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VOL. 7, NO. 3Feb. 18, 2005


By Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D.*, National Chairman

The U. S. Supreme Court is scheduled this Friday (February 18th) to discuss a petition to reconsider its 1973 pro-abortion decision in Roe v. Wade. The petitioner is Norma McCorvey, the original "Jane Roe." In previous issues of our "Court Watch Briefings," we have discussed this case (now titled McCorvey v. Hill). The arguments supporting a rehearing and over-turning of Roe focus on the results and products of the case. One of McCorvey's primary arguments is that abortion hurts women to an extreme degree that the 1973 Court did not foresee. She offers 5,347 pages of sworn testimony, including the affidavits of over 1,000 post-abortive women.

Court Watch's National Chairman, Dr. Virginia Armstrong, has authored an amicus curiae brief supporting McCorvey. Dr. Armstrong argues that Roe and its two most legally significant progeny, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), do extreme harm to the U. S. Constitution. Her brief can be accessed at http://users.cwnet.com/jjlynch/McCorvey/. Dr. Armstrong argues that:

  • Casey and Stenberg are the inevitable progeny of Roe;

  • Casey and Stenberg have produced uncertainty, inconsistency, and discontinuity in American constitutional law;

  • These three flaws constitute violations of the rule of law and manifest injustice;

  • "Violations of the rule of law" are a reason for over-turning a precedent such as Roe (according to the Court's Casey opinion); the production of "manifest injustice" is also a reason for over-turning precedent (as specified by Congress in Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure):

  • Therefore, Roe should be over-turned. The foundations of Casey and Stenberg would also be undermined.

The High Court needs only four of the nine Justices to vote to grant a certiorari petition (petition for a hearing on the merits of the case). The Court tomorrow can take several actions including:

  • Totally reject the certiorari petition;

  • Grant the cert petition and move to hear the case on the merits;

  • Remand the case to the lower courts for hearings; (neither the federal District Court nor Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a hearing to McCorvey's evidence);

  • Postpone a discussion of McCorvey's petition to a later date.
Pray that reason and justice will govern the Court!

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