Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who famously redefined the Obamacare mandate as a tax to justify it constitutionally, has sided with the court’s liberals in an abortion-related case.
The justices voted 5-4 on Thursday to suspend temporarily a Louisiana law that would require abortion business operators to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals.
Such hospital admissions happen regularly in America’s abortion industry when there are complications.
The temporary suspension of the law means the requirement will not take effect until the case reaches a conclusion.
An abortion business, Hope Medical Group, had gone to court to challenge the law’s requirement that abortionists have “admitting privileges” at a hospital within 30 miles of their abortion business.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life SBA List, said it was a letdown to see Roberts side with the the pro-abortion left on the court.
“With tonight’s decision, the Supreme Court continues a disappointing trend of avoiding their responsibility on decisions concerning abortion,” she said. “The 5th Circuit previously examined the facts and concluded Louisiana’s law does not constitute a burden and is a reasonable step to protect women.
“We urge the court to grant cert in this case so that the justices can take a closer look at the facts themselves and let the law stand. Louisiana legislators on both sides of the aisle enacted this law to protect women from the abortion lobby which repeatedly puts profit over health and safety standards, and has proven incapable of policing itself. The court should not prevent state legislators from doing the job they were elected by their constituents to do.”
The law was set to go into effect on Friday.
But the ruling was only temporary. The abortion industry now will ask the Supreme Court for a full review.
If the court does not accept the case, the injunction ends and the state law would go into effect.
Roberts actually voted against the court’s 2016 Hellerstedt decision that struck down a Texas law requiring admitting privileges that are exactly the same as those in Louisiana.
By taking up the case, he would have the opportunity to overrule Hellerstedt.
The law was written by Democratic State Rep. Katrina Jackson and passed by bipartisan majorities, 88-5 in the House and 34-3 in the Senate.
It was signed into law in 2014, but a federal judge blocked it, later ruling the law unconstitutional. But the 5th Circuit reversed the ruling and upheld the law.
In the 5-4 ruling, Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the other conservatives on the bench.
Kavanaugh wrote his own opinion, explaining it was unclear whether doctors would be unable to obtain the admitting privileges were the law to go into effect.
He suggested they should be able to bring a challenge later if their efforts failed.
The Supreme Court recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. That ruling, in recent months, has been blasted in several state and federal courts as unconnected to the Constitution and without foundation. Current cases are asking courts to recognize the unborn as persons.
In the Louisiana case, the appellate court charged that most abortion providers had “sat on their hands,” not making any attempt to meet the safety standard.