Choice wins

The Supreme Court has overturned a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law.

In a dramatic ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Texas abortion access law in a victory to supporters of abortion rights who argued it would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state.

The 5-3 ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing so-called “clinic shutdown” laws.

You can read the decision (pdf).

It feels funny to have a Supreme Court decision go the sensible, reasonable way.


  1. says

    The only real reason I’m voting for Clinton is that the Supreme Court is too important to be left to the Republican Party. The appointments are far too influential in the long term.

  2. robro says

    And it would have gone that way even with Scalia, unless he convinced the fence sitters.

  3. acroyear says

    Actually, Scalia did (according to some watchers) have quite a bit of influence on Kennedy in some issues. It is rumored Scalia convinced Kennedy to vote with the conservatives in the protest buffer zone case.

    In any instance I’m more interested in reading the summaries of the dissent(s) – Ed Brayton usually posts his review within a day or so – because THAT is the real reminder why no Republican should ever be elected President again.

  4. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Good and especially a good precedent for the many, many other states that try similar shenanigans to impose undue burdens. What particularly aggravates me about these laws is that they’re always couched as “protecting women”, when nothing could be further from the truth. Luckily, the SCOTUS saw through that farce quite clearly.

  5. jaybee says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but some of these TRAP laws are already in effect, and Texas has already had a number of clinics close. Some may come back, but damage has been done in the meantime.

  6. komarov says

    The 5-3 ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing so-called “clinic shutdown” laws.

    As if. Either they’ll try to push through more of the same to do the damage (see #6) before those laws are once again undone, or they’ll evolve yet another straint of virulent anti-healthcare law that’ll take years to cure.

    “[T]he court also in effect barred lawmakers from passing health measures backed by dubious medical evidence as a way of forcing large numbers of abortion clinics to close.”

    Nope, still sceptical. They’ll adapt and they’ll keep coming. As grotesque as that it is…

  7. magistramarla says

    Yeah, I live in Texas, and the wingnuts are already snarling an gnashing their teeth. Horrible Abbott even admitted on camera that the laws were all about restricting women’s access to abortion, not their health and safety. Wendy Davis is celebrating today!
    PP recently built a fantastic building in San Antonio that adheres to all of those rules.
    I’m hoping that PP will reach out to places like those small towns down on the border that have lost their PP offices to help them rebuild.

  8. Fern says

    I’m so glad about the WWH v. Hellerstadt decision, as well as the outcome in Voisine v. U.S.* (I haven’t looked at the McDonnell decision yet.)

    Unfortunately, jayvee @6, you’re probably right that much of the damage has been done. But the decision is still a big deal, and given all the crap that’s happened in the world over the last few weeks, I’ll take good news where I can get it.

    *I’m a civil litigator, not a criminal lawyer, so I’m couching my opinion on Voisine a little bit. I’ll just say that I’m very happy with the result in the context of limiting firearms access and protecting people in domestic relationships.

  9. archangelospumoni says

    I have not looked up the specific citation, but I heard on the radio that good ol’ Clarence Scalthomas reverted to previous form even though his bestest pal is departed. I heard he quoted Scalia from an earlier screed. So he can’t seem to use his own words again . . . .