By: Erin Johnson, Xiro Xone News June 27, 2016 Updated: 1:10 PM
The Supreme Court ruled to struck down regulation of abortion clinics Monday.
The justices voted 5-3 Monday in favor of Texas clinics that protested the regulations as a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation’s second-most populous state.
Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion.
The state had argued that the restrictions -- requiring clinics to meet surgical-center operating standards and doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals -- were necessary to protect women's health. Abortion rights advocates said that by adding delays and distance to the obstacles women face, the medical risks would only rise.
"We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes," Breyer said. "Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access ... and each violates the federal Constitution."
Breyer was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.
With the ruling, the eight-person court avoided yet another split decision after twice tying on Thursday in the aftermath of Scalia’s death.
President Obama’s nominee to fill Scalia’s seat, Judge Merrick Garland, waits in limbo as the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to give him a hearing or vote during an election year.