Saturday, February 2, 2019
Vox (Feb. 2, 2019): Supreme Court blocks Louisiana's Stringent Abortion Law - but only for a few days, by Amanda Sakuma:
Late Friday, the Supreme Court issued an ordering staying a 5th Circuit decision which would have allowed a Louisiana admitting privileges law to go into effect. The emergency stay was issued by Justice Alito to give the Supreme Court more time to decide an emergency stay application. The current stay expires on Feb. 7.
The case is being closely watched because the Louisiana law, which requires that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges with a hospital within 30 miles from where an abortion is performed, is similar to a Texas restriction that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016 in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The district court judge that initially heard the case found that the Louisiana law imposed an undue burden on abortion access noting that if the law went into effect there would only be one doctor able to perform abortions left in the state, but a 3 judge panel of the 5th Circuit reversed in a 2-1 decision.
The Louisiana case creates an opportunity for the Supreme Court to reverse or substantially narrow Whole Woman's Health , which was decided before Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court.