Friday, February 08, 2019

Supreme Court Keeps Injunction Against Louisiana Abortion Law In Effect

In June Medical Services, L.L.C. v. Gee, (US Sup. Ct. Feb. 7, 2019), a case involving Louisiana's new abortion law, the U.S. Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote prevented the law from going into effect pending the filing of a petition for certiorari.  A 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision  had stayed a district court's injunction against the law.  Now the Supreme Court has stayed the 5th Circuit's action. At issue is a facial challenge to Louisiana's law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.  Challengers had argued that this would leave only one abortion clinic operating in the state.  In allowing the law to go into effect, the 5th Circuit questioned that conclusion.  In the Supreme Court, Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would have denied the application so that the law could take effect.  Justice Gorsuch, writing only for himself, filed an opinion saying that:
I would deny the stay without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ ability to bring a later as-applied complaint and motion for preliminary injunction at the conclusion of the 45-day regulatory transition period if the Fifth Circuit’s factual prediction about the doctors’ ability to obtain admitting privileges proves to be inaccurate.
NBC News reports on the decision.