“So what explains the court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’ That makes the court’s decision particularly troubling, as the question presented has nothing to do with abortion.”
(Heather Clark – Christian News) U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and newly-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the liberal judges on the nation’s highest court on Monday to turn down appeals from two states challenging lower court rulings striking down efforts to defund Planned Parenthood’s participation in state Medicaid programs.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the only three of the nine judges who dissented with the decision not to hear the cases of Gee v. Planned Parenthood (out of Louisiana) and Anderson v. Planned Parenthood (out of Kansas). Four votes are needed to hear a case.
13 states had joined Louisiana and Kansas in amicus briefs, urging the Supreme Court to hear the appeals. Supportive states included Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, Utah and Wisconsin.
“The circuits are divided over whether Medicaid beneficiaries have a private right of action to challenge a state’s disqualification of a provider under the Medicaid Act. Five circuits have decided that the Medicaid provider-choice provision may be privately enforced under Section 1983, while one has held that it may not,” the Gee brief outlines.
It asked the court clear up the matter since “[u]ntil this split is resolved, patients in the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have the right to bring suit in federal court if their preferred provider’s agreement is terminated, while patients in the Eighth Circuit do not.”