Roberts Votes w/ Liberals as Supreme Court Blocks La. Abortion Limits

Supreme Court justices watch President Donald Trump's second State of the Union address. Brett Kavanaugh far right is newes

The Supreme Court, divided 5-4, has temporarily blocked implementation of a Louisiana abortion law almost identical to the Texas law the high court struck down in 2016. It would have placed Roberts right alongside the justice who accused the Clintons of running a political hit campaign against his Supreme Court nomination once credible allegations of sexual assault against him surfaced.

The Supreme Court has just handed down a pair of decisions that illustrate an important truth: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.is not, as many conservatives believe, some kind of traitor to their cause, an unreliable ally who will stab them in the back whenever he gets the chance.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissent from granting the stay, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch. Roberts dissented in that case. If the remaining three doctors could obtain admitting privileges, "then the three clinics could continue providing abortions", Kavanaugh wrote in his dissent.

"By construing "undue burden" only as applied to specific doctors (and thus women), Justice Kavanaugh's logic would allow all kinds of pointless regulations, as long as doctors could somehow comply with them", Michaelson notes.

He added that if they cannot, "then even [Louisiana] acknowledges that the law as applied might be deemed to impose an undue burden".

The statute, which requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic, is essentially identical to a Texas law struck down as unconstitutional in the 2016 Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.

It seems clear at this point that there are five justices - a majority - that are willing to entertain allowing states to impose new restrictions on abortion rights. But it has never gone into effect. He gutted the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder.

The Louisiana clinics had argued that they would have been forced to stop performing abortions immediately and that clinics, once closed, are hard to reopen. "The Texas law would have shuttered some 20 clinics, whereas Louisiana's law would shutter only one or two of the state's three clinics".

Louisiana and its supports have countered that it is a phased-in requirement which protects women by ensuring that abortion doctors are capable of handling medical emergencies. "Essentially, he argues that there isn't yet any evidence that the Louisiana law will have any immediate effect on abortion access".

Such hospital admissions happen regularly in America's abortion industry when there are complications. Nonetheless, Smith maintained the the Louisiana law did not impose "an undue burden" on women seeking abortions. The same is true of the Affordable Care Act, where Roberts declined to join the conservatives in striking down the entire law, instead crafting a compromise that upheld most of it while allowing states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion (thereby denying health coverage to millions of poor Americans).

The action, which four justices opposed, followed by less than two months the Supreme Court's refusal to review lower court opinions rejecting decisions by Kansas and Louisiana to remove Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider.

Well, Justice Brett Kavanaugh just made a whole lot of conservatives really, really happy.

After the ruling, some Democrats seized on Kavanaugh's vote as proof that he was not following through on his assurances at his confirmation hearing to respect past Supreme Court decisions on abortion. In that case, Chief Justice Roberts was in the minority; he would have upheld the Texas provision. One, a Trump appointee, was recused. Should the Court agree to hear the case, arguments would likely happen in the fall. While a federal judge struck down the law, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed the decision in a 2-1 ruling in September. That will come later, when the Court decides if it will take the case.

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