The state of Arkansas is now home to the nation’s strictest abortion law, which prohibits all abortions after 12 weeks. That clearly violates the central holding of Roe v Wade. Even worse is how the bill became law after it was vetoed by the governor:
The governor vetoed it because it is unconstitutional. Earlier this week, Beebe vetoed the bill because, as he explained, banning abortion at 12 weeks “blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution.” Under Roe v. Wade, women have a constitutionally protected right to legal abortion services until the medically accepted point of viability. But under Arkansas law, legislatures can override their governor’s vetoes with a simple majority vote in each chamber, and that’s what happened this week.
What is the point of having a governor at all, or giving them veto power, if the legislature can override his will so easily? If they voted for the bill in the first place, they automatically have the votes to override a veto. The good news is that a federal court will almost certainly issue an injunction preventing the law from being enforced when a lawsuit is filed. And if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court, I think there are five votes to strike it down as well. Justice Kennedy is okay with some basic restrictions on the right to have an abortion, but he’s not willing to gut it completely, as he showed in Webster.