Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who famously redefined the Obamacare mandate as a tax to justify it constitutionally, has sided with the court's liberals in an abortion-related case.
The justices said in a 5-4 decision late Thursday that they will not allow the state to put into effect a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
And, in the death penalty case, Justice Elena Kagan wrote a powerful dissent that said her conservative colleagues were so intent on hastening executions that they were willing to overlook a "core principle" of religious neutrality.
If abortionists cannot, obtain admitting privileges, Kavanaugh continued, "even the State acknowledges that the law as applied might be deemed to impose an undue burden for purposes of Whole Woman's Health", and the abortionists could then bring a new case.
The Supreme Court recognized a woman's constitutional right to an abortion in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Pro-life and pro-choice forces both hope the court's ultimate decision on the law ends up being in their favor.
Depending on the viewpoint, the vote represented a temporary victory or setback - but not proof as to how the court might deal with a slew of tough anti-abortion laws working their way through state legislatures and federal courts.
The Supreme Court, divided 5-4, has temporarily blocked implementation of a Louisiana abortion law almost identical to the Texas law the high court struck down in 2016.
But the Supreme Court's conservatives, this time including Roberts, overruled.
During Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, he put on a dog-and-pony show while trying to paint a picture of a justice simply interested in the law, and as his quote at the top of this story demonstrates, he made it seem as if he would respect precedent.
Of course, he was also a conservative spoiler during the whole Obamacare individual mandate debate in 2012.
They argued that even if they were to win later, the impact of the law coming into effect would be irreversible and closed clinics would not be able to reopen.
"The Supreme Court has stepped in under the wire to protect the rights of Louisiana women", Northup said in.
Critics of the law say that the new measure placed an onerous and unnecessary burden on the right to abortion and would have shuttered two of the three clinics that perform the procedure in the state.
In the Louisiana case, the appellate court charged that most abortion providers had "sat on their hands", not making any attempt to meet the safety standard.
"The three clinics left in Louisiana can stay open while we ask the Supreme Court to hear our case", she continued. That way, if an abortion is botched, the physician can stay with the woman to provide continuity of care at a hospital.
At the ACLJ, we've been filing critical amicus briefs in defense of life at the Supreme Court.
Five justices, including the four most liberal members and Chief Justice John Roberts, supported the injunction. Admitting privileges are hard for abortion providers to obtain because too few of their patients are likely to seek hospital care, as well as because of ideological opposition from hospitals.
Kavanaugh appears to concede that losing all but one provider would likely be an undue burden on abortion rights, an argument I suppose we may see arise should the Court ultimately grant Gee. Should the Court agree to hear the case, arguments would likely happen in the fall. The appeals court can only answer legal questions such as whether certain evidence should have been excluded, unless the appeals court concludes that the lower court's factual findings were "clearly erroneous", an extremely high hurdle.