• High Drama? Court Will Look at Louisiana Case: Could Roe’s Days Be Numbered?

    Surge Summary: The Supreme Court will be considering a Louisiana case which, conceivably, could impact abortion legal precedent, up to and including Roe v. Wade.

    Late last week, news broke that the Supreme Court will be taking up the case of Louisiana’s admitting privileges law. So what, you ask? That case could pose the landmark possibility of overturning a recent, abortion-related court precedent.

    Lifesite.news’ Calvin Freiburger explains:

    The court announced Friday it has decided to review June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, NPR reports. The case concerns Louisiana’s Act 620, which requires abortion centers to make arrangements for admitting women to hospitals within 30 miles in cases of life-threatening complications. The abortion industry’s attorneys argue the law is no different from the Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt; pro-lifers argue that not only was Hellerstedt wrongly decided, but that the Louisiana law is different from the Texas one.

    In September, Judge Jerry Smith of the Fifth Circuit (which upheld the law) noted that while the laws may be similar, the Louisiana measure’s impact would be different as most Louisiana hospitals didn’t have the Texas requirement that doctors must see a minimum number of patients per year to qualify for admitting privileges. In February, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted (in a dissent to a ruling granting a stay of the law) that Act 620 had a 45-day transition period during which “both the doctors and the relevant hospitals” could have acted “expeditiously and in good faith to reach a definitive conclusion about whether those three doctors can obtain admitting privileges.”

    Making matters even more explosive, the court ruling is timed to be come down during – drumroll, please —  2020’s election season. It’s not as if debate around abortion and judicial nominations is not already slated to figure prominently as President Donald Trump takes on whoever will be his Democrat opponent. This development can only underscore the divisiveness of these issues.

    Front-and-center, it’s anticipated the case will touch the Hellerstedt precedent. That Texas court decision acted to vacate a range of modest abortion regulations as “undue burdens” on women. Court watchers are speculating: Will the Supremes take the opportunity to address a much more fundamental concern: the underlying legitimacy (or lack thereof) of Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood v. Casey?

    The overturning of Roe v. Wade, clearly, would be earth-shattering. That 1973 finding imposed abortion on demand across the entire nation. If it falls, states would be freed to determine their own abortion laws.

    During his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh expressed significant respect for Roe’s status as precedent – so much so that pro-abortion Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine specifically cited her confidence that Kavanaugh would uphold Roe as part of why she voted to confirm him.

    Last year, he joined the court’s liberal wing in declining to hear Kansas and Louisiana’s appeals defending their efforts to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, a decision that Justice Clarence Thomas excoriated as “abdicating our judicial duty.” His February opinion in support of Louisiana’s Act 620 rejected abortionists’ complaint on technical grounds, but appeared to concede their underlying premises about the “undue burden” standard for abortion restrictions.

    Those specifics seem to confirm, in this age in which very little in the public arena is straightforward any longer, that Kavanaugh remains a bit of an unknown quantity when it comes to the subject of “abortion rights”.

    Roberts, who also expressed respect for Roe as “a little more than settled” precedent during his own confirmation hearings, has disillusioned conservatives ever since he voted in 2012 and 2015 to uphold Obamacare using intensely controversial reasoning. Roberts also voted with the court’s liberal wing in the aforementioned Medicaid case.

    For pro-life Americans, the comparison of Chief Justice Roberts to Kavanaugh can’t be viewed as a hopeful sign.

    H/T: Lifesite.news/Calvin Freiburger

    Image:Creative Commons; CC by 2.0;  https://flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/37621686/

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