The Supreme Court upped the ante in the filibuster fight today when it decided to take on Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, and rule on the legality of a New Hampshire parental consent law. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the law saying that it did not provide a health exception for the mother.
New Hampshire officials argued that other state provisions requiring a health exception also cover the parental notification law. The state asked the Supreme Court "to clarify the legal standard that is applied when reviewing the constitutionality of abortion laws," says the Associated Press. Pro-life groups complain that the health exception effectively nullifies any abortion restriction because any pregnancy can be seen as a health threat. However, restrictions passed without the exception have been overturned even before going into effect when courts rule that such laws place an "undue burden" on mothers.
In Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood the Supreme Court could place a more stringent standard on courts overturning the law before it goes into effect. "The attorney general of New Hampshire argued that a law such as New Hampshire's must be upheld unless a challenger meets the difficult burden of showing that 'no set of circumstances exists' under which it would be constitutional," according to The Washington Post. "Abortion-rights advocates believe that few, if any, challenges could survive such a test, which, in any case, has been rejected by most appeals courts."
"The decision to review the emotional case, which also comes at a time of bitterly partisan fighting in the Senate over President Bush's nominees for federal judgeships, will be heard in the next term beginning in October," the Associated Press says. Some have ...1
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