(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The Supreme Court has refused to hear two cases related to an effort by states to bar Planned Parenthood clinics from the Medicaid program. The decision drew sharp criticism from the court’s three most conservative justices.
From the New York Times:
It takes four votes to add a case to the court’s docket, but the cases attracted only three — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch. Neither of the court’s other conservatives — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh — proved willing to supply a fourth vote.
That split on the right side of the court is evidence that Chief Justice Roberts is trying to keep the court out of major controversies and that Justice Kavanaugh, who joined the court in October after a fierce confirmation battle, is, for now at least, following his lead.
In his dissent, Justice Thomas questioned his colleagues’ motives. They had voted to duck the cases, he wrote, for a bad reason.
“What explains the court’s refusal to do its job here?” Justice Thomas wrote. “I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’”
But, he said, the cases are not about abortion rights, but only about whether individuals may sue to challenge decisions by states to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood clinics.
“Resolving the question presented here would not even affect Planned Parenthood’s ability to challenge the states’ decisions; it concerns only the rights of individual Medicaid patients to bring their own suits,” Justice Thomas wrote.
That issue warranted the court’s attention, Justice Thomas wrote.
WIBC host Tony Katz reminded listeners that this is NOT about a woman’s right to choose:
“…Now it’s possible for Kavanaugh that he just got himself confirmed and he didn’t want to have this attention. Yeah, the Justices can be political too.
But the liberal justices said, ‘Yeah, Planned Parenthood; we protect that; we won’t hear the case; that way we won’t have to rule on the case; that way Planned Parenthood still gets paid.’ Because if it’s political for Kavanaugh, it’s political for Ruth Bader Ginsburgh or Sotomayor or Kagan.
So the case was not about abortion, it was about funding.”
Click below to hear Tony’s full commentary: