In it, but not of it. TPM DC

A major Supreme Court decision on abortion has shifted the legal landscape around the issue, but the battle is by no means close to over.

On one side, abortion rights advocates received a Supreme Court-level confirmation of what they’ve always argued: that evidence matters, that claims of an anti-abortion law’s benefits must be thoroughly vetted, and if those supposed benefits do not justify the effect it has on access to the procedure, the law is unconstitutional

On the other side, abortion opponents are admitting short-term defeat, but they say they're digging in for the long haul. They believe that there are plenty of other types of anti-abortion laws that can still stand up in court and even the provisions invalidated by the high court Monday may still be defendable under different circumstances.

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With bellicose foreign policy and his hostility to Muslims, Donald Trump has fashioned himself as a major threat to jihadist extremists, but they themselves see his posturing also as an opportunity, according to analysts who study their communications.

In some quarters of the dark internet, where supporters of the Islamic State and other extremist groups linger, the presumptive GOP nominee has emerged a rallying point of sorts. To them, he is the “perfect enemy,” as one Islamic State defector told a researcher interviewed by TPM, and they are using his posturing to advance their own agenda, according to another analyst.

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The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 on the side of abortion rights Monday in a Texas case that could have broad effects on states across the country that have passed similar abortion restrictions.

What exactly the case – Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt – will mean for them, however, will depend on a long and unpredictable maze of future litigation.

Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues associate at the Guttmacher Institute, called the Court's ruling Monday the "most momentous decision in a generation." Yet, she warned, there was still a lot left to fight over.

"Nothing is immediate," Nash explained. "This is not marriage equality."

The Texas case involved the application of the balancing test put forward in the 1992 Supreme Court decision Casey v. Planned Parenthood. The court sought to balance a law's burdens on women seeking abortions with the benefits of the health protections it sought to provide. What the court found in Whole Woman's Health was that the burden on women far outpaced any alleged health benefits.

At issue in the Texas case were two specific abortion restrictions. One provision of the Texas law required abortion providers to obtain admission privileges at a hospital. Another provision required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The Supreme Court struck down both provisions as unconstitutionally burdensome on women seeking abortions.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, was a rigorous examination of the evidence and arguments surrounding the Texas legislation. Breyer also said that in examining this and other anti-abortion laws, any uncertainty about restrictions' medical benefits should be taken into account by the courts, and not just left to the legislatures, as the Texas law's defenders had claimed.

Other states have similar restrictions in place. The question of whether they pass constitutional muster are very fact-specific and will be decided on a case-by-case basis, something the Supreme Court emphasized again Monday.

“This decision will also be critical in the many many legal challenges happening around the country, to other laws that threaten the health, safety and fundamental rights of women," Nancy Northup, the president and CEO for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which was litigating this case, said on a conference call Monday. "The impact will be felt beyond it, in places like Louisiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin, facing their own abortion access crises because of the similarly deceptive laws.”

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The Supreme Court, by a 5-3 vote, ruled in favor of abortion rights in a major case challenging an anti-abortion law passed in Texas. The majority opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, struck down the legislation mandating clinics have admitting privileges with local hospitals and requiring they meet the same standards as surgical centers.

"We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes," Breyer wrote. He said that the restrictions placed "a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion," amounted to an undue burden on abortion access," and were violations of the U.S. Constitution. He was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Ginsburg wrote an additional opinion concurring with the majority. Justice Samuel Alito wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, who also wrote his own dissent.

The decision is a major victory for abortion rights advocates, who had argued the laws were not meant to protect women’s health, as the state claimed, but rather sought to limit abortion access. Other states have passed laws similar to Texas’ and their legality is now in question thanks to Monday's ruling.

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The official focus of a press call organized Friday by the Hillary Clinton campaign may have been Donald Trump and his response to Brexit -- the United Kingdom’s shocking vote to leave the European Union -- but her previous rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also got an indirect shout out, though not by name.

Reporters pressed the call’s hosts, campaign policy advisor Jake Sullivan and communications director Jennifer Palmieri, on whether the U.K.’s surprise vote fueled by working class discontent and anti-immigrant rhetoric had raised concerns within the campaign, which is facing similar forces embodied in Donald Trump. Their implicit response was this: we beat the angry populist in the primary, and we are prepared to do so again in the general.

“When Americans wake up this morning and saw the impact that voters in another continent took, the effect that that had on our markets and the potential it could have an impact on our economy, they’re going to have the need for steady leadership, and somebody who doesn’t just offer anger, but offers solutions,” Palmieri said. “That's our experience, and what we saw voters ultimately wanted in the Democratic primary, and we think solutions are what voters are going to be looking for in the general election, too.”

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The Supreme Court delivered a blow to President Obama’s efforts on immigration with a 4-4 vote on a major challenge to his 2014 executive actions granting deportation relief to some four million undocumented immigrants. The ruling -- a single line noting that the tie defers to the appeals court decision that had upheld an injunction on the programs -- means Obama will not be able to implement the programs by the end of his term and their fate is tied up with the presidential election.

But the decision is by no means the final word in the case or for the programs, known as DACA II (an expansion of the 2012 executive action that granted deportation relief to young immigrants who came to the US illegally as minors) and DAPA (which granted relief to certain undocumented parents of people with legal U.S. status). Immigration advocates were scrambling Thursday to assess their options, and the legal battle is likely to continue through the end of Obama's term.

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The Supreme Court split four-four on a challenge to the President Obama's immigration executive action. The tie vote means that the appeals court decision blocking implementation of the program will be allowed stand.

The decision is not a full opinion but just a one sentence line that says "the judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court." The fate of the President's immigration programs will likely hinge on the next election.

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The Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold University of Texas-Austin's affirmative action program. The majority opinion released Monday was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Clarence Thomas filed a dissenting opinion as did Justice Samuel Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Thomas joined Alito's dissent.

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