In a 5-4 opinion on Monday in June Medical Services v. Russo, The Supreme Court ruled against a pro-life Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
Chief Justice John Roberts ruled with the four liberal justices in striking down the Louisiana law.
Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh dissented from the court’s ruling.
In 2016, Chief Justice Roberts dissented from a Supreme Court ruling in Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt which struck down a nearly identical law in Texas.
“I joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided,” Justice Roberts wrote in today’s decision. “The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case…. The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike. The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore, Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”
Justice Thomas wrote a fiery dissent from today’s decision.
“Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction,” Justice Thomas wrote. “The plurality and the Chief Justice… conclude that Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional under our precedents. But those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text. Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated with further analysis.
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