The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana abortion law from taking effect in a split 5-4 vote.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing in putting enforcement of the Louisiana law on hold. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh said they would have denied the stay application, allowing the law to take effect.
The case marked the first time the Supreme Court has taken action on a case dealing with abortion since Kavanaugh, who replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined the high court in October.
The Louisiana law requires doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. If it ultimately goes into effect, two of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics are expected to close because they would not be able to meet the requirement.