This is only a stay pending appeal, not an ultimate disposition of the case.
The law in question requires a doctor performing abortion to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, which critics alleged "would result in only a single abortion doctor in the entire state."
The actual SCOTUS Order says:
Because the filings regarding the application for a stay in this matter were not completed until earlier today and the Justices need time to review these filings, the issuance of the mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, case No. 17-30397, is administratively stayed through Thursday, February 7, 2019. This order does not reflect any view regarding the merits of the petition for a writ of certiorari that applicants represent they will file.
That's it, in its entirety.
And the Kavanaugh dissent states:
I respectfully dissent from the Courts stay order. In this case, the plaintiffs raised a pre-enforcement facial challenge to Louisianas new admitting-privileges requirement for doctors who perform abortions. The Fifth Circuit rejected the plaintiffs facial challenge based on that courts factual prediction that the new law would not affect the availability of abortions from, as relevant here, the four doctors who currently perform abortions at Louisianas three abortion clinics. In particular, the Fifth Circuit determined that the four doctors likely could obtain admitting privileges. The plaintiffs seek a stay of the Fifth Circuits mandate. They argue that the Fifth Circuits factual prediction is inaccurate because, according to the plaintiffs, three of those four doctors will not be able to obtain admitting privileges. As I explain below, even without a stay, the status quo will be effectively preserved for all parties during the States 45-day regulatory transition period. I would deny the stay without prejudice to the plaintiffs ability to bring a later as-applied complaint and motion for preliminary injunction at the conclusion of the 45-day regulatory transition period if the Fifth Circuits factual prediction about the doctors ability to obtain admitting privileges proves to be inaccurate.
* * *
In order to resolve the factual uncertainties presented in the stay application about the three doctors ability to obtain admitting privileges, I would deny the stay without prejudice to the plaintiffs ability to bring a later as applied complaint and motion for preliminary injunction at the conclusion of the 45-day regulatory transition period. The Court adopts an approachgranting the stay and presumably then granting certiorari for plenary review next Term of the plaintiffs pre-enforcement facial challengethat will take far longer and be no more beneficial than the approach suggested here. I respectfully dissent from the Courts stay order.
JUSTICE THOMAS, JUSTICE ALITO, JUSTICE GORSUCH, and JUSTICE KAVANAUGH would deny the application."
Roberts wrote nothing.
So.... Apparently all of Louisiana has a grand total of 3 clinics and 4 doctors. The “complaint” worries that 3 of the 4 doctors would get bounced for not currently having admitting privileges. All this jumping around and screeching and condemning and legislative action and repeated judicial challenges, all because 3 doctors in an entire state might have to do a little actual work to gain admitting privileges. Amazing.
Why didn’t Roberts let the 5th circuit decision stand, then?
“JUSTICE THOMAS, JUSTICE ALITO, JUSTICE GORSUCH, and JUSTICE KAVANAUGH would deny the application.””
Roberts joined the LIBERALS! WHY?
Did JUSTICE THOMAS, JUSTICE ALITO, JUSTICE GORSUCH, and JUSTICE KAVANAUGH not understand?