In May 2021, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health; Alliance Defending Freedom chose her as co-counsel. Hawley has publicly recounted several times how she took her daughter, then six months old, to a strategy meeting to defend Mississippi’s law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and how the girl woke up screaming during the meeting. meeting. Which, she later said, was a tangible reminder of why she was working: that her daughter was infinitely precious and loved by God, but no more than any other child. Later, after her team won, she celebrated the decision as “the project of a lifetime” and the correction of what she called a long-standing mistake that had been made. Roe. He dobbs In fact, this decision empowers women, she said: More than half of Mississippi voters were women, and they could now vote for a conservative abortion policy if they so desired.

Of course, this was not the widespread reaction to the decision, which was quite unpopular nationally, particularly among women. (“I’m sorry,” said Manta, a contemporary of the Hawleys at Yale. “I always had the freedom to have an abortion before you came along. So you’re telling me now that I have the freedom to stop other women? No, I don’t need that.” Controlling other people is not freedom.”) Within days of that victory, Erin Hawley was part of the team that achieved another victory in 303 creative.

(That 6-3 victory led to a new round of “Josh Hawley’s Wife” that seemed to strike a chord with the couple. A reporter discovered that a request Lorie Smith, owner of 303 Creative, had received for a This guy’s website was fake. : The name and contact information belonged to a married, heterosexual man who said he had never heard of Smith. Although this specific request came after The lawsuit was filed and did not appear in the final opinion, it was an embarrassing mark in a controversial case. And that led to headlines like this one on
news week: “Josh Hawley’s wife faces calls to be disciplined in Supreme Court case.”

“If we’re going to talk about feminism or any of the things that the left seems to preach,” Erin Hawley said in an interview with the conservative Daily Signal, “I think (news week) the article really goes against all of them. It suggests that the important facts about a woman are who she is married to.” Josh Hawley scolded St. Louis reporter for asking him about the case (although he had co-signed an amicus brief and tweeted praise for her role), noting his wife’s record as “an incredibly accomplished attorney” who has “sued cases all over this country in federal courts” and is “not a servant who works for me.

The mifepristone case scheduled for oral arguments at the Supreme Court this spring is the next big battle there for abortion opponents, and in some respects it may be more far-reaching than dobbs, which left abortion policymaking in the hands of the states. In FDA et al vs. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al.Hawley and his team’s clients are taking perhaps the only avenue available right now to attack abortion at the federal level: seeking stricter regulation of the drug commonly used as part of a two-drug regimen to induce abortion.

For Hawley, the case may be the perfect marriage between the administrative law nerd that helped attract her to the law in the first place, and the anti-abortion crusade driven by her religious beliefs. This is a case in which profound and polarizing questions about life and conscience may well be reduced to boring, trivial questions about the proper application of the Administrative Procedure Act and whether the FDA followed its own rules in expanding access to the drug. .

“She can code-switch,” Ziegler said. “She can speak the language of John Roberts with John Roberts, and she can speak the language of the movements with the movement, because she is comfortable in both worlds.” In lower court arguments in the mifepristone case, she did both. “As dobbs Granted,” he told a Fifth Circuit judge at one point, “abortion is different. “You are talking about ending the life of a fetus.” Minutes later she was immersed in bureaucratic jargon: “Your Honor, it is absolutely correct that the passage of Subpart H is still in play. Section 355-1 is only a REMS provision. The FD Triple-A amendments excluded those Subpart H approvals, but the postmarketing restrictions, not the approval.”

By Sam