Whole Woman’s Health remains effective in the Fifth Circuit, for now:
The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions.
The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing.
The law, enacted in 2014, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. In 2017, Judge John W. deGravelles of the Federal District Court in Baton Rouge struck down the law, saying that such doctors were often unable to obtain admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to their competence and that the law created an undue burden on women’s constitutional right to abortion.
The Louisiana law, Judge deGravelles ruled, was essentially identical to one from Texas that the Supreme Court struck down in a 2016 decision, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the majority in the 2016 decision, said courts must consider whether the claimed benefits of laws putting restrictions on abortion outweigh the burdens they placed on the constitutional right to the procedure.
You’ll never guess who dissented, arguing that Lousiania should be allowed to continue to enforce a law essentially identical to the Texas statute the Court ruled unconstitutional in 2016:
Someone please ask @SenatorCollins whether she still feels “vindicated” about her vote to confirm Justice Kavanaugh in light of his obvious respect for SCOTUS precedent regarding reproductive justice.https://t.co/s52baY4qXk https://t.co/SPlWDdWx7e
— Leah Litman (@LeahLitman) February 8, 2019
The key thing to remember here is that Collins is a liar, not an idiot.
Anyway, it remains overwhelmingly likely that next term Roberts will join Justice Bart O’Kavanaugh and the three other Republican nominees to overrule Whole Woman’s Health, but I suppose not allowing 5CA to simply nullify it isn’t nothing.
…let us also remember that Roberts is a really terrible justice on net, and here he casts a fifth vote fully in the spirit of Korematsu II:
The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted the stay of execution after voting 5-4 in favor of the state. Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
Kagan issued a dissenting opinion. “Under [the state’s] policy, a Christian prisoner may have a minister of his own faith accompany him into the execution chamber to say his last rites. But if an inmate practices a different religion—whether Islam, Judaism, or any other—he may not die with a minister of his own faith by his side. That treatment goes against the Establishment Clause’s core principle of denominational neutrality,” she wrote.