2. A Federal judge Friday struck down parts of a Texas law that would have shuttered more than a dozen abortion clinics, the Associated Press reported.
The law — which Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed in 2013 — would have required abortion clinics to meet hospital-level operating standards. After the law passed, a group of clinics sued, arguing that the new requirements made it too costly to remain open. They also argued the law was designed as a backdoor effort to force them to close.
Proponents countered that the requirements were designed to protect women’s health. There are 19 facilities in Texas that provide abortions, the AP reported.
In his ruling Friday, Judge Lee Yeakel said the law would “create an impermissible obstacle as applied to all women seeking a previability abortion.”
3. The law drew national attention last year when Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis conducted a marathon filibuster to stop the law.
Davis’ filibuster managed to kill the bill, but Perry brought it back during a special legislative session. He said that the state would “not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do,” the BBC reported. The law passed on its second time through the Texas legislature.
4. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot said he would appeal the ruling, the AP reported.
Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for Abbot, confirmed to BuzzFeed Friday that an appeal was in the works: “The State disagrees with the court’s ruling and will seek immediate relief from the Fifth Circuit, which has already upheld HB 2 once.”
In the past, the state has fought hard to preserve the law in the past. After Judge Yeakel tossed out another part of the law last year, the state took it to an appeals court in New Orleans, according to The New York Times. The appeals court sided with Texas and reversed the lower court decision. That ruling ultimately forced some facilities in Texas to stop offering abortions.
- Justice Antonin Scalia, who served almost 30 years on the Supreme Court as one of its most prominent and influential conservative voices, died Saturday. He was 79.
- U.S. Republican presidential candidates debated for the first time since Donald Trump's win in New Hampshire, and it got intense.
- Bitterly cold temperatures and arctic winds began freezing large swathes of the U.S. Northeast on Saturday.