For full coverage of June Medical Services v. Russo, check out our Special Report.
Rewire.News kicked off its first Instagram Live event on Tuesday morning with Executive Editor Jessica Mason Pieklo and Senior Editor Imani Gandy, who writes the Angry Black Lady Chronicles. The duo, aka #TeamLegal, hosts Rewire.News’ podcast, Boom! Lawyered. Jess and Imani answered questions from our readers about Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo, the Court’s term, and more.
The following conversation has been edited; you can view it in full on Instagram.
Jessica Mason Pieklo: So yesterday we got a 5-4 decision from the Court that says Louisiana admitting privileges law that required abortion providers’ admitting privileges in nearby hospitals is unconstitutional. That’s excellent news because had the Court upheld it, it would have decimated abortion access in the state of Louisiana and had ripple effects across the South.
Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.
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So now that we got Monday’s opinion, we’ll start to see a floodgate of other opinions from courts looking at other laws and relying on June Medical Services as precedent. So that’s a huge deal and speaks to just why it’s so important that we build on the victories that we have, and that’s what we’ll discuss.
Imani Gandy: Let’s start off with a question: Is it reasonable to assume that you will have ten decisions [next] or can the Court extend into July because of COVID-19 circumstances?
This morning we got two opinions, one which we care about, the Espinoza case, which surprise surprise [the Court ruled] it’s perfectly fine for state governments to fund religious school, so that’s going to blow a hole through the Establishment Clause. But generally, I think that we can expect the Court to do what it wants to do when it wants to do it. I mean that’s sort of the circumstances that we’re in, given this pandemic.
JMP: Yeah, absolutely. So we’re supposed to be done with opinions at the end of June and we’re not—we have eight more opinions to go, including the Trump v. Pennsylvania or the Little Sisters of the Poor case—that’s the birth control benefit—because we have to litigate a birth control benefit case apparently once every two years at the Supreme Court with conservatives.
So we’re still waiting on a handful of decisions from the Court that are important. Technically the Court’s term doesn’t end until the very next term starts, so we could be into September, with the Court trickling through opinions. Let’s really hope that we’re not there. We know that they’re conferencing, again, this week and orders related to that.
One of the things that COVID has really highlighted is that the Supreme Court operates in a lot of fundamentally undemocratic ways, and so this is an opportunity for reform.
Watch the full conversation on Instagram.
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