SCOTUS, the Law, and the Elections

This week the United States Supreme Court held oral arguments on what many consider the most important abortion case of this century. The case involves a law in the state of Texas that requires abortion clinics in the state to follow the same regulations as ambulatory surgical centers. It also requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The law was passed by the state legislature, signed by the governor, and upheld by a court of appeals. Pro-abortion people appealed it to the Supreme Court.

The oral arguments took on even greater significance because of the recent death of pro-life justice Antonin Scalia. Of the eight remaining justices, four clearly indicated in court they will most likely vote against the law, three justices are expected to vote in favor, and Justice Kennedy as usual is a question mark. If Kennedy votes for the law and the final vote is 4-4, then the Texas law would be left in force since the lower appeals court had upheld it.

According to reports from inside the court, the oral arguments were tense and the justices asked a lot of questions. Because Kennedy’s vote is so important, observers paid particular attention to his questions and comments. There was much speculation when Kennedy reportedly wondered aloud if the case should be put on hold and sent back to the lower courts for further fact-finding since many questions remain over the true effect of clinic closures. That action by SCOTUS would effectively delay a decision for at least two years.

The final decision of the court is not expected until June.

In other news this week, the topic of abortion continued to be a major talking point for all candidates for president in both major parties. As the field of candidates begins to diminish, it seems assured that abortion will be, once again, a major topic in the general elections. In addition to that, this year the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is also a major topic with candidates stating their position. Candidates are traveling all across the country looking for votes in small towns and big cities. No matter where you are, we urge you to talk with every candidate for any elected office about the need to protect innocent of human beings from being put to death at someone’s whim. We must protect the lives of all human beings—from creation to death.