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Columbia Law School

1994

Sexuality and the Law

Columbia Law Review

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Unburdening The Undue Burden Standard: Orienting Casey In Constitutional Jurisprudence, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 1994

Unburdening The Undue Burden Standard: Orienting Casey In Constitutional Jurisprudence, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

"Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt." With these words in the 1992 case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court ushered in a new era of abortion regulation. Speaking through a joint opinion authored by Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, the Court indicated that from this point forth abortion regulations would be judged by an "undue burden" standard. According to this standard, an abortion regulation is unconstitutional if it "has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion" of a nonviable fetus.

The Justices who wrote ...