Obama nominee Garland sided against Priests for Life in contraception mandate case

Louisiana court

As Americans attempt to discern the views of Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, the Washington Post’s Julie Zauzmer has identified a past case in which he sided against Priests for Life.

In May, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals voted 6-3 to deny the group an en banc hearing by the whole court in its case against the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate, which had the result of preserving an earlier ruling in favor of the mandate.

Jay Wexler of Boston University attempted to downplay Garland’s vote with the majority as a procedural move “which doesn’t say much of anything about his views on the case,” though he did acknowledge it meant Garland “didn’t think the panel opinion denying the Priests’ religious freedom claim was clearly wrong.”

In addition, Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards was seen entering the White House West Wing minutes after Obama’s announcement of the nomination concluded, which has been interpreted as a sign that Obama wished to reassure Richards of Garland’s commitment to upholding a right to abortion.


As Live Action News covered Wednesday, Garland has not explicitly discussed or or directly ruled on abortion, but was a former clerk for Justice William Brennan, who voted in favor of Roe v. Wade, and has praised Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of Roe’s majority opinion.

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