Exclusive: Virginia Attorney General Files to Remove State Support from Pro-Abortion Dobbs Brief

Published January 21, 2022

National Review Online

On Friday, Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares filed a legal motion seeking to remove the state from a pro-abortion amicus curiae brief filed at the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Last November, Miyares defeated incumbent Democratic attorney general Mark Herring by about a point, and, along with governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and lieutenant governor–elect Winsome Sears, was sworn into office this past Saturday.

Under Herring’s leadership, Virginia joined nearly two dozen progressive states in filing a Supreme Court brief in Dobbs, a case considering the constitutionality of a Mississippi law protecting unborn children after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The brief, led by California, argued that Mississippi’s law is unconstitutional and urged the Court not to overrule precedents such as Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which created and upheld a supposed constitutional right to abortion. The brief also asserted that overturning the Court’s abortion jurisprudence would have a number of negative effects on the states and their citizens.

Now, at the end of his first week in office, Miyares is seeking to remove Virginia as a signatory to this pro-abortion brief. In a copy of his motion obtained exclusively by National Review, Miyares writes “that Virginia no longer adheres to the arguments contained in its previously filed brief [and] is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several States to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion.”

The motion goes on to ask the Court to uphold Mississippi’s law, arguing that Roe and Casey should be overturned. “It is Virginia’s position that the Court’s decisions in Roe and Casey were wrongly decided,” the motion concludes. “Unmoored from the Constitution’s text, the Court’s abortion jurisprudence has proven unworkable, and the Court’s effort to save it has distorted other areas of the law. This Court should restore judicial neutrality to the abortion debate by permitting the people of the several States to resolve these questions for themselves.”

Alexandra DeSanctis is a staff writer for National Review and a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center

EPPC Fellow Alexandra DeSanctis writes on culture and family issues, with a particular focus on abortion policy and pro-life advocacy, as a member of the Life and Family Initiative.

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