The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled that Texas abortion providers can challenge the Texas heartbeat bill in court. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, stated that the abortion providers could bring suit against those Texas state officials who are in a position to enforce the law. The court also allowed the law to remain in effect until the lower court can review it.
While Justices Thomas, Roberts, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer each dissented from the full ruling in varying degrees, all but Thomas agreed that abortion providers could bring suit against Texas state licensing officials, reversing prior court rulings.
In his opinion, Justice Gorsuch emphasized that the Supreme Court was not considering “the ultimate merits question” -- whether the law was constitutional. The case will now be sent back to the District Court for review, potentially opening the door for a ruling that the Texas law is unconstitutional.
In a separate decision, the Court dismissed a Department of Justice suit to block the Texas law.