John Roberts' Leftist Activism Was A Big 'Screw You' To Women
thefederalist.com

Imagine you’re pregnant. Although doubts are nagging, you’re going in for an abortion because you’ve heard the left’s lies for so long that you’ve begun subconsciously to internalize them: You can’t have a baby and be successful. 

You know the procedure is legal. Your doctor has assured you it’s safe, although you’re a little skeptical since you’ll be entering with two beating hearts and leaving with one. Those promises of comfort and safety fall flat when you begin hemorrhaging on the table.

Your doctor in the Planned Parenthood facility is powerless. His forceps can’t help you, and he can’t admit you to the nearby hospital for emergency treatment because he doesn’t have permissions there. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s gross judicial activism this week, the man performing your abortion can offer you a lousy standard of care that leaves you as vulnerable as the body he crushes inside you.

Chief Justice John Roberts decided the abortionist profiting off your unwanted offspring can speak for you.

John Roberts Ruled Against the Constitution, Again

Roberts’ Monday Supreme Court ruling in the June Medical case was not surprising. We already knew he was an unreliable leftist hack. As President Donald Trump recently told The Federalist’s Ben Domenech, the Supreme Court is “maybe not the majority we thought it was.” Indeed.

Roberts’ descent into political advocacy, however, is more than a mere disregard for the rule of law. It’s deeper than a propensity to appease a particular interest group and more serious than legal inconsistency or logical ineptitude. This time, Roberts’ infidelity to the Constitution took him straight to bed with a seductive abortion lobby that whispered sweet nothings into his ear about pretend women’s rights. He listened, and now vulnerable women will pay the price.

The fact that one unpredictable man with the almighty power of a swing vote, unsound reason, and no ballot box accountability can so easily contrive laws that harm women should give them reason to fear, not celebrate.

Thanks to Monday’s 5-4 ruling, which struck down Act 620, a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to be able to admit patients at a hospital within a 30-mile radius in case of emergency, abortion “doctors” are held to a lower standard of care than every other medical practitioner. Consequently, abortion profiteers can continue their precarious work unabated while vulnerable female patients get the shaft.

Roberts’ majority concurrence Monday is problematic for two primary reasons: his selective adherence to precedent, and his egregious dismissal of third-party standing.

Roberts Shreds Constitution Behind Stare Decisis

The June Medical opinions are littered with appeals to the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down a Texas law similar to the one in Louisiana. Roberts’ judgment rests on a central claim that the Louisiana abortion law is basically the same as the Texas law the court nixed, and therefore, precedent — or stare decisis — demands the Supreme Court also strike down Louisiana’s Act 620.

“The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike,” Roberts wrote in his majority concurring opinion. “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”

Never mind that Roberts affirms the court’s absurd discovery of a right to abortion in the Constitution or that the Louisiana law differs significantly from the Texas law, but Roberts doesn’t actually care all that much about “standing by things decided,” as stare decisis prescribes. He adheres to precedent only when it’s convenient. Roberts says:

Stare decisis is not an ‘inexorable command.’ … But for precedent to mean anything, the doctrine must give way only to a rationale that goes beyond whether the case was decided correctly. … Stare decisis principles also determine how we handle a decision that itself departed from the cases that came before it. In those instances, “[r]emaining true to an ‘intrinsically sounder’ doctrine established in prior cases better serves the values of stare decisis than would following” the recent departure. … Stare decisis is pragmatic and contextual, not ‘a mechanical formula of adherence to the latest decision.’

In other words, Roberts would be willing to dispense with precedent if it were inconsistent with “sounder” rulings that preceded it. The soundest legal doctrine, of course, originates in our nation’s founding documents, which protect life and liberty.

Under his own philosophy then, Roberts should have cut the stare decisis nonsense. Roe v. Wade, and consequently Planned Parenthood v. Casey, were such gross departures from “sound doctrine” that those precedents and all those they inspired should be rightfully disregarded. Roberts even noted the recent Hellerstedt decision was erroneous, having said just a few paragraphs before, “I joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided.”

As Justice Clarence Thomas argued in his dissent, “Despite the readily apparent illegitimacy of Roe, ‘the Court has doggedly adhered to [its core holding] again and again, often to disastrous ends.’” Thomas continued:

The Court’s current ‘formulation of the stare decisis standard does not comport with our judicial duty under Article III,’ which requires us to faithfully interpret the Constitution. … Rather, when our prior decisions clearly conflict with the text of the Constitution, we are required to ‘privilege [the] text over our own precedents.’

If Roberts were faithful to sound doctrine, he would have ruled differently. His appeals to stare decisis are a joke.

Roberts Allows Abortionists to Represent the Women They Harm

Perhaps most disheartening of all was the majority’s unwillingness to address the question of third-party standing. In his concurring opinion, Roberts didn’t mention it even once.

In this case, the plaintiffs, representing women seeking abortions, were a handful of third-party abortionists who profit off those same women. The majority largely ignored the critical question of whether this unharmed third party — with a blatant conflict of interest — even had standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place.

“Women can speak for themselves — they don’t need abortion businesses to speak for them,” said Alliance Defending Freedom’s General Counsel Kristen Waggoner in response to Monday’s decision. “Louisiana abortion providers went to extraordinary lengths to erase a law that state legislators enacted overwhelmingly, in bipartisan fashion, to promote the wellbeing of women.”

Justice Samuel Alito argued this glaring conflict of interest was itself enough to reject the plaintiff’s claims. He noted, however, that even without such a conflict, plaintiffs cannot claim legal rights on behalf of third parties.

“We have recognized a ‘limited’ exception to this rule,” Alito said, citing two other cases. “[B]ut in order to qualify, a litigant must demonstrate (1) closeness to the third party and (2) a hindrance to the third party’s ability to bring suit,” neither of which the abortionists could satisfy. Roberts could take a lesson from Alito on applying precedent.

Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman

Pro-abortion advocates predictably cheered the decision and their hero Roberts.

“After surprising but very welcome rulings on DACA and LGBTQ rights two weeks ago, the Supreme Court once again made the right decision,” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised on the Senate floor this week. “There’s something happening here.”

even democratic leadership is shocked at the weakness displayed by republican judicial appointees. https://t.co/7GFoJbcoTS

— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) June 29, 2020

In a series of striking moves on immigration, LGBTQ rights and now abortion, Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the Supreme Court's four liberal justices and established himself as one of the most influential figures in America today https://t.co/k8lvGSooDX

— CNN (@CNN) June 30, 2020

Monday’s decision, however, reaffirms that abortion activists’ faux feminism isn’t looking out for females at all. The policies pushed by pro-choicers, abortionists themselves, and now Roberts are in women’s worst interest.

“Shame on these five justices who stood against women today,” said Laura Huber, state director of Concerned Women for America of Louisiana. “We are especially disappointed to see the Chief Justice, who acknowledges the decision upon which they decided this case was wrongly decided, still let himself be bullied into the politically correct position.”

Women deserve so much better than to be raked over the coals by a cowardly chief justice who would sell them out to the abortion lobby over pathetic judicial philosophy and some cheap political points.

Don’t be fooled. Roberts didn’t “side” with leftists in this 5-4 decision. He is one.

Kylee Zempel is an assistant editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @kyleezempel.