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Jurisprudence Commons

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2011

University of Georgia School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

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

Scholarly Works

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 ...