The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that a Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional, according to the Daily Caller.
Chief Justice John Roberts, considered one of the court’s conservative members, cast the decisive vote alongside liberal justices in a 5-4 decision on Monday.
“Treat like cases alike”
He subsequently explained his vote as the only option following a very similar 2016 case that set a precedent — even though he voted with the minority in that case.
As Roberts wrote, the court typically upholds previous rulings. He cited the principle of stare decisis to “treat like cases alike” and argued that “the Louisiana law burdens women seeking previability abortions to the same extent” as the previously overturned law.
Nevertheless, he was excoriated by many conservative politicians and pundits, including talk radio host Mark Levin.
“He’s a disgrace”
“Roberts has destroyed any credibility the Court may have had,” he tweeted. “He’s a disgrace.”
Similarly, former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee expressed his displeasure, calling the chief justice “an empty black robe who wants to be loved by liberals who believe in legislating from the bench.”
As a result, Huckabee called on Roberts to “resign and run for Congress.”
“The abortion industry’s bottom line”
Roberts has sided with liberal justices in several recent cases, including a major ruling earlier this month upholding protections for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors. Kay C. James, president of the Heritage Foundation, tore into the chief justice in a statement accusing him of working on the abortion industry’s behalf.
“It’s profoundly disappointing that the Supreme Court has once again failed to uphold a commonsense law that protects women,” James wrote, arguing that Roberts and the liberal wing of the court “struck down a law and signaled to abortionists that not only are they exempt from the most basic medical standards and safety requirements, but that the abortion industry’s bottom line is more important than women’s health and safety.”
While abortion advocates heralded the decision, Roberts continues to attract opprobrium from conservatives.
He determined that there was no other option given the 2016 precedent — but it is clear plenty of critics simply do not agree.