The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this spring in June Medical Services v. Gee, a case that could well be the vehicle the Court’s conservatives use to gut the right to an abortion.
At the heart of the case is a 2014 Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Abortion rights advocates say such laws serve no medical purpose and are merely an effort to shut down clinics — and in the landmark 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Texas.
But the Supreme Court today is different from what it was in 2016. Gee is the first abortion-related case the Supreme Court will hear on the merits since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced the more moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy. For many years, Kennedy was the Court’s “swing” vote on abortion — typically voting to uphold abortion restrictions but also recoiling at laws that cut so deep into the right to an abortion that they virtually nullified it. Kavanaugh, by contrast, is overwhelmingly likely to vote with his conservative colleagues to uphold the abortion restriction at issue in Gee.