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Telling Stories In The Supreme Court: Voices Briefs And The Role Of Democracy In Constitutional Deliberation, Linda H. Edwards Jan 2017

Telling Stories In The Supreme Court: Voices Briefs And The Role Of Democracy In Constitutional Deliberation, Linda H. Edwards

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On January 4, 2016, over 112 women lawyers, law professors, and former judges told the world that they had had an abortion. In a daring amicus brief that captured national media attention, the women “came out” to their clients; to the lawyers with or against whom they practice; to the judges before whom they appear; and to the Justices of the Supreme Court.

The past three years have seen an explosion of such “voices briefs,” 16 in Obergefell and 17 in Whole Woman’s Health. The briefs can be powerful, but their use is controversial. They tell the stories of ...


Twenty-Week Abortion Statutes: Four Arguments, Randy Beck Jan 2016

Twenty-Week Abortion Statutes: Four Arguments, Randy Beck

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The Supreme Court has never justified the conclusion that the Constitution bars any substantial regulation designed to protect fetal life prior to viability. No majority opinion has ever offered a rationale for the viability rule, and the arguments recited in non-majority opinions are either conclusory or fail to distinguish viability from earlier lines that might be drawn. The most coherent academic attempt to justify the rule — Professor Laurence Tribe’s argument that a woman can “transfer nurture of [a viable] fetus to other hands” — rests on the erroneous assumption that a pregnant woman can arrange for premature delivery of any ...


Overcoming Barriers To The Protection Of Viable Fetuses, Randy Beck Apr 2014

Overcoming Barriers To The Protection Of Viable Fetuses, Randy Beck

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I start this Article from the premise that the Court was correct in Roe v. Wade concerning the significance of fetal viability. I assume for the sake of argument that viability is a momentous point in pregnancy and that “logical and biological justifications” support a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of fetuses that have crossed the viability threshold. The goal of this Article is to highlight factors that individually and in concert significantly hinder legislative attempts to preserve the lives of viable fetuses, and to identify measures that, if permitted by the courts, could facilitate the pursuit of ...


State Interests And The Duration Of Abortion Rights, Randy Beck Jan 2013

State Interests And The Duration Of Abortion Rights, Randy Beck

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Few areas of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence have attracted as much attention in recent decades as the case law recognizing a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has exercised more influence over the Court’s abortion jurisprudence than perhaps any other sitting Justice. His jointly authored plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey reaffirmed the basic right to an abortion first recognized in Roe v. Wade, applying that right to regulations effective from the outset of pregnancy. Later opinions, particularly Justice Kennedy’s dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart and his majority opinion ...


Self-Conscious Dicta: The Origins Of Roe V. Wade’S Trimester Framework, Randy Beck Jul 2011

Self-Conscious Dicta: The Origins Of Roe V. Wade’S Trimester Framework, Randy Beck

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One of the controversies arising from Roe v. Wade (1973), has concerned whether the conclusions undergirding the opinion's “trimester framework” should be considered part of the holding of the case, or instead classified as dicta. Different Supreme Court opinions have spoken to this question in different ways. This article reviews materials from the files of Justices who participated in Roe, seeking insight as to what the Court thought about the issue at the time. The article concludes that Justices in the Roe majority understood the opinion’s trimester framework to consist largely of dicta, unnecessary to a ruling on ...


Fueling Controversy, Randy Beck Jan 2011

Fueling Controversy, Randy Beck

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In a recent Yale Law Journal article, Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel question the received wisdom that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade generated a political backlash, inflaming conflict over abortion and damaging the political process. The evidence they highlight shows that political conflict over abortion predated the Roe opinion, spurred by the Catholic Church and by Republican Party strategists seeking to foster party realignment. This enriched picture of the political and social landscape at the time of the decision undermines any simplistic suggestion that Roe served as “the sole cause of backlash” or “single-handedly caused societal ...


Gonzales, Casey And The Viability Rule, Randy Beck Jan 2009

Gonzales, Casey And The Viability Rule, Randy Beck

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Gonzales v. Carhart upheld a federal ban on intact D&E abortions. The dissenters in Gonzales accused the majority of ignoring the rule that a state may only prohibit abortion of a viable fetus, one capable of life outside the womb. The continuing discord over the viability rule highlights an issue that remains unsettled 34 years after Roe: Why may a state protect the life of a fetus after it reaches viability, but not before? Professor John Hart Ely long ago noted Roe's failure to justify the viability rule, observing that the Court's defense seems to mistake a ...


The Essential Holding Of Casey: Rethinking Viability, J. Randy Beck Apr 2007

The Essential Holding Of Casey: Rethinking Viability, J. Randy Beck

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The Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey plurality acknowledged an obligation to "justify the lines we draw." The corollary would seem to be an obligation to eschew lines that defy principled justification. In the decades since Roe v. Wade, the Court has offered no adequate rationale for the viability standard, notwithstanding persistent judicial and academic critiques. Exacerbating this country's divisions over abortion and placing us out of step with the world community, the viability rule seems a strong candidate for abandonment as the Court continues to rethink its abortion jurisprudence in the aftermath of Casey.


Note, A Woman’S Life, A Woman’S Health: Equalizing Medicaid Abortion Funding In Simat Corp. V. Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Sara Gordon Jan 2003

Note, A Woman’S Life, A Woman’S Health: Equalizing Medicaid Abortion Funding In Simat Corp. V. Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Sara Gordon

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This casenote discusses the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in Simat Corp. v. Arizona Health Care Cost Container System. In a decision deviating from those of the United States Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court declared the Arizona statute and accompanying Arizona Heath Care Cost Containment System provisions unconstitutional because they did not survive strict scrutiny analysis under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Arizona Constitution. Where the state of Arizona has undertaken to fund abortions for indigent women whose lives are directly threatened by pregnancy, it cannot refuse to pay for abortions for similarly indigent women whose health ...


Abortion Rights (Symposium: The Supreme Court And Local Government Law; The 1989-90 Term), Eileen Kaufman Jan 1990

Abortion Rights (Symposium: The Supreme Court And Local Government Law; The 1989-90 Term), Eileen Kaufman

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No abstract provided.


The Abortion Controversey: A Study In Law And Politics, Albert M. Pearson, Paul M. Kurtz Apr 1985

The Abortion Controversey: A Study In Law And Politics, Albert M. Pearson, Paul M. Kurtz

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The Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which held that women have a federal constitutional right to an abortion, has generated considerable controversy. The abortion issue became politically significant in the 1960's, when, emboldened by the Supreme court's recognition of a constitutionally based right of privacy, activists initiated a series of legal challenges to the validity of state abortion laws. Their efforts finally succeeded in 1973 when the Supreme Court in Roe and Doe v. Bolton struck down as unconstitutional the Texas and Georgia abortion laws. For those who objected to the result in Roe ...


Lawyers And The Abortion Debate: Presenting A Balanced View, Thomas B. Mcaffee Jan 1983

Lawyers And The Abortion Debate: Presenting A Balanced View, Thomas B. Mcaffee

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The author is pleased to see the publication of A Lawyer Looks at Abortion because legal scholars have much to contribute to the understanding of public questions. Lay readers too often receive distorted impressions of legal issues from the media, and those who understand the system best are frequently too busy writing for the legal community to contribute to popular literature. Yet it is legal scholars who are best equipped to make the intricacies of law accessible to lay persons by defining and explaining legal terms and doctrine and by examining the reasoning found in relevant judicial decisions. Lawyers are ...