On December 10, 2018, new United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh voted with his leftist counterparts to pass on a case concerning states’ attempts to remove funding to Planned Parenthood from Medicaid programs.
Justice Clarence Thomas issued a scathing dissent, which Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito joined. While these three conservative Justices voted to hear the case, Kavanaugh agreed with Justices John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor that the case shouldn’t be heard. Under federal law, four out of nine justices need to agree to hear a case before it can move forward.
In his dissent, Justice Thomas slammed the decision.
“So what explains the Court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’ That makes the Court’s decision particularly troubling, as the question presented has nothing to do with abortion,” he said.
The Justice, appointed by the late President George H.W. Bush, went on to add, “Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty. If anything, neutrally applying the law is all the more important when political issues are in the background.”
Justice Thomas argued that the issue in question wasn’t “about abortion rights.” Rather, he remarked the case concerned “private rights of action.” The conservative Justice noted that Planned Parenthood would be free to “challenge the states’ decisions.”
The case the United States Supreme Court Justices elected not to hear arose after Republican state leaders in Kansas and Louisiana banned Planned Parenthood from receiving state Medicaid funds. The states took this drastic move after a pro-life advocacy organization presented evidence the abortion giant was harvesting and selling fetal materials. The abortion provider disputes the accuracy of these allegations. Planned Parenthood and multiple unnamed female patients challenged the states’ decision in federal court. The recent case questioned whether those receiving Medicaid funds can contest the disqualification of a provider under the Medicaid law. However, the cases didn’t address abortion directly.
In June of 2017, the 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Planned Parenthood’s favor on that question. This decision led to an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Because the justices refused to hear case, the favorable ruling for Planned Parenthood will be left in place.
Not surprisingly, pro-life groups quickly voiced their disapproval with the justices’ decision. The president of the Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, stated, “We are disappointed the Supreme Court declined to hear this case the pro-life citizens of states like Kansas and Louisiana, through their elected representatives, have clearly expressed their will: they do not want Medicaid tax dollars used to prop up abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood.”
Earlier this year, during the contentious confirmation process of Justice Kavanaugh, liberals feverishly maintained his appointment to the highest court in the land would result in the overturning of the 1973 landmark United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. The firestorm over Kavavaugh in the not too distant past certainly makes his vote in this case noteworthy. Justices Kavanaugh and Robert’s votes in this case might signal that they’re reluctant to hear a case involving the largest abortion provider in the country so soon after the newest Justice’s confirmation. Since taking the bench in October of this year, Justice Kavanaugh has kept a low profile. In the past, he has referred to the Roe v. Wade decision as “settled law of the land” and “an important precedent.”
President Donald J. Trump’s administration is currently working on a new federal regulation referred to as the Protect Life Rule. The Protect Life Rule would prohibit public funding of Planned Parenthood under Title X. Continue to pray that all three branches of the United States government will support initiatives to end the brutal practice of abortion in this country.
~ 1776 Christian