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Supreme Court Stays Texas Abortion Clinic Law

The stay is good news, but it also means an abortion case will be heard right in the middle of the 2016 election cycle.
Supreme Court Stays Texas Abortion Clinic Law
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The good news: The Supreme Court has put a stay on the Texas law which would have caused nearly all of the abortion clinics in that state to close.

The bad news: It means they will hear a major abortion case right in the middle of the 2016 election cycle, which will fire up the extremists on the right in ways we cannot even imagine.

SCOTUSblog has the details:

Splitting five to four, the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon temporarily blocked Texas from enforcing two new requirements that abortion clinic operators say will force many of them to close. The order will keep those rules on hold at least until the Court decides whether to rule on their constitutionality.

One provision requires all doctors performing abortions in the state to have the right to send patients to a nearby hospital, while the other requires all abortion clinics in the state to have facilities equal to a surgical center. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld both provisions.

In a one-paragraph order, the Justices did not explain why they were postponing the law. If review of the law is denied later, the order will be lifted; if review is granted, it will stay in effect until a final ruling emerges. The actual petition for review has not yet been filed by the doctors and clinics involved.

The Justices in favor of delay were not named in the order, but it did take five votes to issue that postponement. That means it was supported by Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Sonia Sotomayor.

The four Justices who noted that they would refuse any delay were Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.

Mississippi also has a case moving through the courts which may see its way to the Supreme Court, too. That case also concerns the admitting privileges provision, causing MIssissippi's last remaining clinic to close as well.

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