In Surprise Abortion Vote, Roberts Avoids ‘Jolt to the Legal System’

Mr. Specter, at the time a moderate Republican protective of abortion rights, was pleased with the answer. “A jolt to the legal system, a movement against stability — one of the Roberts doctrines,” he said.

That Roberts doctrine was on display Thursday. The precedent at risk was Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which in 2016 struck down a Texas abortion law that required doctors providing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The majority said the requirement served no medical purpose and imposed an undue burden on women’s constitutional right to abortion.

The vote was 5 to 3, with Chief Justice Roberts one of the dissenters. He might have been expected to take a similar stance in Thursday’s case. Instead, at least for now, he declined to give the legal system a jolt.

At the confirmation hearing, Mr. Specter also tried to get Chief Justice Roberts to say that Roe was a “super-duper precedent,” because the Supreme Court had reaffirmed its core holding in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Chief Justice Roberts declined to adopt Mr. Specter’s terminology, but he did not quarrel with his larger point. Indeed, he said the legal doctrine of stare decisis, which is Latin for “to stand by things decided,” counseled caution in light of the Casey decision’s extended discussion of the importance of adhering to precedent.

“The Casey decision itself, which applied the principles of stare decisis to Roe v. Wade, is itself a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “That is itself a precedent. It’s a precedent on whether or not to revisit the Roe v. Wade precedent. And under principles of stare decisis, that would be where any judge considering the issue in this area would begin.”

At the same time, he said respect for precedent must sometimes give way to other considerations, including whether “a particular precedent is workable or not” as a practical matter and “whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments” in the law.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • On Politics: Complete Coverage of the Mueller Report

    • Here are four dramatic passages.

  • Democrats Draw Closer to a Dicey Question: Whether to Impeach Trump

    WASHINGTON — House Democrats, facing some.

  • Right, Left and Center React to the Mueller Report

    Now that it is over, he.

  • Highlights: Barr Defends Trump Before Releasing Mueller Report – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Watch Live: Barr Speaks Before Mueller Report Is Made Public – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Democrats Are United on Climate Change, but Not on What to Do About It

    For Democrats vying to unseat President.

  • On Politics: Mueller Report to Be Released Today

    Good Thursday morning. Here are some.

  • Terry McAuliffe Will Not Run for President

    WASHINGTON — Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

  • E.P.A. Moves to ‘Close the Door’ on Asbestos. Consumer Groups Say Loopholes Remain.

    Want climate news in your inbox?.

  • On ‘Made in America,’ Trump’s F.T.C. Appointees May Be Out of Step With Him

    Two more companies, Sandpiper and PiperGear,.

  • In New Effort to Deter Migrants, Barr Withholds Bail to Asylum Seekers

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on.

  • Julián Castro Needs a Defining Moment. Has It Already Passed?

    Because Mr. Castro never ran for.

  • On Politics: Trump’s United Base of America

    While other presidents sought to broaden.

  • Court Rejects 2 Years of Judge’s Decisions in Cole Tribunal

    This article was produced in partnership.

  • How to Cover 2020: Assume Nothing and Beware of Twitter

    CHICAGO — Journalists have no idea.

  • For Democrats, Ilhan Omar Is a Complicated Figure to Defend

    WASHINGTON — When President Trump tweeted.

  • Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn’t Always Listen.

    WASHINGTON — Gina Haspel was trying.

  • Mick Mulvaney’s Master Class in Destroying the Government From Within

    The new agency had the feel.

  • On Politics: Trump’s Trade Style Could Cost U.S.

    • Oil purchases by China and.

  • The Rematch: Bernie Sanders vs. a Clinton Loyalist

    The blowup reflects ideological divisions among.

  • Trump Says He Will Give Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom

    A day after Tiger Woods won.

  • Pete Buttigieg’s Campaign Kickoff: Full Speech, Annotated

    Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South.

  • What’s a Feminist Government? Canada, and Trudeau, Grapple With the Question

    “I know some women who are.

  • Want to Escape Global Warming? These Cities Promise Cool Relief

    “We’re not seeing worse heat waves.

  • On Politics: Mayor Pete, the College Years

    • What drove Mr. Trump’s recent.

  • Trump’s 2020 Campaign Raises Over $30 Million in First Quarter

    President Trump raised more than $30.

  • Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut

    Studies consistently find that the 2017.

  • Mitch McConnell, Never a Grandstander, Learns to Play by Trump’s Rules

    WASHINGTON — President Trump was walking.

  • How Kamala Harris’s Income Compares to Those of Other Candidates

    Senator Kamala Harris of California disclosed.

  • Pete Buttigieg’s Focus: Storytelling First. Policy Details Later.

    Mr. Buttigieg has stirred suspicion among.

  • Julian Assange: Friend and Foe to Left and Right

    Over the years, the WikiLeaks founder.

  • Mnuchin Says China Trade Talks Are Nearing Final Round

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.