Supreme Court blocks Louisiana pro-life law

Roberts joins pro-abortion justices

Chief Justice Roberts in 2016 voted to uphold a Texas law essentially identical to the one at issue in Thursday’s case (photo from Fox News).

The following comes from a Feb. 7 story in the New York Times.

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions.

The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority. That coalition underscored the pivotal position the chief justice has assumed after the departure last year of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who used to hold the crucial vote in many closely divided cases, including ones concerning abortion.

The court’s brief order gave no reasons, and its action — a temporary stay — did not end the case. The court is likely to hear a challenge to the law on the merits in its next term, which starts in October.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh said they would have denied the stay. Only Justice Kavanaugh published a dissent, taking a middle position that acknowledged the key precedent and said he would have preferred more information on the precise effect of the law.

Comments

  1. Oh no! The Court did not deliver in the manner it is supposed to now that we have a conservative Supreme Court! How frustrating!

  2. Your Fellow Catholic says

    Roberts know that the Court (as a whole) can’t simply ignore what it already decided. That would result in so much judicial chaos and confusion that a long time ago they decided on a doctrine called stare decisis. Roberts has testified under oath that he believes in stare decisis, so even though it might seem that he has changed his position, he probably hasn’t. He’s just saying we can’t say one thing in 2016 and then say the opposite thing in 2019. This is why Roe will stand, birth control will stand, the same sex marriage decisions will stand. The right has to live with it or change the Consitutiotn. Unlimited corproate donations in politics will also stand, which the left has to deal with.

    • Steve Seitz says

      YFC,
      Stare decisis explains why Roberts might vote a certain way. It doesn’t explain why he changed his mind on a similar vote.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says

        Sure it does. When the court was deciding anew how to decide an issue, he voted against it and lost to his collegues. His analsys would have been that stare decisis doesn’t bind him. When the same subject come up again, stare decisis says that the court has already must rule the same way on the same issue, regardless of the personal opinion of the justices on the matter.

        • Steve Seitz says

          YFC,
          Oh, I see your point. However, I would say that stare decisis isn’t necessarily invoked by a single, isolated court case, and the legal point in question is a minor one which probably wouldn’t involve stare decisis.

          In other words, the stare decisis question involves Roe vs. Wade and not the current decision at hand.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says

            Well, Steve, I’ll sincerely thank you for giving a good try at understanding my thinking…and you are close. Recently, the court ruled on an extemely similar case to this one. Roberts ruled in what we might call the pro-life majority, but he lost the vote. I take this new preliminary vote of his at least to say, honorably, that even if he lost that vote, the prior decision of the court stands. At least for now.

    • Veronica Sheehan says

      This is only a temporary hold on a law that seeks to place reasonable medical regulations on abortion and furthermore this stay lasts only until the Court votes on whether to take this case and does not necessarily signal which way the Court will vote on what could be an early abortion case of the new Supreme Court.
      Let’s not lose hope.

    • Let’s see was Stare decisis considered for slavery or separate but equal? Or how about a woman’s right to vote?

    • St. Christopher says

      Actually, you can, “YFC.” Recall that the Supreme Court has changed its views on many, many issues. Stare Decisis means little when political reality is against the Court. Just think of sodomy rights. It only took about 17 years for the Supremes to go from “No” (Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986) to “Yes” (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003). And, Roe and other abortion rights cases are founded on similar flimsy, made up, constitutional rights (as is the “liberty” interest in Lawrence, pure legal lunacy). Nope, the Supreme Court exists to validate what it believes people are thinking. Many, many cases change due to the changes in the political winds of the times. No intellectual integrity there.

  3. St. Christopher says

    Yes, it is likely, but not certain, that CJ Roberts (is he also the “dread pirate, Roberts” — let him with ears, hear?) will become a sort of David Souter of today’s Court. He is very concerned, as he should not be, of the Court’s legacy. In so doing, Roberts will be a pawn for use by the more astute evil doers on the Court. Perhaps Roberts is a good man, perhaps one that is engaged in idolatry. We shall see, but this is a very bad omen.

    • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE says

      St. Christopher: You fear that “Roberts will be a pawn for use by the more astute . . . on the Court”. Fear not. Roberts is the MOST astute of the 9. For proof, read his dissent in the Obergefell case, which held 5-4 that the Constitution requires marriage to be open to same-sex partners. It is a tour-de-force. It demolishes the majority opinion point by point–and is clear and readable.

  4. I’ve suspected that Chief Justice Roberts has been blackmailed for the past 6 years because his thinking over this time period has been tortured. On the big decisions, he’s always voted to ensure that the liberal block prevails. He’s typically voted conservative because Kennedy voted liberal. When Kennedy voted conservative, however, Roberts would then vote liberal to ensure a liberal outcome.

    Whose been blackmailing Roberts? There were several journalists during that time who complained that someone was sophisticatedly hacking their computers. I’ve suspected it was someone in the Obama Administration who had connections to the NSA/FBI. If they targeted journalists, they also could have targeted conservative justices.

  5. ELIZABETH T. says

    WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT HE IS ON THE COURT!!!!!

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