WASHINGTON, DC, June 29, 2020 – In a narrow 5–4 decision Monday morning, the Supreme Court ruled against Louisiana’s law that limited access to abortion by requiring providers to have hospital admitting privileges. Despite having sided in favor of an identical law in Texas in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision just four years ago, Chief Justice Roberts ruled with the Court’s left flank in today’s June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo opinion, preserving the principle of stare decisis. The conservatives on the Court, including Trump-appointed Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, would have allowed Louisiana’s law to take effect, which would have effectively closed all but one abortion clinic in the state.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“Today’s outcome, which does not further limit access to abortion, is probably the best that we could have hoped for in this case. It only happened because Chief Justice Roberts was not willing to reverse a four-year-old precedent, though he still sought to narrow it. Indeed, the only thing that had changed in those four years was the political makeup of the Court, and the dissents demonstrate just how eager the conservatives are to gut access to abortion as well as the legal principles like standing that help protect it. The president pledged to nominate judges and justices who would gut abortion access, and Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh proved today their willingness to do just that, even in the face of precedent. This decision is a reminder of how fragile access to abortion remains and how vigilant we all must be to preserve and expand it.”