5-4 Supreme Court blocks restrictive Louisiana abortion clinic law

Supreme Court justices at Trump's State of the Union address
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Thursday night, the Supreme Court ruled that Louisiana can't enforce a law that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's four more liberal justices; President Trump's two appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, were among the dissenting conservative justices. The Louisiana law is similar to a Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016, with former Justice Anthony Kennedy — replaced by Kavanaugh — siding with the court liberals and Roberts agreeing with the three other conservatives.

The Supreme Court may yet hear the case, June Medical Services v. Gee, in its next term, which begins in October. If the law had taken effect, the plaintiffs and a federal judge agreed, there would be only one, maybe two, doctors eligible to perform abortions in Louisiana.

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