SCOTUS GVRs Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany v. Lacewell and Denies Cert in Dignity Health; Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch Would Have Granted Cert
Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett have no interest in deciding another Free Exercise Clause case now.
Today, the Supreme Court GVR'd Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany v. Lacewell in light of Fulton. I blogged about this case last month, which involves a New York mandate that insurance policies must cover abortions. The case was GVR'd after four conferences. Once again, Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch signaled they would have granted cert. By the process of elimination, we know that neither Justices Kavanaugh nor Barrett voted to grant cert. And, once again, by signaling three dissents, the Court's conservatives shined a light on their new colleagues.
It is very obvious to me that Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett have no interest in deciding another Free Exercise Clause case now--especially after the denial of review in the Maine case. Barrett signaled that there were not four votes for cert. She would know--she was the potential fourth vote for review who voted no!
For now at least, Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch are alone on the Court to provide guidance of how to apply Fulton.
Now, time to listen to the abortion oral arguments. Today at 1 ET/12 CT, I am speaking at the Texas Tech Federalist Society Chapter. I will provide a recap of the arguments. Stay tuned for a YouTube link.
Update: The Court also denied cert in Dignity Health v. Minton. This case had also been distributed at four conferences. Dignity Health, Inc. v. Minton presents the question whether a California Catholic hospital can be required to perform a hysterectomy on a transgender patient. Once again, Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch would have granted cert. Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett didn't even favor a GVR here.
Now, neither case will be held pending 303 Creative. There will probably be a deny in that case as well.