Arkansas on its way to being the first state to ban medication abortion - a procedure that is sometimes preferred to surgical abortion - because of a case the Supreme Court refused to hear.
June 5, 2018

INFORMED LIBERAL: I'll take "Elections Have Consequences" for $800, Alex.

ALEX: This state just became the seventh with only one abortion clinic, since the Supreme Court decided not to take up Planned Parenthood's challenge to it's law restricting medication-induced abortions.


ALEX: Informed Liberal?

INFORMED LIBERAL: What is Arkansas?

ALEX: That is correct. The board is yours.

INFORMED LIBERAL: I'll take "Stolen Judgeships" for $600, Alex...

Last week, the Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge from Planned Parenthood to an Arkansas Law they say is aimed solely to make access to abortion more difficult. This would seem to be the case, since two of the three clinics that perform abortions in Arkansas would have to close under this law. They perform only medication-induced abortions. The single abortion clinic remaining, in Little Rock, performs surgical abortions.

"The Supreme Court did not say why it declined to accept the challenge, as is customary. But the failure of any of the court’s liberal justices supportive of abortion rights to speak out might indicate they believed there is more work for lower courts to do before it is ready for the high court."

Okay, the lower courts need to do more work. Let's please remember, though, that the big picture painted here is that elections have consequences. Judges matter. Their views matter. Their previous interpretations of the law matter. Their political leanings and their ability to leave them at the door of their courtroom matter. When they are put in the position of determining a woman's ability to determine her health and her future, the depth of their reach is not to be ignored.

So, in Arkansas, voters elected a legislature who passed a law adding it to the most restrictive states in the nation for abortion rights, Arkansas voters elected Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who is crowing about this decision, and pledging the state of Arkansas is "pro-life." (Can she do that? Can a STATE be pro-life?)

"'Protecting the health and well-being of women and the unborn will always be a priority. We are a pro-life state and always will be as long as I am attorney general.'”

She was e-l-e-c-t-e-d. Courts of Appeals judges are appointed, but voters elect the ones who appoint and approve them.

And because of who have been elected to the U.S. Congress, and *gag reflex* the U.S. Presidency, the Supreme Court has a die-hard anti-abortion rights guy (Neil Grouch) in
his 40s sitting where a much more moderate (Merrick Garland) Obama nominee belongs. These decisions matter. Voting matters. From local elections to national ones. Republicans and Conservatives seem to understand this. November 2018 is only five months away. Let's do all we can to make sure Democrats and Liberals understand it, too, and have all their ducks in order to make it to the polls. I think it's pretty clear Conservative Republican voters are counting on us NOT getting there. Let's prove them wrong.

In the meantime, every decision coming down from SCOTUS brings with it the inevitable question, "How would Merrick Garland have voted?" Or "What would Merrick do?" If I had more than 17 followers on Twitter, I'd try to make that a hashtag... #WWMD?

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.