Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Good News on Grant of Review in Louisiana Abortion Case

In February, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, granted the request of abortion providers (in June Medical Services v. Gee) to block a Louisiana law on hospital admitting privileges from taking effect until the Court ruled on their petition for certiorari seeking review of the Fifth Circuit decision below. Given that action, it was a near certainty that the Court would grant review of the abortion providers’ petition for certiorari. The Court did so in an order today.

What wasn’t at all clear was whether the Court would also grant the state of Louisiana’s conditional cross-petition, which challenges the widespread lazy assumption that abortion providers have “third-party standing” to represent their patients’ interests. As the cross-petition explains, this assumption is an aberration from the third-party standing rules that apply to everyone else.

I’m very pleased to see that the Court also granted Louisiana’s cross-petition. If the Court were to rule against the abortion providers on third-party standing, it would dispose of their challenge to the Louisiana law, and, more broadly, it would eliminate much of the abortion litigation that besets the federal courts.

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