US Supreme Court won't hear case of states defunding Planned Parenthood

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor chats with Chief Justice John Roberts as Associate Justice Elena Kagan looks on while posing for the US Supreme Court official

Justice Thomas Accuses Colleagues of Avoiding Abortion Issues as SCOTUS Passes on Planned Parenthood Defunding Appeal

Thomas's dissent from the court's decision to pass on the case revealed a split among the court's five conservatives: Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and Neil Gorsuch signed on to the statement.

Nevertheless, Murray says, it is unusual that three justices wrote a dissent to the court's decision not to hear a case. The Supreme Court opted not to hear appeals of lower court rulings that were favorable to Planned Parenthood. The money is not used for abortions. These states didn't randomly cut off Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood - they did so to punish the organization's affiliates for refusing to stop performing abortions.

While Planned Parenthood continues to declare itself an "irreplaceable" and "life-saving" healthcare provider, a 2017 study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) - the research arm of SBA List - found Planned Parenthood depends primarily on its abortion-centered business model, and is not a significant provider of medical care in the United States. Since the justices declined to review the decisions, rather than taking them up and affirming them, they did not create a nationwide precedent - and a separate lawsuit continues over Arkansas' attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, which the Eighth Circuit is now allowing. Failure to do so, he contended, would substantially harm Medicaid recipients, the states seeking guidance from the Supreme Court, and the practice of statutory interpretation going forward. Justice Clarence Thomas rebuked his colleagues for what he said was a dodge, attributing it to their aversion to taking up the issue of abortion that lurked in the case.

Planned Parenthood got another victory at the Supreme Court today thanks to the fecklessness of Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh, who both declined to hear a case on whether states can defund abortion businesses under the Medicaid Act. Planned Parenthood sued, and lower courts ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood.

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Students for Life of America, an anti-abortion rights group, focused on Planned Parenthood's role in abortions, though, again Medicaid funds can not be used to fund abortions.

Planned Parenthood's affiliates in Louisiana do not perform abortions, but some in Kansas do. "The court appears content to focus on meat-and-potatoes cases rather than blockbuster ones", said Kannon Shanmugam, a lawyer who regularly argues cases before the justices.

One of the reasons Donald Trump won the 2016 election revolved around his promise to appoint originalist justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Planned Parenthood. "So what explains the court's refusal to do its job here?"

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For example, Louisiana has two Planned Parenthood clinics, one in Baton Rouge and in New Orleans.

"Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty", Thomas wrote. That makes the Court's decision particularly troubling, as the question presented has nothing to do with abortion.

Voting against certiorari were newly-confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen praised the decision to leave the lower court rulings in place. We're thankful that people in Louisiana and Kansas will be able to access the care they need.

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