Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Why it matters: It will be the first abortion case to be argued before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, handing conservatives a 6-3 majority. The case could potentially provide a pathway to challenging Roe v. Wade and allowing outright bans on abortion.

Details: The Mississippi law, which was struck down by lower courts after being enacted in 2018, would only grant exceptions to its 15-week ban in cases of severe fetal abnormality or medical emergency, per AP.

  • Mississippi has only one abortion clinic, which remains open and performs abortions up to 16 weeks, AP reports.
  • The case will likely be heard in the fall, setting up a major showdown over abortion rights ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

What they're saying: "This will be, by far, the most important abortion case the Court will have heard since the Casey decision in 1992," University of Texas School of Law professor Steve Vladeck told CNN.

  • "If states are allowed to effectively ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, as the Mississippi law in this case does, then pregnant women would have a far shorter window in which they could lawfully obtain an abortion than what Roe and Casey currently require."

Flashback: Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, former President Trump's two other Supreme Court nominees, dissented last year in a ruling that struck down abortion restrictions in Louisiana.

  • Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's more liberal justices in the decision, though his concurrence was based on a precedent established by a previous Texas case.

Go deeper

Aug 22, 2021 - Health

Kentucky governor loses COVID emergency powers legal challenge

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear during an April press conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Saturday ordered a lower court to dissolve an injunction that had prevented Republican-backed legislation from limiting the executive authority of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Beshear has imposed emergency health measures including an indoor mask mandate for K-12 schools, child care and pre-kindergartens, as cases surge across the state. The ruling paves the way for the Republican-led legislature to enact legislation curbing his emergency powers.

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.