The subject of abortion was front and center at the United States Supreme Court this morning as the nine justices heard arguments concerning a highly anticipated case titled June Medical Services v. Russo.
For about an hour the legal advocates argued for and against the constitutionality of a Louisiana law passed in 2014 that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The stakes are high. In fact, just outside the Supreme Court building, Senator Chuck Schumer crassly threatened the High Court’s newest members.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind!” Schumer bellowed. “And you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
In a rare rebuke of the minority leader on Wednesday afternoon, Chief Justice Roberts issued the following statement:
“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” he stated.
Back inside, during the question and answer exchange, the four liberal justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) made it very clear that they think Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional.
According to a review of the transcript, they monopolized much of the argument time, cutting off answers with new questions just as one of the attorneys was about to make his/her point in support of Louisiana’s law or admit something harmful to the abortionists’ case.
What is the pro-abortion lobby trying to hide? The “rest of the story” is revealing and disturbing.
The Louisiana legislature found evidence that the abortion industry hired unqualified and under-credentialed doctors to perform abortions. In one case, a clinic hired a radiologist and an ophthalmologist to end the life of a baby.
The legislature felt that requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges would provide a guaranty of sorts to women that some level of expertise had been approved by a real hospital.
This commonsense law was immediately challenged by the abortion industry “on behalf of” the very women it was endangering with its sloppy methods. The case wove through the federal courts and the law was eventually upheld by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The abortion industry then appealed to the Supreme Court, which brings us to the oral arguments that took place this morning.
As I hinted at, early reports from the courtroom suggest the typical conservative/liberal split we have come to expect in these cases, which might mean another 5-4 ruling.
But which way will the majority come down?
The media is trying to read the tea leaves concerning the very few questions that Roberts or Kavanaugh asked. They’re somehow concluding that those couple questions reveal they are “open” to ruling against Louisiana. I have my doubts.
Significantly, in addition to Justice Kavanaugh, Justice Neil Gorsuch is new to the high court since the last abortion case was heard. The two men replaced Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. How will they vote?
How will Chief Justice John Roberts vote, as he has become the “swing vote” on the court since Kennedy’s retirement?
Their questions and ultimate votes in this case have been the subject of speculation for months. Justices Gorsuch and Thomas asked no questions, but both are considered to be solidly in the pro-life camp of constitutional interpretation.
Chief Justice Roberts voted in support of a similar law from Texas in 2016 that was ultimately struck down by the high court in a 5-3 vote with former Justice Kennedy siding with the liberal wing. (Scalia had recently passed and only eight justices heard oral argument in that case.) Court-watchers tell us that Roberts, who respects precedent, will probably not vote against Louisiana’s law merely to uphold a four-year-old precedent he disagreed with in the first place.
From my point of view, the real issue is the arrogance of the abortion industry, which doesn’t want to follow basic rules of professionalism and safety that other outpatient surgical facilities are required to follow. We know they don’t care about pre-born babies, but their callousness about protecting the health and safety of the women that come to them is galling.
By the way, one of the key issues the court will be considering is whether the abortion industry, with its total lack of regard for women, should be the ones able to bring lawsuits on behalf of those very women. If that obvious conflict of interest is recognized by the justices, it may mean an end to a lot of the abortion lawsuits we see brought by the abortion industry every time a state passes a new abortion regulation.
The justices will be left with a lot of thinking to do and opinions to write between now and the end of June, when the case will likely be decided. Please pray for them as they work through the issues in the case and pray for victory for the Louisiana law.
Until that day when every life is protected under law, we are committed to supporting those steps toward protecting women and saving as many preborn babies as we can.
I welcome your thoughts.