|Photos via Houston Chronicle|
The Nine, shockingly, overturned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and said that the part of last year's Texas abortion law that shut the state down to just eight clinics should be blocked from implementation.
Again, I'll be damned:
In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an Oct. 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.
The court also put on hold a separate provision of the law only as it applies to clinics in McAllen and El Paso that requires doctors at the facilities to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The admitting privileges remains in effect elsewhere in Texas.
That part is at least interesting; I don't know if it's related to the largely Hispanic nature of both areas, their being on the border, or what. We'll see how that plays out.
It may be in part due to wanting some basic access to abortion without too much distance encumbrance, as the Chron notes. The New York Times reinforces that, noting that Texas had no clinics open west or south of San Antonio.
Plus, this may ultimately turn out to be a long-term as well as a short-term win.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have ruled against the clinics in all respects.
One of both of those two may ultimately, per the unsigned order, decide that admitting privileges is not a "bridge too far." We'll have to stay tuned.
Like me, Lyle Denniston of Scotusblog sees at least hints of some bright lines in this ruling. Lines which the current court will not cross, tenuous as they may be.
Per multiple blog posts by friend Perry, this is typical of Abbott, Dan Patrick, and their ilk among the hardcore right on this issue. They give themselves an inch, then decide to take a mile, that "mile" ultimately being to outlaw abortion entirely. Well, at least for now, contra Think Progress, it looks like Roe v. Wade stays safe.
Too bad Davis has spent the majority of her campaign running away from her own filibuster.