The Florida Supreme Court likely will not rule until after this year’s regular legislative session in a high-stakes case about the constitutionality of a 2022 law that prevents abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Justices on Monday formally agreed to take up the case and issued a schedule that indicated it will be at least until late April before all briefs are filed.
The court also did not set a date for oral arguments, which, if held, would happen after the briefs are submitted.
Speculation has long swirled about whether the Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis will place additional restrictions on abortions.
But Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said in November that lawmakers would wait to make a decision until after the Supreme Court acts on the challenge to the 15-week law — an approach that DeSantis also appeared to suggest last year.
“We want to make sure that what we have done will stick. Then, we’ll work with the legislature, but I’ll tell you that 15 weeks was very difficult to be able to achieve. We were happy that we were able to achieve it. So, we look forward and welcome future endeavors, but we realize there is still a fight on the legal end on that,” Passidomo said.
The annual legislative session will start March 7th and is scheduled to end May 5th.
Lawmakers also could take up the abortion issue during a special session.
If lawmakers decide to pass additional abortion restrictions, it remains unclear how far they might go.