How Trump's 4 likely SCOTUS picks have ruled on major healthcare issues

President Donald Trump is scheduled to officially select his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court July 9. The newest justice will have the opportunity to rule on a plethora of healthcare-related issues, including Roe v. Wade, the future of the ACA and industry consolidation, among others.

President Trump is likely to choose between four reported candidates, barring a last-minute surprise candidate, according to Politico.

The four reported contenders to fill Mr. Kennedy's seat are:

  • Brett Kavanaugh, an appeals court judge for the D.C. Circuit
  • Thomas Hardiman, an appeals court judge for the Third Circuit
  • Amy Coney Barrett, an appeals court judge for the Seventh Circuit
  • Raymond Kethledge, an appeals court judge for the Sixth Circuit

Sources reportedly indicated to the publication July 9 Mr. Kavanaugh and Mr. Hardiman have emerged as the two frontrunners for Mr. Kennedy's seat, a second Politico report states.

Here's how the four judges have ruled on two major healthcare issues, according to Politico:

On abortion:

  • Mr. Kavanaugh dissented on an immigration case last fall, during which the D.C. Circuit court supported the right of an undocumented teenager in HHS custody to have an abortion.
  • While Mr. Hardiman hasn't ruled directly on abortion, he joined in a 2010 decision by the Third Circuit court that vacated the conviction of an anti-abortion protestor who was arrested for refusing to vacate a public sidewalk.
  • Ms. Barrett said during a 2013 "March for Life" rally at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana that life begins at conception, but said at the time overturning Roe v. Wade is "very unlikely," according to a 2013 Notre Dame Magazine report.

On the ACA:

  • Mr. Kavanaugh wrote an opinion in 2011 that a lawsuit against the ACA's individual mandate was not ready for judgment until someone paid for the penalty. Critics suggest the opinion laid the groundwork for Chief Justice John Roberts to save the ACA in 2012 by considering the individual mandate a tax, according to Politico.
  • In a ruling filed in April, Mr. Hardiman ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor, allowing the organization to intervene in litigation challenging requirements for birth control coverage under the ACA.
  • Ms. Barrett has written several opinions criticizing the Supreme Court's rulings on the ACA. In 2017, she argued the court was wrong to preserve the ACA's constitutionality; in 2012, she contributed to a letter criticizing the ACA's contraception mandate, calling the provision an "assault on religious liberty," Politico reports.

Politico reports Mr. Kethledge has not ruled on abortion or any other timely healthcare issues. However, he joined in a 2012 decision to strike down Ohio's ban on certain Medicaid providers' campaign contributions.

To access the full Politico report, click here.

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