A little earlier today, the Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to two lower court rulings that said states could not refuse to recognize Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. Kansas and Louisiana passed laws in 2014, based on the celebrated undercover videos of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas that showed Planned Parenthood officials sizing up the value of aborted babies with all the conscience of the manager of a mob-owned New Jersey auto chop-shop.
Conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito voted in favor of taking up the challenge, but fellow conservatives John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh voted against, depriving their colleagues of the four votes required to review a case.
NEW: SCOTUS denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a Medicaid / Planned Parenthood case (Gee v. PP of Gulf Coast). Roberts & Kavanaugh joined Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, & Breyer in denying cert. Thomas wrote a dissent joined by Gorsuch & Alito.
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) December 10, 2018
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court's four liberal jurists in not taking the lower court cases about whether states can defund Planned Parenthood. https://t.co/iA3T77JGqg #defundpp #ProLife pic.twitter.com/zG4IyofVOD
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) December 10, 2018
Given the criminality involved and the basic absence of medical care available at Planned Parenthood facilities (no, they actually don’t do mammograms and most of their services are no more sophisticated that what you get at a drug store and do yourself at home…other than killing babies, of course) this should have been an open-and-shut issue of what businesses state governments decide to give their money to.
Thomas, in his dissent, argued that the court should have taken up the case but was prevented from doing so by the politically charged atmosphere surrounding abortion.
“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,’” Thomas wrote.
“It is true that these particular cases arose after several States alleged that Planned Parenthood affiliates had, among other things, engaged in ‘the illegal sale of fetal organs’ and ‘fraudulent billing practices,’ and thus removed Planned Parenthood as a state Medicaid provider,” Thomas wrote. “But these cases are not about abortion rights. They are about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act. Resolving the question presented here would not even affect Planned Parenthood’s ability to challenge the States’ decisions.”
#SCOTUS's denial of certiorari in the Anderson and Gee (the Medicaid / Planned Parenthood cases) over the dissents of Thomas, Alito, and Gorusch means that both the Chief Justice and Justice Kavanaugh voted to _deny_ certiorari.
That's a big headline:https://t.co/5topZIDLbw
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 10, 2018
What the Supreme Court has done with this decision is signal two things. First, it has no intention of touching abortion. Second, if it does touch abortion it will come down squarely on the side of abortion providers. In particular, this decision places Planned Parenthood in a competitive position unknown in the current health care field. Despite illegalities and improprieties, Planned Parenthood, alone, is now legally protected from losing access to Medicaid dollars regardless of what conduct it engages in.
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