The Republican governor has said Nebraska needs to be ready to outlaw abortion, and he strongly supported a bill this year that would have automatically done so if the high court gives states that option. The bill ultimately failed, however, after opponents blocked it with a filibuster, and it’s questionable whether a special session held this year at extra taxpayer expense would produce a different outcome.
The Legislature will return for a regular session in January with some new lawmakers.
“This draft opinion is a promising sign that the gross wrong of Roe will be righted and abortion decisions will return to the states,” Ricketts said in a statement. “I’m praying for our Supreme Court justices as we await their final decision.”
Ricketts spokeswoman Alex Reuss said that, if the court gives states the option to outlaw abortion, the governor would work with Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers, a fellow Republican, to “determine how Nebraska can better protect preborn babies.”
Ricketts has the power to call a special legislative session, and lawmakers can as well if 33 senators agree to do so. It’s unclear whether enough senators would vote for a special session.
A draft opinion leaked to Politico suggests that the court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity on Tuesday, but the court said the draft isn’t an official ruling.
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