The Lawyer Defending Texas’s Abortion Ban Is Exactly as Evil as You’d Expect


On November 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two challenges to Texas’s Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions at six weeks without exception, and deputizes citizen vigilantes in and out of state to sue anyone suspected of aiding and abetting the procedure—including, for example, an Uber driver simply giving someone a ride to their appointment. Whereas other similarly restrictive measures have been shot down in court, it was this unique structure that SCOTUS cited in September when allowing S.B. 8 to stand, and which its designers purposely crafted knowing it would make S.B. 8 more difficult to block. What kind of a person would help come up with such a hugely barbaric and wildly fucked-up law, which generally deprives pregnant people of the right to make decisions over their own bodies and would specifically force a 12-year-old to have her rapist’s child? And further, what kind of a person would then show up to the highest court in the land to defend it, even after the devastating impact it’s had in just two short months? Obviously, a comically evil one!

Jezebel reports that Jonathan Mitchell cut his teeth clerking for the notoriously conservative Antonin Scalia, is a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, helped craft a previous Texas abortion law struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016, has performed “religious freedom” work for an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group, and was the “mastermind” of an anti-union legal campaign. But of course, that’s not all.

Mitchell’s resume also includes:

  • Arguing in a Supreme Court brief that overturning Roe v. Wade will provide women with an opportunity to change their whoring ways, writing: “Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse.… One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this Court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change her behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”
  • Calling court rulings in favor of marriage equality and against sodomy bans “as lawless as Roe,” and inviting the court to “write an opinion that leaves those decisions hanging by a thread.”
  • Representing a group that sought exemptions to anti-discrimination laws so they could refuse to hire LGBTQ people.
  • Representing a group that didn’t like the Harvard Law Review’s use of “race and sex preferences” when selecting members and articles, claiming that it discriminated against white people and men, and saying that it “dilute[s] the quality of the students” running the publication.

Anyway, it’s a big surprise this guy thinks he should be in charge of what pregnant people are and aren’t allowed to do with their bodies.

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