High Court Declines to Hear Planned Parenthood Cases

The US Supreme court will not hear two cases stemming from state efforts to prevent Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving funding under Medicaid. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito voted to hear the cases, but Chief Justice Roberts and the newly-confirmed Justice Kavanaugh voted with the Court’s liberal justices to turn the cases away; four votes are needed to hear a case. This split among the conservative wing of the Court may reflect Chief Justice Roberts’ intention to keep the Court out of hotly contested issues, and of Justice Kavanaugh’s willingness to follow along, at least for the time being.

The cases at issue arose out of two federal appellate decisions allowing Medicaid patients to sue state governments for deciding to drop Planned Parenthood providers from their Medicaid programs. In declining to hear the cases, the Court essentially sided with Planned Parenthood.

Additional Reading

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Planned Parenthood Cases, 3 Court Conservatives Aren’t HappyThe New York Times, December 10, 2018

Dissent, filed December 10, 2018, 2018 in Rebekah Gee, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast, Inc., et al.