Supreme Court rules Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics unconstitutional

The highly divisive issue splits Americans many had hoped the justices appointed by Trump would rule differently

The highly divisive issue splits Americans many had hoped the justices appointed by Trump would rule differently

This is massive. Roberts' rulings in recent weeks-on the side of LGBT employees, in favor of allowing Dreamers to remain in the US, and in other cases-have shown him to be a far more adaptable and politically pragmatic justice than anyone would've expected.

Roberts claims precedent: The chief justice, who voted against striking down the Texas law in 2016, said that though he believed the court was wrong to do so then, he was bound by its precedent in this case. Pro-lifers argued that not only was Hellerstedt wrongly decided but that Louisiana's situation is different from that of Texas anyway, including that most Louisiana hospitals don't have the Texas requirement that doctors must see a minimum number of patients per year to qualify for admitting privileges.

A very similar case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, was argued before the Supreme Court in 2016 and a almost identical Texas law struck down by then-Justice Anthony Kennedy's swing vote. Any burdens the law creates, the panel said, are minimal.

In the end, Chief Justice Roberts's commitment to precedent sank the Louisiana law.

"I am unconvinced that any justice of the Supreme Court who decided Whole Woman's Health would endorse our opinion", Higginson wrote.

Pro-life advocates have maintained that the question of "third-party standing" is a crucial issue of women's rights, as the abortion lobby, a behemoth profiting off murder of the innocent and the exploitation of women, is purporting to represent women's interests before the law. "The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike".

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Baton Rouge-based US District Judge John deGravelles cited the undue burden precedent when he struck down Louisiana's law in 2016.

Roberts made clear, though, that he was not tying his decision to any political preference.

There is sufficient evidence that the Louisiana measure "would place substantial obstacles in the path of women seeking an abortion in Louisiana", Breyer added.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberal justices in the 5-4 decision in a blow to anti-abortion groups. The ruling is the Court's first abortion case with President Donald Trump's two appointees on the bench.

So what changed? Nothing about the illegal restrictions that Louisiana adopted, which were cribbed directly from the Texas law.

The law includes a requirement that doctors who perform abortions have a difficult-to-obtain arrangement called "admitting privileges" at a hospital within 48km (30 miles) of the abortion clinic. We also agree with its ultimate legal conclusion that, in light of these findings and our precedents, [the Louisiana law] violates the Constitution.

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Smith faulted doctors seeking to provide abortions in the state for not trying hard enough to obtain admitting privileges and said abortions would remain available after the law went into effect.

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates President Thomas Glessner also said in a statement, "Women seeking abortions have the same right to competent and quality care as patients involved in other surgical procedures".

The ruling is the third major decision to come out of the Supreme Court in the past two weeks on hot-button social issues. "The majority would not, and I respectfully suggest that the dissenters might not either".

Justice Alito also focused on standing in his stinging dissent, saying that "The idea that a regulated party can invoke the right of a third party for the objective of attacking legislation enacted to protect the third party is stunning". He wrote 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. As a Louisiana legislator, I authored one of the first abortion clinic regulations in the country to stop abortion clinics from operating in filthy, disgusting, unregulated conditions.

Attorneys for Louisiana questioned whether abortion providers can even sue the state over the law, according to ABC News.

Both Kavanaugh and Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch voted in favor of the restrictions.

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