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.


Richard Myers

Richard S. Myers, the Vice-President of UFL, is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, and Religious Freedom. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree at Notre Dame, where he won the law school's highest academic prize. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Myers also worked for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law before joining the Ave Maria faculty. He is a co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (Catholic University of American Press, 2004) and a co-editor of Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy (Scarecrow Press, 2007). He has also published extensively on constitutional law in law reviews and also testified before Congressional and state legislative hearings on life issues. Married to Mollie Murphy, who is also on the faculty at Ave Maria School of Law, they are the proud parents of six children - Michael, Patrick, Clare, Kathleen, Matthew, and Andrew.