(PresidentialInsider.com)- The Supreme Court upheld Texas’ controversial abortion law, even with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the panel’s three liberal justices.
In a 5-4 vote, the high court sided with Texas, allowing the state to keep in place a law that bans almost all abortions from happening in the state. Abortion providers and other advocates had sought an emergency appeal to block the law from being enforced. The law had just gone into effect this week.
Despite the decision on the emergency appeal, though, the plaintiffs will still likely have the opportunity to challenge it. The court even admitted that this likely wouldn’t be the last word on the validity of Texas’ law.
Signed back in May by Governor Greg Abbott, Texas’ new law prohibits any abortion once a medical professional is able to detect cardiac activity. In most cases, this happens at roughly six weeks, and can often be before some women know they’re even pregnant.
The Texas law has gained a lot of publicity recently because it’s one of the strictest abortion laws in the entire country. It also represents one of the biggest challenges to the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
In recent years, Republican-led states have enacted tougher abortion laws. In fact, at least 12 other states have enacted laws that prohibit abortions early on in pregnancy, but all of them were blocked in court from actually taking effect.
In justifying their decision not to block the law, the justices in the majority said the plaintiffs who brought the case hadn’t met the burden required to issue a stay of the law.
The ruling, which was unsigned, read:
“In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts.”
All three liberal justices dissented in the decision, and they were joined by Roberts — a conservative who has crossed the aisle a lot in recent high-profile decisions. Each of the dissenting judges wrote their own statements that expressed why they disagreed with the majority decision.
In his, Roberts said while the emergency relief was denied, “the Court’s order is emphatic in making clear that it cannot be understood as sustaining the constitutionality of the law at issue.”
In other words, he’s almost encouraging the plaintiffs to keep pushing forward to file a full appeal up to the Supreme Court.
This decision is the nightmare scenario that many liberals had envisioned when former President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
In other recent decisions, when Roberts sided with the liberal justices, it gave a 5-4 majority for liberals. Now, even when he sides with liberals, the conservative justices can win out if all five of them agree.