The US Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. In Gonzales v. Carhart, the Court held that groups challenging the ban on "partial-birth" abortions "have not demonstrated that the Act, as a facial matter, is void for vagueness, or that it imposes an undue burden on a woman's right to abortion based on its overbreadth or lack of a health exception." Carhart was consolidated with Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, and the Supreme Court reversed the federal appeals court decisions in both cases. Wednesday's 5-4 decision marks the first time the Court has upheld a complete ban on an abortion procedure. Read the Court's opinion per Justice Kennedy, along with a concurrence from Justice Thomas, and a dissent from Justice Ginsburg. SCOTUSblog has more. AP has additional coverage.
In a second 5-4 decision handed down Wednesday, the Court held in James v. United States that attempted burglary, as defined by Florida law, qualifies as a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). Under the ACCA, defendants may subjected to longer sentences if the defendant has three prior convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. James unsuccessfully argued that his Florida conviction for attempted burglary did not qualify as a violent felony under the ACCA. The Supreme Court affirmed the Eleventh Circuit's decision in the case. Read the Court's opinion per Justice Alito, along with a dissent from Justice Scalia and a second dissent from Justice Thomas.