No Cheers for the Supreme Court

FILE – In this April 23, 2021, file photo, members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, while standing from left are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

The Supreme Court rejected a request today from abortion providers in Texas that a federal judge be allowed to take prompt action on their challenge to a state law that bans most abortions after six weeks. The practical effect of the order, the three liberal justices wrote in dissent, was to let the law stay in place indefinitely.

“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent.

The majority gave no reasons for its ruling, which followed a decision last month allowing the providers to sue at least some state officials to try to block or limit the law. That victory was an empty one, the dissenting justices wrote on Thursday, because the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, refused to return the case to the trial judge and instead sent it on a legal detour to a state court.

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