The court's first abortion rights case since Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench could mean tighter abortion restrictions across the country.
By the time the justices took their seats on Wednesday morning, the cavernous marble hall of the Supreme Court of the United States was jammed. From the packed press section, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nothing but a sliver of forehead and slicked-back grey hair hovering over the varnish of the long wooden bench. But you couldn’t miss Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the newest member of the court, sitting tall in his black leather seat at the far end. He was the real reason we were there, waiting to hear arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo, a high-stakes Louisiana case with the potential to reshape abortion rights across America.
If abortion feels like it should’ve been a settled legal issue decades ago, the case at hand feels especially like déjà vu—the court decided a nearly identical case just four years ago, striking down a restrictive Texas abortion law like the one Louisiana is currently defending. In that 2016 case, the court found the Texas law, which shuttered half of the state’s clinics by requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at hospitals, unconstitutional.
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