Monday, April 18, 2016
Courts - "Major Wisconsin cases could hang in balance at short-handed Supreme Court"
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Patrick Marley has a major story today on how the 4-4 SCOTUS split could affect pending Wisconsin (and really all 7th Circuit) cases. Some of the cases are unique to Wisconsin, others have parallels in Indiana. Some quotes from the long story:
Madison — Having the U.S. Supreme Court short one justice for the foreseeable future could affect Wisconsin cases dealing with voter ID, abortion, an investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and how legislative districts are drawn. * * *
Other legal challenges on voter ID and abortion are pending and could eventually wend their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Similar laws in other states are also being challenged, and those cases may have a better chance at making it to the high court than the cases from Wisconsin. Here's a look at where the Wisconsin cases stand. * * *
Abortion. Wisconsin Republicans approved a law in 2013 requiring doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform the procedure.
U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison ruled the law violated the right to abortion. In a 2-1 ruling, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel agreed with that finding.
Attorney General Brad Schimel last month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.
The nation's high court showed divisions in March when it heard arguments over a Texas law that requires admitting privileges and places other restrictions on abortion that critics say would force the closure of three-quarters of Texas' abortion clinics.
If the court split 4-4 on the Texas case, it would leave in place a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision largely upholding those abortion restrictions. But a similar split in the Wisconsin case would cause the opposite result because of the 7th Circuit's ruling.