Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Gonzales v. Carhart case brief

Gonzales v. Carhart case brief summary
550 U.S. 124 (2007)

FACTS:
-Petitioner, the United States Attorney General, sought certiorari review of judgments from the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits affirming district court rulings in favor of respondents, abortion doctors and abortion advocacy groups.
-The rulings found the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1531, unconstitutional on its face and enjoined petitioner from enforcing the Act.

HOLDING:
The Court held that the Act, on its face, was not void for vagueness and did not impose an undue burden from any overbreadth.

ANALYSIS:
-The Court applied the Casey standard, which included the central premise that the Government had a legitimate, substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life.
-The Court concluded that this premise would be repudiated if it affirmed the judgments.
-The Court rejected respondents' contention that the scope of the Act was indefinite.
-The Act clearly proscribed performing only the intact dilation and evacuation procedure.
-Further, the Act's scienter requirement narrowed the scope of the Act's prohibition and limited prosecutorial discretion.
-The restrictions on second-trimester abortions were not too broad because the Act provided specific anatomical landmarks and included an overt-act requirement.
-The Court also held that the Act's failure to allow the banned procedure's use where necessary for the mother's health did not have the effect of imposing an unconstitutional burden of the abortion right because safe medical options were available.
-The Court found that the proper means to consider exceptions was by as-applied rather than facial challenges.

OUTCOME: The court reversed the judgments.

Also see: Abortion legal definition - http://www.lawschoolcasebriefs.net/2014/04/abortion-legal-definition.html

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