UPDATED 1:51 PM PT – Sunday, December 12, 2021
On Friday, the Supreme Court allowed challenges to Texas’ abortion ban to move forward in the lower courts. However, for the time being, the court also left Texas’ Heartbeat Act in place, which offers a $10,000 bounty for citizens who bring a successful lawsuit against anyone who “aides or abets” an abortion after six weeks.
Newsom contended that if states can shield their laws from review by federal courts, then California would use that authority to ban semi-automatic weapons. He said if Texas can empower people who have abortions then California would create a bill allowing private citizens to sue anyone who makes or sells assault weapons.
As usual, Newsom gave no definition of an “assault weapon,” but said the legislation would create a so-called “right of action” allowing private citizens to seek injunctive relief and statutory damages of at least $10,000 per violation plus attorney fees, against anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells an assault weapon, ghost gun kit or parts.
SCOTUS is letting private citizens in Texas sue to stop abortion?!
If that's the precedent then we'll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets.
If TX can ban abortion and endanger lives, CA can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives. https://t.co/N5Iur9PEUZ
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 12, 2021
Newsom’s statement comes on the heels of Chief Justice John Robert’s opinion on the Texas law. Joining the courts three liberal judges on Friday, Robert’s dissented saying that the Supreme Court risks losing its own authority if it allows states to circumvent the court.
He said the quote, “clear purpose and actual effect” of the Texas law was to nullify the court’s previous rulings on abortion and undermine the Supreme Court’s fundamental role. However, its constitutionally relegating the rights back to the states to determine.
More than two dozen states are reportedly prepared to ban abortion if the Supreme Court case focusing on Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15-weeks undermines Roe v. Wade, and Newsom has made it clear that he’s more than willing to make California a sanctuary for those seeking. This past week, the California Future of Abortion Council announced a plan with 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
The plan includes funding for lodging and travel for people from other states seeking abortion. The head of the council, Newsom himself, said details of the plan would be revealed in his budget proposal in January.
In the meantime, California is likely to see a surge in out-of-state patients seeking the procedure. CEO of Planned Parenthood California, Gilda Gonzales, estimated the number of people traveling to the state would rise nearly 3,000 percent.