A SCOTUS opinion allowing emergency abortions in Idaho was posted on the court's website and then quickly removed

  • The Supreme Court posted an abortion-related decision in an Idaho case, then removed it.

  • The decision, as written, would allow emergency abortions in Idaho.

  • A Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed that a decision was inadvertently posted online.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared to inadvertently post an opinion in a closely watched Idaho case that would be the last abortion-related decision of the high court's current term.

Bloomberg News first reported that a copy of the decision was briefly posted on the court's website and then removed. A Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed that something was inadvertently posted online but said the high court's final opinion remained unreleased.

"The opinion in Moyle v. United States, No. 23-726, and Idaho v. United States, No. 23-727, has not been released," a spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider, referring to the two cases related to the Idaho law. "The Court's Publications Unit inadvertently and briefly uploaded a document to the Court's website. The Court's opinion in these cases will be issued in due course."

In the copy posted online, the court said it would allow for emergency abortions to continue in Idaho, Bloomberg reported. The opinion would be based on the holding that it should not have reviewed the case in the first place.

The Biden administration has argued that a decades-old federal law should supersede Idaho's nearly total abortion ban and thus allow doctors to perform emergency abortions that are outside the scope of limitations under the state ban.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, opinions were released only on the court's official website. But justices have long since returned to the practice of announcing rulings from their historic courtroom.

After the announcements are made, the decisions are posted online, according to SCOTUSblog, a prominent source of news from the Supreme Court.

The court had announced earlier Wednesday that it was done releasing opinions for the day after releasing two decisions — one concerning an effort by conservatives to push back on the Biden administration pressuring social-media companies to clamp down on misinformation, the other related to a federal law about bribes to state and local officials.

Neither case was among the hotly anticipated of the current term. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on former President Donald Trump's request for sweeping immunity from criminal prosecutions, a decision that could become one of the most famous in the nation's history.

Every abortion-related opinion, too, has been closely watched in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2022 landmark ruling to reverse Roe v. Wade.

Correction: June 26, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the day of the week two decisions were released. It was Wednesday, not Thursday.

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