The eight Republican Members of Congress from South Carolina (Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott; Representatives Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Tom Rice, Ralph Norman, William Timmons, and Nancy Mace) recently filed an “amicus curaie” (or “friend of the Court”) brief, asking the Supreme Court to take up the Kerr v. Edwards case. The case centers on South Carolina’s decision to delist Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. The eight South Carolina Republicans were joined by 23 other Senators and 97 other members of the House of Representatives. Click here for a link to the brief.
“Planned Parenthood is a pro-abortion activist group that profits off of the killing of unborn babies, masquerading its services as ‘health care,’ and has no place on South Carolina’s list of Medicaid providers. We will not stop fighting for the rights of the unborn and urge the Supreme Court to take up this landmark case concerning states’ rights and the right to life. I am proud to support this amicus brief and hope the Court will take up this case and side with life and federalism,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03).
“I am grateful to co-lead this amicus brief with my Republican colleagues from South Carolina to stand for life and protect the unborn. Taxpayer dollars should never be used to pay for abortions. States should be able to decide who is listed as a Medicaid provider and in this case, South Carolina was correct to exclude Planned Parenthood,” said Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02).
“States should be empowered to determine Medicaid funds, and I will continue to stand with lawful decisions to ensure public funds do not go to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. I support Governor McMaster and his right to determine who is a qualified Medicaid provider in South Carolina,” said Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07).
“South Carolina has every right to determine what qualifies and disqualifies Medicaid healthcare providers operating within our state. That was precisely the intent of Congress. My hope is the Court will see this lawsuit for what it truly is: a misguided attempt to undermine that authority,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05).
“Governor Henry McMaster’s order would ensure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that no South Carolina taxpayers are funding abortions in our state. Since 2018, Governor McMaster has held strong in this fight, and I am proud to join him by signing on to this amicus brief to bring this case before the Supreme Court. We will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn and to ensure no tax dollars will ever be used to perform abortions,” said Rep. William Timmons (SC-04).
“In anticipation of the Court’s decision on Roe this summer, I’m glad South Carolina is once again leading the pro-life charge against Planned Parenthood and hope that the Justices agree to hear Kerr v. Edwards this term,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01).
“Amid conversations surrounding right to life, I urge the Supreme Court to make it clear that Congress has given states—not political activists—the ability to determine Medicaid qualifications,” said Senator Tim Scott. “South Carolina is devoted to protecting life and must be allowed to continue operating its Medicaid programs as it sees fit.”
The signatories to the brief were Senators Lindsey O. Graham (SC), Tim Scott (SC), John Barrasso (WY), Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Boozman (MT), Mike Braun (IN), Tom Cotton (AR), Kevin Cramer (ND), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Chuck Grassley (IA), Bill Hagerty (TN), Josh Hawley (MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), James M. Inhofe (OK), John Kennedy (LA), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), James E. Risch (ID), Marco Rubio (FL), Ben Sasse (NE), Rick Scott (FL), John Thune (SD), and Roger Wicker (MS); and House Members Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Tom Rice (SC-07), William Timmons (SC-04), Joe Wilson (SC-02), Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rick W. Allen (GA-12), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Jodey C. Arrington (TX-19), Brian Babin, D.D. S. (TX-36), Jim Banks (IN-03), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Mike Bost (IL-12), Kevin Brady (TX-08), Mo Brooks (AL-05), Ken Buck (CO-04), Ted Budd (NC-13), Michael Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01), Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Steve Chabot (OH-01), Ben Cline (VA-06), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Andrew Clyde (GA-09), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), John Curtis (UT-03), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (FL-02), Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Drew Ferguson (GA-03), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), Scott Franklin (FL-15), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Bob Good (VA-05), Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), Garret Graves (LA-06), Mark Green (TN-07), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Michael Guest (MS-03), Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Vicki Hartzler (MO-04), Kevin Hern (OK-01), Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Jody Hice (GA-10), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Fred Keller (PA-12), Mike Kelly (PA-16), Trent Kelly (MS-01), Darin LaHood (IL-18), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Robert E. Latta (OH-05), Jake LaTurner (KS-02), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Billy Long (MO-07), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Lisa McClain (MI-10), David McKinley (WV-01), Daniel Meuser (PA-09), Carol D. Miller (WV-03), Mary E. Miller (IL-15), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Alex X. Mooney (WV-02), Barry Moore (AL-02), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (NC-03), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Scott Perry (PA-10), August Pfluger (TX-11), John W. Rose (TN-06), David Rouzer (NC-07), John H. Rutherford (FL-04), Austin Scott (GA-08), Adrian Smith (NE-03), Christopher H. Smith (NJ-04), Jason Smith (MO-08), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-02), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Michael Waltz (FL-06), Randy K. Weber, Sr. (TX-14), and Roger Williams (TX-25).
The brief asks the Court to take up the case, so as to overrule the 4th Circuit decision that went against South Carolina and for Planned Parenthood. The brief argues that Congress intended for states to be able to make their own determinations as to what providers could participate in the Medicaid program and that clients of delisted providers should not have been granted standing to sue the state on the providers’ behalf. The brief can be found here.
BACKGROUND: The South Carolina delegation led a similar effort two years ago, which was unsuccessful at the time because the case was not yet ripe for the Court’s consideration. Now that the Court has agreed to take up the Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski case with a different outcome from the Seventh Circuit, the case presents a difference between the circuits relating to the rights of the states that the Court will have to iron out. The prior brief can be found here.