CHOICE/LESS – What It’s Like to Argue in Front of the Supreme Court and Win

Jenn Stanley


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CHOICE/LESS has featured the stories of many people affected by Texas’ sweeping anti-choice bill, HB 2. Last week, we even heard Wendy Davis describe what it was like fighting the bill in the legislature.

Today, we hear what it was like to argue its unconstitutionality* in front of the U.S. Supreme Court—and win! Our story comes from Stephanie Toti, the reproductive rights attorney who argued on behalf of Whole Woman’s Health in the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

“I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a lawyer, from the time that I was a little kid. I think I must have been a very argumentative kid because people would always say to me, ‘You have a lot of opinions. You should be a lawyer,’ and I just kind of accepted that as my identity. It was always a dream of mine to argue at the Supreme Court. It seemed like a really exciting thing, but until last year, I had no idea whether that was a realistic goal or not.”

In March of 2016, Toti realized her dream, and the resulting decision was stronger than even her ardent supporters had expected. This episode takes you inside the mind of a reproductive rights attorney as she prepares for the biggest case of her career on the biggest stage in the country. Listen, and feel like you were there!

*Only parts of the law were challenged during the case; other parts of the law are still in effect. Learn more about the law with Rewire’s Legislative Tracker.

Transcript (pdf)