Monday, May 23, 2005

Some Prayers Would Be In Order

About this, via the WashPo:

Amid intensifying controversy on Capitol Hill over judicial appointments, the Supreme Court today took on another abortion-related case.

Specifically, the court said it would consider whether laws requiring parental notification before a minor can get an abortion must make an explicit exception when the minor's health is at stake.

At issue in today's case is a New Hampshire parental notification law that did not make an exception to protect the health of the minor and was therefore struck down by the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which cited what it considered an unbroken line of Supreme Court precedents on the subject. A major issue in the case is also the standard to be used by the courts when reviewing such controversies.

The attorney general of New Hampshire argued that a law such as New Hampshire's must be upheld unless a challenger can show that "no set of circumstances exists" under which it would be constitutional.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of Northern New England, which challenged New Hampshire's law, argued that the operative test is the less formidable one established by the Supreme Court of whether the law places a "substantial obstacle" or "undue burden" on the right to an abortion.