Supreme Court blocks enforcement of Louisiana admitting privileges law

Here is a link to a story on the Supreme Court’s action in June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee. Louisiana’s law requires abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. The US Supreme Court struck down a similar Texas law in 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  In September 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit distinguished Whole Woman’s Health and rejected a constitutional challenge to the Louisiana law.

Late last night (February 7, 2019), the US Supreme Court granted a stay of the Fifth Circuit ruling. That action prevents the law from going into effect while the US Supreme Court decides whether to hear the case. The Court’s decision was 5-4, with Chief Justice Roberts joining four Justices (Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor) who were in the majority in Whole Woman’s Health.  Chief Justice Roberts was in dissent in Whole Woman’s health. The dissenters from yesterday’s decision were Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Thomas.

The Court is likely to give full consideration to the case, but that likely won’t happen until the Supreme Court’s 2019-2020 Term. A decision will not likely come before June of 2020.

The case has been closely watched since most observers believe that there are five Justices (Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Thomas) who are more likely to uphold laws restricting abortions. The Court’s decision may have been an effort to postpone full consideration of abortion cases.


“The Rediscovery of the Born-Alive Act”

Here is a link to an essay by Hadley Arkes on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, and its relevance to current controversies.

Senator Hawley on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Here are the remarks of Senator Josh Hawley in support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Here is a paragraph from near the end of his remarks:

“So we must press forward in this generation for our revolutionary faith. Let us not go back to the darkness and cruelty of the past. Let us not go back to the arbitrary rule of the powerful and the few. Let us affirm again our founding belief in the equal worth and equal dignity of all. As we do, we will do our part for liberty and justice in our day.”

The Supreme Court and Louisiana’s admitting privileges law

In June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of Louisiana’s law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals. In so doing, the court distinguished the US Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which involved a similar Texas law.

The plaintiffs have asked the US Supreme Court to stay the ruling of the Fifth Circuit and block the enforcement of the Louisiana law. The Supreme Court will soon, perhaps on Thursday February 7, rule on the plaintiffs’ application for a stay. The Court’s ruling on the application for a stay could be tremendously important for the future of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Here is a link  to a good piece by David French exploring the implications.


6th Circuit Considers Ohio’s ban on Abortions due to Down Syndrome

Ohio law prohibits abortion when the pregnant woman is seeking an abortion due to a fetal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Ohio’s law was enjoined by a federal district court judge in March 2018. The case is now an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The appellate court heard oral arguments on January 30, 2019.  It seems likely that the court will affirm the lower court’s ruling.

Indiana has a similar statute that was struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and that case is now pending before the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court will likely decide whether to hear the Indiana case in mid or late February.

“The Infanticide Craze”

That’s the title of an essay by Ramesh Ponnuru on efforts in states to enact extreme laws protecting nearly unlimited access to abortion. Ponnuru concludes:

“Supporters of the country’s expansive abortion regime now fear that the Supreme Court will retreat from it, either by declaring that the Constitution permits states to protect unborn children in general or by letting them offer more protection. That’s why they are pushing legislation in the states to codify that regime. It is an effort that is forcing supporters of abortion to be a little more candid about what they really want: an extreme regime that denies any meaningful protection to unborn children and threatens the protection for born ones.”