WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) led an amicus brief requesting that the Supreme Court take up Robert Kerr, SC Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) v. Planned Parenthood and Julie Edwards.
“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 Scott. “South Carolina is devoted to protecting life and must be allowed to continue operating its Medicaid programs as it sees fit.”
Senators Scott and Graham were joined by 23 other senators: John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), James E. Risch (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Kennedy (R-La.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.). Joining the senators were 105 members of the House of Representatives.
When Congress passed the Medicaid Act, federal lawmakers gave states the authority to decide which providers are qualified to participate in a state’s Medicaid program. In 2018, South Carolina deemed abortion clinics unqualified to receive Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood and one of its clients then sued the SCDHHS in federal court.
The congressmembers’ amicus brief argues that Congress intended for states to be able to make their own determinations as to which 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.
View the full amicus brief here.