1. This is an important win for Conservatives not only because it provides the first victory for abortion restriction since Roe in general, but because of the specifics. Partial Birth Abortion is totally and completely abhorrent to any normal American faced with the specifics of it. Defending this procedure can only be done with euphemisms, and by looking at the practice of it in abstract. Indeed, look at the dissent provided by Justice Ginsburg where a major part of her displeasure comes in the acceptance of useful and descriptive terms rather than the usual liberal mish-mash.
In the course of her dissenting opinion, Ginsburg accused the majority of offering "flimsy and transparent justifications" for upholding the ban. She also denounced the Kennedy opinion for its use of "abortion doctor" to describe specialists who perform gynecological services, "unborn child" and "baby" to describe a fetus, and "preferences" based on "mere convenience" to describe the medical judgments of trained doctors.
Indeed, strip away the veneer of euphemism, and the practice is shown to be barbaric, which, in truth, it is. The only way to keep it the practice in place, in reality, was by judicial fiat.
2. A democratic congress is not going to overturn or make a new federal PBA law. This is a fight they definitely do not want. Look at the people who voted for it in the first place, people like Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy. I fully suspect that they voted for it figuring it would be struck down in the courts, but they voted for it nonetheless. To go back and revisit this now would be an utter disaster for a new Democratic congress.
3. The best way to attempt to strike down the law, would be via a federalism defense. Indeed, in his opinion, Clarence Thomas invites this line of reasoning:
I also note that whether the Act constitutes a permissible exercise of Congress' power under the Commerce Clause is not before the Court. The parties did not raise or brief that issue; it is outside the question presented; and the lower courts did not address it.I'm pretty certain that there will be no challenges in this direction as it opens a whole new can of worms with possible Stare Decisis results that Liberals generally do not want open. And even if such a challenge is made and upheld, over 30 states have state Partial Birth Abortion laws that would survive a based on the reasoning of this decision.
4. Kennedy left the question open as to what might constitute when the health of the mother is in danger. He placed the onus on an actual real life case to help define this issue rather than theoretical reasoning. This is a pretty big deal as it focuses the debate upon specifics which always favor the pro-life argument.
5. This will be a big money maker for Democrats. Gabby Giffords was funneled $53,000 by Emily's List contributors last quarter alone. Look for this to move upwards, although ironically, Giffords will be in no position to do anything about the ruling.
6. While I don't suspect the Republicans to turn this into money in the same manner, it does give an amount of Mojo to Conservatives in particular, and the Republican party in general. This has been lacking for quite some time, and should pay large dividends down the road.
I'm sure that we will have more on this.