There’s a reason Planned Parenthood likes to challenge pro-life laws on the West Coast. They know the cases will eventually bubble up to the most liberal bench in the country — the Ninth Circuit. There’s just one problem. After almost three years of President Trump, their favorite appeals court isn’t exactly liberal anymore. And that’s throwing a major wrench into the abortion industry’s plans.
Elections have consequences, and they’ve been big ones for the make-up of America’s courts. Just this week, President Trump added another originalist to the Ninth Circuit bench, Daniel Bress — bringing the administration’s total for the much-maligned court to seven. For the first time in decades, the Ninth Circuit, which Trump has accused of being “out of control” with “a horrible reputation,” is on the verge of ideological balance. And for liberals, who rely on the courts to do what legislatures will not, the prospect of losing their grip is daunting.
On Thursday, abortion extremists started to feel the effects of the president’s court-leveling when the Ninth Circuit refused to stop the administration’s family planning rules from taking effect. In a shocking blow to Planned Parenthood’s ego, the judges ruled 7-4 that HHS’s rule stopping Title X grantees from promoting abortion could go into effect. Making the decision even more upsetting for liberals, two of the judges in the majority were Trump appointees.
If the rule goes into effect, groups like Leana Wen’s Planned Parenthood could stand to lose millions of dollars. Wen, who’s obviously unaccustomed to bad news from the Ninth, called the decision “devastating.” And not just for her bottom line, which could suffer a $60-million loss — but for the Left’s whole court-shopping strategy.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.