The U.S. Supreme Court ensured that Texas’ six-week abortion ban will stay fully in effect for the time being, refusing for a second time to let abortion providers return to a federal trial court to keep pressing their challenge.
The decision, which came with no explanation, drew a scathing dissent from Justice
“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor wrote for herself and Justices
The clinics and doctors say the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is stalling after the Supreme Court ruled in December that part of their lawsuit could go forward. The 5th Circuit this week
The providers say the 5th Circuit should have immediately sent the case back to U.S. District Judge
“Texans have been without abortion access for almost five months now, and there is no end in sight because the Supreme Court has done nothing to stop this unconstitutional ban,” said
The skirmishing comes as the Supreme Court
When the Supreme Court
“Given the ongoing chilling effect of the state law, the district court should resolve this litigation and enter appropriate relief without delay,” Roberts wrote for the group then. He gave no indication Thursday that he objected to the latest order.
The Dec. 10 ruling said the suit could proceed against members of the state medical, nursing, and pharmacy licensing boards because “it appears” they had authority to enforce aspects of the law.
But the majority also said the Texas courts were the “final arbiters” of what authority those officials had. That line gave Texas -- and the 5th Circuit -- an opening to ask the Texas Supreme Court to offer its interpretation.
Days after the Supreme Court ruling, the providers asked the high court to remand the case directly to Pitman and bypass the 5th Circuit, one of the country’s most conservative appeals courts. The Supreme Court instead
The latest case is In Re Whole Woman’s Health, 21-962.
(Adds law remaining in effect in first paragraph.)
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