Justices stay out of Arkansas abortion case

The Supreme Court issued orders this morning from the justices’ private conference last week, and the big news out of today’s order list was what the justices did not do: They did not add any new cases to their merits docket for next term, and they did not ask the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on any cases. They also did not act on several of the high-profile petitions that they have considered at several conferences in recent weeks. And perhaps most significantly, they did not intervene in a challenge to an Arkansas law regulating medication abortions – that is, abortions performed in early pregnancy by administering drugs, rather than surgically. The Arkansas law at issue requires doctors who prescribe abortion-inducing drugs to have an agreement with another doctor who will agree to handle emergencies and has privileges to admit patients to a nearby hospital. The lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood, which runs reproductive-health clinics in…

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