Pro-life activists who hope Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh may one day vote to put an end to Roe v. Wade may have just received some good news courtesy a dissent he wrote last week.
Last Thursday a majority on the high court voted to temporarily block a 2014 Louisiana law that had required that abortion doctors “[h]ave active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced and that provides obstetrical or gynecological health care services.”
Kavanaugh joined Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito in dissenting.
Justice Kavanaugh’s dissent against the 5-4 stay of Louisiana’s abortion limit. https://t.co/2o4md6lLO4
— Jonathan L. Katz (@JonKatz5) February 8, 2019
The case concerns a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights claiming that requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges is medically unnecessary and that the Louisiana law is nothing more than a clever attempt by Republicans to shutter the state’s abortion clinics.
The center’s lawsuit hinges on a 2016 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that stated that admitting-privileges laws are unconstitutional. However, that ruling only applied to Texas.
Last September the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Louisiana, but afterward the center appealed to the Supreme Court and asked for a temporary injunction to stop the law into going effect. Long story short, on Thursday a 5-4 majority on the high court approved the injunction.
In Kavanaugh’s three-page dissent, he noted that there’s no evidence to prove that the 2014 law would impede doctors from performing abortions, given as the state has attached a 45-day transition period to the law so as to provide abortion doctors with ample time to obtain privileges.
“Louisiana has three clinics that currently provide abortions,” he wrote. “As relevant here, four doctors perform abortions at those three clinics. One of those four doctors has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as required by the new law. The question is whether the other three doctors—Doe 2, Doe 5, and Doe 6—can obtain the necessary admitting privileges.”
“If they can, then the three clinics could continue providing abortions. And if so, then the new law would not impose an undue burden for purposes of Whole Woman’s Health.”
Note that he even referenced the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt ruling, despite its lack of relevance to the case at hand. It was presumably an olive branch.
#SCOTUS already ruled just last year that a nearly identical law from Texas created this same unconstitutional burden in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. #CourtsMatter https://t.co/NnGC27TZg3
— WhyCourtsMatter (@WhyCourtsMatter) February 8, 2019
But the only way of finding out whether the 2014 Louisiana law would, in fact, prevent abortion doctors from obtaining admitting privileges, Kavanaugh argued, would be to allow the law to stand.
“[I]f the doctors can obtain necessary admitting privileges during the 45-day transition period,
then the doctors could continue performing abortions at the three clinics both during and after the 45-day transition period, as envisioned and predicted by the Fifth Circuit. And in that circumstance, the Louisiana law as applied would not impose an undue burden under Whole Woman’s Health.”
Though this dissent was not enough to stop the high court from filing an injunction, it was enough to provoke outrage from the left — but not against Kavanaugh specifically.
Rather, the left aimed their fury at Sen. Susan Collins for having voted to confirm him to the high court late last year amid allegations that he would one day vote to roll back Roe v. Wade.
“I do not believe he’s going to repeal Roe v. Wade,” she said at the time.
Look at the backlash below:
Susan Collins – Your NEW election logo for your upcoming 2020 campaign. We will remember your vote. pic.twitter.com/hVItIOOXDy
— UCAN (@Ucan900) February 9, 2019
@SenatorCollins I am so deeply disappointed in you for not heeding calls to vote against Kavanaugh at confirmation. I hope this monumental error causes you great concern. It does to so many of us.
— Linda MacLennan (@LindaMacLennan) February 9, 2019
Hey @SenatorCollins THANKS for your legacy. We will NEVER forget or forgive you.
— Austin Barker (@AustinBarker) February 10, 2019
@SenatorCollins is responsible 4 stripping ♀️ of their reproductive & HC rights, reducing us now 2 mere Puppy ? Mill Bitches & property owned by the US Government! In laymen terms. ♀️ are like ? 2A Farmer. Just mere property 2B breed, contained & worked 2 death until slaughter.
— ♀️Political Patty♀️ (@PoliticalPPatty) February 9, 2019
WHAT!!!! You mean he lied ? Under oath ?@SenatorCollins jeez guess she didn’t see that coming ? Is she concerned, mauling over her response about getting bitch slapped again? Hope she has end game cause #2020isComing and you can bet her constituents are just waiting #byebye
— Susie K (@SKavchok) February 9, 2019
@SenatorCollins Are you happy, bitch? pic.twitter.com/Hhjyl6MXer
— spunkybon (@bonniephelps1) February 8, 2019
The left’s even already dropped a political ad against her.
To be clear, Kavanaugh has neither voted to repeal Roe v. Wade nor actually suggested that he would repeal it. But judging by the left’s stunning rage — multiple media publications have ran hit pieces decrying his “attack” against “reproductive rights” — perhaps there’s some hope?
Hope for pro-life activists, that is.
“Brett Kavanaugh Is Already Done Pretending He Respects Abortion Rights,” a headline at The Nation reads.
Then there’s this Slate headline: “Brett Kavanaugh Just Declared War on Roe v. Wade.”
And according to Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress, “the only realistic uncertainty is whether [Kavanaugh and his conservative peers] will gut Roe in one fell swoop, or by a thousand cuts.”
Are they exaggerating out of typical liberal ignorance, or do they have a point? As it stands, only time will tell.
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