First, the great news.
The Supreme Court has ruled against the state of Texas in a 5-3 decision striking down the state's restrictions on access to abortion including, among other things, the nonsensical requirement that doctors who perform abortions also have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals
The majority ruling was written by Justice Stephen Breyer.
From the Associated Press:
Breyer wrote that "the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an 'undue burden' on their constitutional right to do so."
Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Breyer.
As you may recall, Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (D) led an all-night filibuster against the law that has now been struck down. Thousands of others joined her in protest outside the state Senate.
This ruling has major implications for access to abortion across the country because Texas was far from alone in passing laws that restrict access to abortion by imposing irrelevant requirements on clinics. Each individual state law will have to be challenged in court, but the Supreme Court has made it clear today what the final outcome of those challenges will be.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the dissent in which he referenced the late Antonin Scalia and called for striking down Roe v Wade.
Now, for the good news.
The Supreme Court also ruled this morning that individuals who've been convicted for domestic violence can be denied access to guns.
The 6-2 ruling, written by Justice Elena Kagan and endorsed by conservative as well as liberal justices, upheld the sentences imposed on two Maine men who had argued their misdemeanor convictions for domestic abuse should not trigger a federal gun control statute. Thomas and Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the dissent for this case as well.
"We treat no other constitutional right so cavalierly," he said in his dissent. "In construing the statute before us expansively so that causing a single minor reckless injury or offensive touching can lead someone to lose his right to bear arms forever, the court continues to relegate the Second Amendment to a second-class right."
A "single minor reckless injury or offensive touching." No big deal. It was just the one time!