Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is receiving his biggest abortion test yet.
The Supreme Court announced Friday it would hear a case involving a Louisiana law that restricts which doctors can perform abortions. It's essentially the same law the court struck down in 2016, but this time around, there's an additional conservative justice on the bench, The Washington Post reports.
The law in question, enacted in 2014, requires that abortion providers also have surgical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. It also sets hospital-like standards for clinics, including mandating their hallways are a minimum width and that they have certain expensive equipment, per NPR. Louisiana has said that its law is just like the Texas mandate that the court struck down three years ago, but this time, the consistent swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy has retired and been replaced with Kavanaugh.
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Kavanaugh isn't skirting around his position on the case. The Louisiana case already came to the Supreme Court last year after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it and Louisiana abortion clinics appealed. But the top court didn't issue a full ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts only joining liberals in a 5-4 vote to block the law from taking effect for the time being.
Kavanaugh wrote the court's dissent in last year's Louisiana decision, implying he'll do the same this time around. Roberts meanwhile voted with the minority conservatives in the 2016 Texas case, and if he does the same again, he'll solidify a conservative majority and open up the possibility of more state laws that make it harder for abortion providers to do their jobs.
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