Supreme Court sets date for Louisiana abortion case

Supreme Court sets date for Louisiana abortion case
© ANNA GASSOT/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has set a date, March 4, to hear oral arguments in a case over a Louisiana abortion law

The hot-button case is about a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Critics say this is aimed at forcing abortion clinics to close. 

In February, the court ruled to prevent the law from taking effect while it faces a legal challenge. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices in this decision, but it is unclear whether he would vote to block the law permanently. 

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A similar law in Texas was struck down 5-3 in 2016, but Roberts voted to uphold that law at the time. Justice Anthony Kennedy has retired since then. 

The case will be the first abortion case heard by the high court since Trump nominees Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchConservative group launches .2 million campaign urging GOP senators to fill Ginsburg's seat Names to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court READ: Supreme Court justices mourn death of Ginsburg, 'an American hero' MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGraham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Tumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate Fox's Napolitano: Supreme Court confirmation hearings will be 'World War III of political battles' MORE have joined the bench.

"All eyes must be on the Supreme Court come March. This case will have lasting consequences for abortion access across the country. Many states have been openly defying Supreme Court decisions in an effort to criminalize abortion," the Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement Tuesday. 

"At this critical juncture, the Court needs to set those states straight. If they don’t, Louisiana will be left with a single abortion provider at just one clinic, and other states could soon follow,” Northup added. 

In recent months, a number of states have passed laws to restrict abortion. Many have been challenged or blocked in court.