Patterico's Pontifications


Ayotte Parental Notification Case Argued

Filed under: Abortion,Court Decisions,Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:42 pm

The Ayotte parental notification case was argued today in the Supreme Court, and you can read a report of the arguments here. (Via Confirm Them.) (Howard Bashman has much more, of course — including a link to audio of the oral argument.) (If that doesn’t work, try here.)

My prediction: 5-4 to strike down the law, with the liberals plus Kennedy in the majority. But I would not be shocked to see Roberts or Alito (who, I believe, will participate in the final decision — likely issued in June 2006 — rather than O’Connor) voting with the majority, given the clarity of the precedents on the health exception.

I had hoped to discuss this case in more detail, but personal events have prevented a more thorough discussion. That’s my thumbnail prediction, though.

UDPATE 11-30-05 11:12 p.m.: Here is an L.A. Times article that causes me to revise my prediction. If you believe this article, it sounds like most of the Justices are interested in a compromise solution that will save the law but allow for a challenge brought by doctors in medical emergencies. I guess I’ll have to wait to hear the audio before I understand exactly how this would work. Perhaps any predictions should wait until then as well . . .

9 Responses to “Ayotte Parental Notification Case Argued”

  1. I think this case may be disposed of sooner rather than later, with Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, Scalia, and Thomas voting to uphold the statute. I haven’t studied the case in great detail, but my understanding is that the statute itself says that if any application of the statute is held to be invalid then the other applications shall still apply. This is an unusual type of severability clause, in that it would sever applications of the statute rather than words of the statute.

    I think the Court will vacate the appeals court’s invalidation of the entire statute, and will send the whole matter back to the appeals court for further proceedings (e.g. determination whether applications of the statute should be severed).

    Andrew (08ba2c)

  2. But wait — that Times article says that only TWO of the jsutices support overturning RvW. First I’ve heard THAT in the Times.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  3. Good point. Will it reappear in the articles about Alito? Time will tell.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  4. General point about abortion, I so loath this debate.

    Already there are appearing the tired old arguments about how parental notification laws “dangerously restrict access” to “women’s health care” – even in my relatively moderate local paper. I read one such nauseatingly shallow column yesterday in my local paper by one of the litigants in this case.

    It is SUCH a stupid argument. It amazes me that the pro-abortion people cannot see that by demanding the right to extend abortion rights to children unsupervised by their parents, as well as demanding late term abortion rights, they undermine all abortion rights.

    I mean it is SO stupid. They can’t be satisfied with women having the ability to get an abortion – even arguably as nothing more than emergency birth control for dumbasses. Instead, they want to intervene between parents and their children to perform abortions unbeknownst to the parents, and argue they should be able to destroy viable, near full term children in a mother’s womb.

    Maybe the idiots that make these arguments just don’t have children, so they do not understand what this looks like to parents, but even in that case they’re amazingly blinkered.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  5. Good point. Maybe other advocacy groups should start mock campaigns of their own. For example, the NRA could start screeching about what a terrible infringement it is of the RKBA for kids not to be allowed to purchase firearms without notifying at least one of their parents.

    Xrlq (3646a1)

  6. Alito would not participate unless the case was reargued. Look it up — it’s pretty basic Supreme Court procedure.

    [Right. And it will be reargued if not decided by the date of his confirmation — which it won’t be. — Patterico]

    Alito (fd5021)

  7. We have basically the same law as the one being challenged – on the books for 21 years and no legal challenges but definitely a marked decrease in adolescent abortions.

    I would really like to know of the exact health condition that would lead to this “medical emergency” If it is toxemia or related complication, an abortion would cause further damage. I listened to the arguments and was surprised the N.J.Attorney General did’nt argue that it is more likely to cause a real health risk if their are complications after the abortion. The parents might just think that internal bleeding is a bad tummy acke. Or that depressed mood is simply adolescent brooding.

    Even if O’Connor does get to rule on this case, it would be sad if her last opinion was in support of abortion over parent’s rights to be informed.

    Again, Planned Parenthood does’nt want to wait for a challenge based on the health of the adolescent because that life-saving medical emergency does’nt exist.

    alexandra morris (a9eb8b)

  8. Nice site I found … Plan on coming back later to spend a little time there.

    Acne Laser (346bd3)

  9. Good site I found … Plan on coming back later.

    Pueraria Mirifica (3fd170)

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