This is from Pete Williams, who's just about as insightful and reliable as any Court observer.
The Supreme Court appeared prepared Wednesday to uphold a Mississippi law that would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which would be a dramatic break from 50 years of rulings.
A majority of the court's conservative justices suggested they were prepared to discard the court's previous standard that prevented states from banning abortion before a fetus becomes viable, which is generally considered to be at about 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
It was unclear after Wednesday's argument whether the court would take the additional step of explicitly overturning its abortion precedents, including Roe v. Wade.
The three more liberal justices warned that the court would appear to be a political body if it tossed out abortion rulings that the country has relied on for decades.
At least four of the court's conservatives, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, suggested they were prepared to overturn Roe on the grounds that it was wrongly decided, despite the public's decades of reliance on it.
Chief Justice John Roberts suggested he would be willing to uphold the Mississippi law without overturning Roe, but it was unclear whether any other members of the court would be with him.
The most recent NBC News poll, released in August, found that 54 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Much of the country appears to be in the middle, with the poll finding that 23 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal "most of the time" and that 34 percent said it should be illegal "with exceptions."
Even a decision to overturn Roe could not possibly result in abortion becoming illegal in the United States.