In last week’s June Medical decision, the Supreme Court overturned a Louisiana law requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortionists. Conservatives are understandably dismayed. Many on the right fear that Chief Justice John Roberts is another Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, or David Souter—justices appointed by Republican presidents who eventually seemed more determined to uphold pet policy preferences on social issues rather than neutrally apply conservative legal principles.

Plenty of conservatives already saw Roberts as a great disappointment in the wake of his votes to uphold the Affordable Care Act and DACA and to interpret “sex” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act as including sexual orientation and gender identity. I did a double-take at those decisions too, but I believe there is a “glass half full” argument to be made. ….