With Brett Kavanaugh replacing the unreliable Anthony Kennedy last year, conservatives were hopeful that we’d finally filled the court with a solid, constitutionally-grounded majority that would begin interpreting the law in a way that made sense. No more of these ludicrous decisions that appear to have more to do with the changing winds of political trends. No more of this activism-disguised-as-law. Finally, we had a Supreme Court we could be proud of. Finally, we could begin erasing the liberal stain that has been left on our Constitution.
We might have been overly optimistic.
This week, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block Louisiana from enforcing a new abortion law requiring attending doctors to have hospital admitting privileges before engaging in the despicable act. The law, meant to ensure that Louisiana abortion clinics meet the same standards of health as any other healthcare facility, was fiercely opposed by abortion advocates who would jump at the chance to offer in-home solutions to that pesky problem of unwanted pregnancy. Any “barrier” that prevents a woman from exercising her so-called “constitutional right” to an abortion is anathema to the cause.
This would have been an excellent chance for us to see exactly where our new Supreme Court stands on the issue of abortion. And it was. It did.
Chief Justice John Roberts eagerly joined the court’s four liberals. Not good.
To be sure, this is not the first time that Roberts has let down conservative America. But the decision in this case speaks loudly to this particular court’s approach to abortion, and if Roberts’ ruling in this case is any indication of what’s to come, well…reports of the imminent demise of Roe v. Wade may have been greatly exaggerated. Roberts seems to want nothing more than to preserve the “integrity” of the court, and he apparently thinks that the best way to do that is to make as little trouble as possible. He’s designated himself the new swing vote, and we may have to watch in disgust as he “swings” to the left more often than not.
Don’t get us wrong: We don’t believe that it’s the Supreme Court’s job to be a rubber stamp for the conservative movement. But when it comes to federal laws protecting abortions, there’s nothing “constitutional” about it. States should have the right to limit this barbaric practice in any way they see fit; there is no constitutional grounds for limiting that ability. Roberts and the rest of the court should recognize that fact and demonstrate their understanding every time an abortion case comes before them.
But we’re not at all confident that they will.