Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion clinic law

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Pro-life leaders and analysts are responding with concern and disappointment to the U.S. Supreme Court's order Thursday evening to block the implementation of a Louisiana law requiring basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities, particularly regarding Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal wing.

The law would require doctors at Louisiana's abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the Court in that vote.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights hailed the decision, telling The Washington Post, "The Supreme Court has stepped in under the wire to protect the rights of Louisiana women". Rather than repealing Roe v. Wade outright, it's probably the best way for conservatives to achieve their goal of getting something identical to a repeal while avoiding at least some of the ensuing controversy. The clinic appealed to the Supreme Court after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it had not adequately demonstrated that the law would hinder abortion access.

"I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent".

And that, says Litman, is the ideal cover for conservative judges to use for the next novel anti-abortion regulation that comes along. It exists because... a law with no scientific basis is itself an undue burden.

"The law has not yet taken effect, so the case comes to us in the context of a pre-enforcement facial challenge", he noted, explaining that there could always be a later challenge if necessary when the law went into effect.

Kavanaugh's dissent deferred to the precedent of the case in which the restrictive Texas law was overturned in 2016.

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Kavanaugh, writing for himself, said it was not clear whether doctors would be unable to obtain the admitting privileges were the law to go into effect. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who President Donald Trump appointed to replace Kennedy, joined the court's four other conservatives in dissent.

"The five-figure buy will run over multiple weeks", the group said, "and is part of a sustained effort Demand Justice will mount to hold Collins accountable for supporting Kavanaugh". His vote Thursday was not a vote for abortion rights as much it was a message to the lower courts to "knock that shit off" in trying to unilaterally undercut Supreme Court precedent by ignoring Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt and not going through the proper channels. That will come later, when the Court decides if it will take the case. The law was challenged nearly immediately upon passage and had been held from taking effect by legal challenges since it was passed. Lawmakers have defended the law, saying that one abortionist has already obtained hospital admitting privileges.

Critics of the law argue it would severely limit access to abortion services in Louisiana by disqualifying the small handful of clinics that perform the procedures. By that measure, Roberts took the conservative path: He voted to maintain the status quo.

Common, in-clinic procedures performed by other specialists have far greater risks than abortions.

Although the Supreme Court struck down the Texas law three years ago, the makeup of the court has changed significantly since that time.

In a profound display of missing the point, Kavanaugh wrote at length about how the effect of the Louisiana statute might not really be as bad as it's cracked up to be. "But somehow, when a conservative lower court merely allows a state to mind its own business in a case that might brush up against a recent Supreme Court decision he himself disagreed with and now has the votes to overturn, Roberts parachutes in to overturn the lower court". Should the Court agree to hear the case, arguments would likely happen in the fall.

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