Supreme Court Clears Way for Challenge to Texas Abortion Law

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed abortion clinics in Texas to proceed with their challenge to the state’s heartbeat law, which will remain in effect for the time being.

The outcome enables abortion providers to request a long-sought order blocking the law in full. The decision is splintered over several opinions that reveal deep and fractious divides among the justices. The justices dismissed a separate lawsuit from the Biden administration without comment.

Friday’s decision, though a victory for the law’s critics, could prove meaningless by the summer. The justices signaled during oral arguments on Dec. 1 that they will uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks, and could skuttle Roe v. Wade altogether. Providers in Texas will be in a holding pattern until the Court decides the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Eight justices splintered over several opinions allowed the clinics to move forward with their lawsuit. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the Court’s opinion, joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Justice Clarence Thomas joined most of the Gorsuch opinion but wrote separately to say he would not allow the clinics’ lawsuit to go forward. – READ MORE