Monday, 14 October, 2019


Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Louisiana Abortion Case

Court is seen in Washington U.S. Supreme Court takes major case that could curb abortion accessFILE
Patty Aguilar | 08 October, 2019, 03:39

U.S. Supreme Court Police guard the building during a protest against anti-abortion legislation at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 21, 2019.

Louisiana's law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is virtually identical to a Texas measure the court struck down in 2016. The Center for Reproductive Rights, representing an abortion clinic and two Louisiana physicians, argues that if the law is allowed to go into effect is will leave "only one doctor to care for every woman seeking an abortion in the state".

On November 12, the Supreme Court will tackle another emotive case when it hears arguments over Trump's effort to end the "dreamers" program that protects immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children. At issue before the court is whether the way the administration has tried to wind down the program is lawful.

It is the first significant abortion case to reach the court since Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony M. Kennedy a year ago. It'll be up to Democrats to explain the truth: While the conservatives on the court might still overturn Roe v. Wade completely, with this case they've mortally wounded it.

Sexual minority rights, abortion, immigration and guns - the Supreme Court convenes Monday to address an incendiary list of cases as the American political scene reaches fever pitch over efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.

"Although we don't know why Roberts voted to block Louisiana from enforcing the law, the challengers will no doubt hope to convince him that the law is so similar to the Texas law that the court invalidated just a few years ago that respect for precedent requires the justices to strike it down too", writes Amy Howe of SCOTUSBlog.

"States should absolutely have the right to pass their own health and safety standards created to protect women inside abortion vendors", she said.

"Abortion activists are more than willing to lower the bar on women's health in order to expand abortion, but stricter clinic regulations are in the best interest of women", said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, which opposes abortion.

Lawyers for the Louisiana clinics filed an emergency appeal at the Supreme Court.

In February, the court issued an injunction blocking the law from taking effect. Mike Pence, requires women to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion - a requirement critics call medically unnecessary. Now that the balance of the court has shifted, anti-abortion forces are eager to begin chipping away at women's rights.

"The point is when you live in a politically polarized environment, people tend to see everything in those terms", Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said September 24 at an appearance at Temple Emanu-El in NY.

In a dissent to the Whole Woman's Health decision, Justice Clarence Thomas criticized the Court's "habit of applying different rules to different constitutional rights-especially the putative right to abortion".

Also Friday, the justices agreed to take up a case regarding a federal law that makes it a crime to encourage or induce illegal immigration for commercial or private financial benefit.

"An undue burden exists, and therefore a provision of law is invalid, if its goal or effect is to place substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability", the court wrote in the 1992 ruling.

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to take up an abortion case this term, adding an explosive issue to an already robust docket of controversial issues in the middle of the 2020 presidential election. The court in June declined to hear a bid by Alabama to revive a Republican-enacted law that would have effectively banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The nine justices will examine the merits of an abortion law adopted in 2014 in the conservative southern state. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were among the four conservatives who would have allowed the law to take effect.

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