Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
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Supreme Court Upholds N.H. Abortion Limits Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Supreme Court put in an unexpected unanimous vote affirming a New Hampshire law placing restrictions on abortion.

"In the case that is before us ... the lower courts need not have invalidated the law wholesale," O'Connor wrote. "Only a few applications of New Hampshire's parental notification statute would prevent a constitutional problem. So long as they are faithful to legislative intent, then, in this case, the lower courts can issue a declaratory judgment and an injunction prohibiting the statute's unconstitutional application."

This will probably be Sandra Day O'Connor's last opinion. She was often the swing vote for many abortion cases and came up with the undue burden standard used in so many abortion cases.

At this point, the case goes back to the lower courts for them to reconsider the ruling and come up with a new solution:

An appeals court must now reconsider the law, which requires that a parent be informed 48 hours before a minor child has an abortion but makes no exception for a medical emergency that threatens the youth's health.

The legislation will probably have to be rewritten at this point, or at least part of it will be. This is a victory for the pro-lifers though and it will give them more fuel for the fire. At the same time, for the entire court to voting one way on this, they obviously felt there were some real problems with the lower court ruling as it stood. The wait and see part comes now as the lower court reworks its ruling on this case.

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posted by Stithmeister @ 11:41 AM

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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