Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court enjoined enforcement of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that had upheld a Louisiana statute regulating doctors who perform abortions.
The striking thing about the 5th Circuit’s decision was that it flew directly in the face of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court back in June 2016 that had enjoined enforcement of a similar law in Texas.
In essence, the 5th Circuit was giving the Supreme Court a chance to reverse its 2016 decision. But Justice Roberts joined the four liberal members of the Court to delay enforcement of the law. However, not too much should be read into the Supreme Court’s decision since it is pretty clear that the Court will take up the case on the merits for decision.
Some suspect Roberts supported enjoining the statute for the time being in order to allow the Supreme Court to decide whether its 2016 decision should be reversed instead of effectively allowing a circuit court to ignore that decision.
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