This post is just a round-up of some interesting points about the disappointing SCOTUS decision from Monday.
Life News reported:
Though pro-lifers mourned another loss at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday in the fight to protect unborn babies and mothers, many found hope in the fact that both of President Donald Trump’s nominees rejected the majority opinion.
Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh dissented in June Medical Services v. Russo. The case involved a Louisiana law that requires abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges so that they can treat patients with potentially life-threatening complications.
On Monday, the four liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts decided that the law imposes an “undue burden” on women’s right to abortion. Roberts’ ruling was a huge disappointment for pro-life advocates. Many believed Roberts, a nominee of Republican President George W. Bush, would at least agree to uphold the modest abortion regulation for the sake of women’s health and safety, but he did not.
But pro-life leaders were happy with how Trump’s two choices ruled in the matter.
“We are pleased that the two Justices appointed by President Trump voted to protect women and to uphold the Louisiana pro-life law,” said James Bopp, general counsel for National Right to Life.
Gorsuch wrote a strong, critical dissent of the majority opinion, slamming the justices for ignoring “an array of rules” that keep the judiciary branch in check.
The rules make “sure that we are in the business of saying what the law is, not what we wish it to be,” Gorsuch wrote in his dissent. “Today’s decision doesn’t just overlook one of these rules. It overlooks one after another.”
At length, he listed Louisiana’s concerns for women’s health, including dozens of health and safety violations at abortion facilities, botched abortions, and new evidence suggesting abortion facilities may not have reported the rape of a young girl to authorities.
“At least one Louisiana abortion provider’s loss of admitting privileges following a patient’s death alerted the state licensing board to questions about his competence, and ultimately resulted in restrictions on his practice,” he wrote.
Gorsuch said Louisiana lawmakers had good reasons to pass the admitting privileges law. He said they heard testimony from women and emergency room physicians about abortion practitioners’ record of abandoning their patients.
My favorite justice Clarence Thomas added:
In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction.”
“Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled,” he added, saying that the high court has “neither jurisdiction nor constitutional authority to declare Louisiana’s duly enacted law unconstitutional.”
Thomas’ dissent makes it clear that the abortion activists who brought the lawsuit didn’t even have standing to bring it, since petitioners who file lawsuits are supposed to bring such suits on their own behalf concerning their own abrogated rights or grievances, not on behalf of others.
Thomas made that problem clear: “As is often the case with legal challenges to abortion regulations, this suit was brought by abortionists and abortion clinics. Their sole claim before this Court is that Louisiana’s law violates the purported substantive due process right of a woman to abort her unborn child. But they concede that this right does not belong to them, and they seek to vindicate no private rights of their own. Under a proper understanding of Article III, these plaintiffs lack standing to invoke our jurisdiction.”
Both of Obama’s picks (Kagan and Sotomayor) voted in favor of the abortion clinics, saying that states cannot legislate common sense safety rules for abortion providers.
And here was Trump’s reaction, reported by Life News:
On behalf of President Donald Trump, the White House issued a statement slamming the ruling and saying it “devalued the lives of unborn children.”
“In an unfortunate ruling today, the Supreme Court devalued both the health of mothers and the lives of unborn children by gutting Louisiana’s policy that required all abortion procedures be performed by individuals with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital,” the White House said. “States have legitimate interests in regulating any medical procedure—including abortions—to protect patient safety. Instead of valuing fundamental democratic principles, unelected Justices have intruded on the sovereign prerogatives of State governments by imposing their own policy preference in favor of abortion to override legitimate abortion safety regulations.”
The two oldest judges on the Supreme Court (Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) are almost certain to be replaced in the next federal election. It will be interesting to see what pro-lifers do in order to get Trump re-elected. So far, his picks have been solid on the abortion issue. But not everyone who claims to be pro-life is practical about getting pro-life outcomes. A lot of pro-lifers are cynical and conspiracy-minded, so that they find ways to think themselves righteous without getting involved and being effective.
Make sure you have a plan to replace Bader-Ginsburg and Breyer by getting Trump re-elected in November 2020.