U.S. Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion law
(Reuters) – A split U.S. Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to block implementation of a new abortion law in Texas that already has prompted a dozen clinics in the state to stop performing the procedure.
The provision requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility in case women have complications.
The court was split 5-4, with the conservative wing of the court in the majority. The four liberal justices said they would have overturned the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals October 31 ruling that allowed the law to take effect.
Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by two of his conservative colleagues, wrote an opinion explaining the rationale in favor of leaving the appeals court decision intact.
Scalia criticized the four dissenters, saying that their suggested outcome would “flout core principles of federalism by mandating postponement of a state law without asserting that the law is even probably unconstitutional.”
Writing for the four dissenters, Justice Stephen Breyer said he would have favored blocking the law to “maintain the status quo” while the lower courts handled “this difficult, sensitive and controversial legal matter.” [HUH?]