According to CNN and the New York Times, John Roberts has once again joined the Supreme Court’s four liberals to produce a fantastic 5-4 decision, this time overturning a restrictive abortion law in Louisiana that would have effectively blocked nearly all abortions in the state, limiting the number of doctors in Louisiana who could provide abortions to ONE.
According to the NYT, here are the details of the law:
The case was the court’s first on abortion since President Trump’s appointments of two justices shifted the court to the right.
The Louisiana law, which was enacted in 2014, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
The law’s supporters said the law protects the health and safety of women seeking abortions, and that the requirements for obtaining admitting privileges helps ensure the competence of doctors. Opponents disputed that, saying that hospitalizations after abortions are rare, that women would receive medical care at hospitals whether their doctors had admitting privileges or not and that abortion providers are often unable to obtain admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to their competence.
Only two of the five doctors who provide abortions in Louisiana have obtained admitting privileges, one in New Orleans and one in Shreveport. But the Shreveport doctor testified that he could not handle the clinic’s work alone. If the law went into effect, a trial judge concluded, there would be a single doctor in a single clinic, in New Orleans, available to provide abortions in Louisiana.
The Court’s opinion, penned by Stephen Breyer, can be found here.
Roberts is mellowing with time and shedding his conservatism, for in 2016 he joined the losing conservative minority in another restrictive-abortion case, this time involving a Texas law.
Thank Ceiling Cat that Trump can’t make the final decision about what is American law!