U.S. Supreme Court

A federal judge has declined to block a Missouri regulation governing medication abortions, although she found that the restriction “has virtually no benefit.”

Ruling in a case brought by the Planned Parenthood affiliates in Kansas City and St. Louis, U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips said the plaintiffs had not shown that the regulation “is a substantial burden to a large fraction of women seeking a medication abortion.”

This story was updated at 5:26 p.m. to include the comments of Planned Parenthood Great Plains' regional director of public policy. 

The state of Kansas wants the United States Supreme Court to review a decision preventing it from terminating its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.

In a petition filed on Thursday, it argues that a federal appeals court was wrong when it decided that Medicaid patients have a right to challenge a state’s termination of their Medicaid provider.

Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a Missouri church ultimately could make it easier for religious institutions to seek out state money for non-religious needs.

The justices ruled 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground, but was denied funding. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote it is “odious to our Constitution” to exclude the church from the grant program.

CNN analyst and New Yorker staff writer Jeffery Toobin calls the criticism against Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts “unfair” and “completely baffling.” Toobin, who is the author of two books on the nation’s high court, says despite major decisions in which Roberts – a George W. Bush appointee – sided with the court’s more liberal justices, his track record shows he is typically at odds with Democratic President Barack Obama.

Saying a key provision of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down Section 4, which establishes a coverage formula to identify states that may require extra scrutiny regarding voting procedures. As KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports, the decision essentially shifts the focus back onto Congress to find a solution.