Justice Roberts Strikes Down Abortion Law Based on Precedent He Admits is Wrong

Justice Roberts is just the gift that keeps on giving.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana's tough restriction on abortions violates the Constitution, a surprising victory for abortion rights advocates from an increasingly conservative court.

What NBC News calls "tough" restrictions was a law that abortion doctors had to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. But why hold abortion doctors to the same "tough" standards as OB/GYN doctors.

The 5-4 decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court's four more liberal justices, struck down a law passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2014 that required any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

What exactly is the problem with expecting abortion doctors, who perform potentially risky procedures, to take some responsibility for providing medical care for their patients? The battle against this is another reminder that the abortion industry is uninterested in the women that it's claiming to help.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the Texas decision, also wrote Monday's ruling. The law poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking an abortion, offers no significant health benefits, "and therefore imposes an undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to choose to have an abortion."

It poses no obstacle for women. It does raise standards for abortion providers. And lefties routinely treat any expectation of standards as suppression, whether it's Voter ID or this case. That's a dishonest argument. The benefits to women here are obvious.

And what's Roberts' excuse for signing on to this one? Precedent.

Roberts said he thought the court was wrong to strike down the Texas law, but he voted with the majority because that was the binding precedent. "The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana's law cannot stand under our precedents."

Dred Scott v. Sandford was also precedent. If "conservative" justices can't reject unconstitutional decisions because of precedent, then reform becomes utterly hopeless.