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Judges cite John Roberts’ opinion in turning the block on abortion laws in Arkansas



Three judges at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday chose to remove a district court temporary block on Arkansas’ laws “in light of Chief Justice Robert’s separate statement in June Medical” and another court case. The laws include a restriction on the most common procedure used for abortions in the second trimester and a provision that the husband of a woman who receives the abortion can sue the doctor to stop his wife’s abortion.

According to the rules of procedure, the reintroduced laws can not enter into force in 21 days or until 28 August.

Judges Lavenski R. Smith, Roger L. Wollman and L. Steven Grasz noted that while Roberts agreed with the court̵

7;s four Liberals to strike down the Louisiana law in June, he did not sign their reasoning.

They pointed out how highly in his unanimous opinion the court raised the unfair burden standard, set in the landmark highest court case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. V. Casey to determine if a law creates a significant obstacle in the way of a woman seeking an abortion. Roberts considered that “state and federal legislators [have] a large margin of discretion in legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty “in accordance with that decision, the judges stated.

While the lower court, in its kind of restriction, ruled that courts, not legislators, must resolve medical uncertainty issues, Roberts emphasized in the substitute Supreme Court case, “the broad discretion” that courts must give to legislators in areas of medical uncertainty, “he said. judges.

The granular analysis of Robert’s opinion in a case that ultimately blocked an abortion restriction and then upheld other restrictions was expected by several supporters and opponents of abortion rights in light of Robert’s opinion.

In a footnote, Roberts wrote that “the validity of allowing law privileges depends on several factors that may differ from state to state.”

CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law Stephen Vladeck said at the time that Roberts suggested he did not necessarily approve the analysis of the 2016 decision, which focused as much on whether the restrictions actually provided benefits to pregnant women. as if they were imposing an unnecessary burden.

“In the process,” Vladeck said, “the narrower view of supreme justice has meant that states that make different arguments in different cases may justify similar restrictions in the future. In that respect, the Supreme Court may have given rise to abortion advocates today, but their victory may be short-lived. . “

Support for abortion rights that helped bring the case against the law struck the decision and promised to continue fighting against it in court.

“This decision is a reminder that the fight against these extreme abortion restrictions is far from won,” said Holly Dickson, legal director and interim executive director of the ACLU in Arkansas, in a statement. “We are evaluating our next steps and will continue to fight to ensure that these harmful and unconstitutional laws do not come into force.”

Hillary Schneller, a staff lawyer at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that “just weeks ago, the Supreme Court confirmed that a state cannot pass laws that unnecessarily burden a person’s access to abortion, and that is exactly what these laws do.”

Opponents of access to abortion cheered.

“Arkansas has taken a strong stand to protect the unborn from inhuman treatment,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement, adding that she would “continue to defend our state’s legal right to protect the unborn.”

Carol Tobias, chair of the National Right to Life, said her group was convinced that “according to the standard set out in the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, this law will sail” and “protect the lives of unborn children” .

CNN’s Ariane de Vogue, Joan Biskupic, Devan Cole and Doug Criss contributed to this report.


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