<img src = "https://compote.slate.com/images/07baedbe-4653-4471-9e51-033d9251182f.jpeg?width=780&height=520&rect=1560×1040&offset = 0x0 "alt =" 2017 file image of the Supreme Court's top right John Roberts "srcset =" https://compote.slate.com/images/07baedbe-4653-4471-9e51- 033d9251182f.jpeg? Width = 780 & height = 520 & rect = 1560×1040 & offset = 0x0 1x, https://compote.slate.com/images/07baedbe-4653-4471-9e51-033d9251182f.jpeg?width=780&height=520&rect=1560×1040&offset=0x0 2x  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
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Within one week, the Supreme Court will decide to block a Louisiana law designed to close the state's abortion clinics through draconian rules. If the court refuses to stop the implementation of the law, it will effectively override its decision in 2016 in
Whole Woman Health v. Hellerstedt . By doing so, the new conservative majority would launch the impending repentance of Roe v. Wade himself. It is no exaggeration to say that the Supreme Court will determine the future of Roe within a few days.
The particular Louisiana Act, Act 620, was modeled according to the Texas Statute that the court struck down in
All Woman Health . Like the measure, 620 abortion providers are required to gain access to hospital privileges within 30 miles of their clinic. As a judge on 5 th the US Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, the laws of Texas and Louisiana are "almost identical". And because the Supreme Court has overruled the Texas Statute as an "unreasonable burden" on constitutional law for abortion, you can expect that th Circuit will shut down the Louisiana measure on the same grounds.
It was not for a very obvious reason: By the time that 5
th Circuit heard a constitutional challenge to law 620, trial Anthony Kennedy – who cast the fifth vote to knock down the Texas Statute – had retired. He was ready to be replaced by Brett Kavanaugh, a hard-abortionist who was eager to overthrow Roe . And, of course, in anticipation of a shift away from abortion rights, a panel of judges upheld 5 th Circuit Louisiana law in June Medical Services v. Gee . The full 5 th Circuit then declined to reverse the panel's decision, with Trump's four leaders voting to let the ruling stand. (Trump's fifth employee of court, Kyle Duncan, revoked himself because he helped defend law 620 before joining the bench.)
Judges James L. Dennis and Stephen A. Higginson accused in two dissuasive dissents of the Circuit to essentially reverse Whole Woman's Health alone. They were right. In All Woman Health the Supreme Court explained that an abortion restriction runs out of the Constitution if its burdens for women outweigh its benefits. Texas & # 39; s privilege admission found the court heavily charged with state clinics, while there is no real benefit to women, making it illegal. Because Law 620 imposed the same claim, 5 th Circuit was obliged to conclude that it also unduly burdened women's access to abortion in violation of the United States Constitution.
It didn't. Judge Jerry Smith acknowledged in his opinion
June Medical Services that Law 620 at most provides "minimal benefits" to women. But he concluded that it is still constitutional because it only creates less burdens. How small? Smith estimated that the law would only close one of Louisiana's three remaining abortion clinics, while the Texas Law would have closed about 32 out of 40 state-owned clinics. As a result, he has calculated that Louisiana women will have to wait an hour longer to obtain abortion. These burdens Smith wrote were too small to violate the constitution.
This analysis, which Dennis and Higginson explained, is just wrong. In deciding whether the Texas law survived constitutional investigation, the Supreme Court does not claim total clinical closures and waiting times. It balanced the burden of the law against the benefits and found that the strict rules did nothing to improve women's health. Smith himself admitted that Law 620 was about to close a third of Louisiana's abortion clinics, would force women to move on to the remaining providers, would remove some doctors from their ability to perform the procedure and would increase waiting times. He even admitted that the law would hardly benefit women. (In fact, the law gives no
identifiable benefits to women's health.) It should have been the end of his analysis. But Smith still maintained the law and participated in a speech game that directly contradicts Whole Gender Health.
On Monday, the challengers pledged 620 the Supreme Court to remain the law while appealing 5
th Circuit & # 39; June Medical Services decision. If the court accepts their request, the Louisiana Law will be blocked so far – that is, it would be on hold until the SCOTUS either refuses to hear the case or takes it and makes a decision. If the Supreme Court refuses their request to remain law 620, the law will enter into force on Monday. (The judges could still hear the case next year and theoretically shut down Act 620 at the later date. However, at this time it may be too late for Louisiana's clinics to recover, although other states will learn that they cannot yet disregard Roe .)
The challengers claim that Smith virtually underestimated the influence of the law and claims that it would actually close everything down to a Louisiana clinic and strip everyone but a doctor in the state of abortion ability. They seem to be correct. The court found that only a single doctor granted privileges in a single clinic, and the rest of the state's abortion providers tried and failed to get them. Smith rejected this finding and insisted that these doctors "sat on their hands" and likely to grant privileges if they tried harder. That speculation is not entirely supported by the factual record. If the court does not put the law in wait, then it seems that
Roe will be close to death letters in Louisiana.
But the consequences of a 5-4 decision allowing law 620 to come into force would extend far beyond a state. It would indicate that the Supreme Court's new majority is withdrawing from
Whole Woman's Health signaling that states are free to ignore it and adhere to strict laws targeting abortion clinics. Once Whole Woman's Health is functionally overturned, Roe himself will be next on the mind block. After all, Whole Woman's Health confirmed the very basic principle that states must not devise excuses to deny women control over their reproductive rights. Once this rule is scrapped, states will be released to regulate abortion out of existence within their borders.
June Medical Services puts great pressure on chief lawyer John Roberts, the court's new swing voice. Roberts was a dissenter in Whole Woman's Health and will very likely overturn Roe . But would he be willing to let a lower court be indecently preaching, even though it is a precedent, he may not like it? His vote on this emergency appeal will reveal how aggressively overall justice wants to attack abortion – and whether he is willing to sacrifice the rule of law to repeal Roe as soon as possible. If Roberts lets the Act 620 come into effect next week, it is the beginning of the end of the constitutional right to choose.