Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
As a comparison, let's look at the other case the Supreme Court handed down on Thursday, which concerneda Muslim death-row inmate in Alabama who requested to have an imam present at his execution. "I urge the Supreme Court to act quickly in this matter, so Louisiana may move forward".
"When lower courts issue injunctions against Supreme Court precedent, including decisions Roberts himself recently wrote, he has no problem taking a hands-off approach to those lower courts", he continued. The cases in that December 10 action did not address abortion directly but involved whether Medicaid recipients could challenge a state's decision on who qualifies as a provider in the government program that helps with health care expenses. Rather than repealing Roe v. Wade outright, it's probably the best way for conservatives to achieve their goal of getting something identical to a repeal while avoiding at least some of the ensuing controversy. The Court's majority voted to stay enforcement of Louisiana's law pending anticipated further litigation. Abortions are largely safe for women and it's a procedure that doesn't require intensive follow-up, like a knee or back surgery.
Landry said that his office "will not waver" in defense of the law and will "continue to do all that we legally can to protect Louisiana women and the unborn". New conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissent. A divided panel of the conservative Fifth Circuit reversed the lower court, finding that the law would not have as much of a negative impact on abortion access as with Texas.
"By construing "undue burden" only as applied to specific doctors (and thus women), Justice Kavanaugh's logic would allow all kinds of pointless regulations, as long as doctors could somehow comply with them", Michaelson notes.
And when they do uphold the Louisiana law after a full hearing, that's what Roberts will accomplish. The appeals court denied January 18 a request for a review by all the judges.
"The true issue in determining undue burden shouldn't be whether the four doctors who now perform abortions can keep on doing so", writes Feldman. In a 5-4 vote, the chief justice, John Roberts, joined the court's liberal members to stop its implementation, in the case called June Medical Service v Gee.
The four more conservative justices, including Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, would have allowed it to take effect.
Kavanaugh did, in a dissent that no other justice joined. One of the doctors already has admitting privileges.
In a profound display of missing the point, Kavanaugh wrote at length about how the effect of the Louisiana statute might not really be as bad as it's cracked up to be.
Late Thursday, the Supreme Court granted that stay by a 5-4 vote.
But Kavanaugh's decision on the Louisiana law appears to run counter to one the court made recently about a similar Texas law, a move that convinced pro-choice supporters to express alarm that Roe could be in trouble. Only one of the doctors has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Increasing that burden is what conservative states have been doing for years, requiring things like waiting periods and forced ultrasounds, or imposing so many unnecessary regulations on providers that nearly no one can meet them, leaving states with only a tiny number of providers. Louisiana said it was necessary in case of complications and to make sure that the providers are competent. The fifth circuit also upheld the Texas law, which led to the 2016 precedent.
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump called for legislation to limit what he and anti-abortion rights activists describe as "late-term abortion". Another ThinkProgress headline states ominously and confusingly: "Hope is all that's left, with Roe v. Wade in Louisiana".
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