Newbie Influence in Kennedy Abortion Opinion

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s concern for medical risks to women displayed in oral arguments last year were missing from his majority opinion last week upholding a ban on so-called partial birth abortions, according to an opinion piece in the New York Times.

The opinion revives an undue-burden test espoused by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. when he was a federal appeals judge, the article says. In that opinion, Alito said a requirement that women notify their husbands of a planned abortion was not an undue burden because it would hurt only a small number of women.

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