Key justice Kennedy wavers as US top court confronts abortion

By REUTERS
March 2, 2016 23:54
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

A closely divided US Supreme Court struggled with its biggest abortion case in years on Wednesday, with pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy voicing concerns about a restrictive Texas law yet stopping short of signaling he would strike it down.

The court's four liberal justices indicated they believed the law, which imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinic buildings, intrudes on a woman's constitutional right to end a pregnancy established in a 1973 ruling.

Conservative justices including Kennedy expressed doubt during the 85-minute oral argument about claims by abortion providers who asserted that the Republican-backed 2013 law forced numerous clinics to shut down.

Kennedy at one point suggested sending the case back to a lower court to get further evidence on the law's impact, including an assessment of the ability of existing Texas clinics to meet the demand for abortions.

If there is evidence new clinics that meet the state's regulations have increased capacity to perform abortions, it would show the law has provided a "beneficial effect," Kennedy said.

The outcome appeared to be in the hands of Kennedy, who often casts the deciding vote in close rulings. In past abortion cases, he has backed a fundamental right to abortion while supporting some restrictions.

The court was shorthanded with only eight justices following the Feb. 13 death of conservative Antonin Scalia, leaving the liberals and conservatives evenly divided.

The best that supporters of the law could hope for would be a 4-4 split that would let stand a lower-court ruling that affirmed the Texas regulations but set no nationwide legal precedent on whether other states could enact similar measures.

However, such a ruling leaving the Texas law intact could encourage other states with anti-abortion legislatures to pass similar laws.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
October 18, 2018
Home Front Command announces return to routine

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF