“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,’” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. “But these cases are not about abortion rights,” he wrote, but instead involve a point of law with broader implications for the Medicaid program.
While the Supreme Court is comprised of five conservatives, not all was onboard with hearing the case. It takes four votes to bring a case forward. Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch all voted to hear the case. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with liberal justices to not hear that case. Kavanaugh's decision comes as a shock, as many liberals pointed to his conservative background as a detriment to women's reproductive rights.
Conservatives argue that the case is not about whether states can provide federal funding for abortion. Instead, they say the issue is with whether or not the states can block Medicaid funds from these offices.
While the damage is minimal, there's a broader picture that was painted with Kavanaugh's decision to side with the five other Justices. Chief Justice Roberts has a reputation of going against the grain, which is nothing new to conservatives. Kavanaugh's decision, however, gives more evidence (in addition to indications he gave as an appeals court judge) that he is of the same mind and temperament as Roberts. This could prove costly for Republicans that want to overturn Roe v. Wade.