Thirty-three-year-old Scott Keller is preparing to defend Texas’ new regulations on abortion providers before the Supreme Court this spring. The 2013 law, which requires clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards and says doctors must have hospital admitting privileges, has raised major and contentious legal questions about how far states can go in regulating abortion.
While abortion opponents insist the regulations are reasonable steps to protect the safety of women obtaining abortions, supporters of abortion rights say they’re unnecessary and little more than a closeted attempt to force clinics to shutter.
As the state’s solicitor general, it’s Keller’s job to defend the law before the nine justices, and in particular, convince moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy to uphold it. Keller is in an interesting position to do that, as he clerked for Kennedy after graduating from the University of Texas School of Law.