(Courthouse News) WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court authorized Texas abortion providers on Friday to proceed in their challenge of the state’s near-total ban on abortions, a rule that will remain in place while the case proceeds.
Issuing their decision just over a month after oral arguments, the justices still managed a split on somewhat ideological lines. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the lead opinion, joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The liberal wing of the court joined an opinion concurring in judgment but dissenting in part by Chief Justice John Roberts. Justice Clarence Thomas issued his own partial dissent.
The narrow ruling allows the abortion providers to continue their suit against defendants with authority over medical licenses but rejects their effort against judges and clerks of the state court system.
“Eight justices hold this case may proceed past the motion to dismiss stage against Mr. Carlton, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Benz, and Ms. Young, defendants with specific disciplinary authority over medical licensees, including the petitioners,” Gorsuch wrote.