Author: Colin P. Pool*
The Fifth Circuit’s March 2014 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Abbott garnered attention due to the controversial legislation that it upheld as constitutional: Texas H.B. 2, which in part required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within thirty miles of their clinic. Critics have argued that this requirement is a legislative charade intended to force abortion providers to close, continuing a broader debate regarding the constitutionality of abortion regulations. This article reevaluates Abbott’s use of rational basis review in scrutinizing H.B. 2 by comparing it to the Fifth Circuit’s March 2013 decision in St. Joseph Abbey v. Castille, where the court used the heightened “rational basis with bite” test to find a Louisiana funeral industry regulation unconstitutional. In light of this comparison, Abbott’s rational basis analysis demonstrates a judicial double standard, and likely manifests the court’s political agenda.
Continue reading “Reevaluating Planned Parenthood v. Abbott”
Author: Stephen Doyle, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review
Hidden beneath the midterm’s senatorial supremacy sway lay various states’ inconspicuous ballot measures. A couple received some attention, primarily initiatives regarding marijuana legalization and minimum wage increases. However, one sweeping amendment to the Tennessee Constitution, Amendment 1, has received very little attention outside of the state. The Amendment originated in response to a 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling, Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist, which limited regulations the state legislature could impose on pregnancy prevention providers by subjecting the regulations to a strict scrutiny analysis. Now, after obtaining legislative approval twice and 53% voter approval, the Amendment is likely to be ratified and effectively overturn Sundquist, pending the dismissal of a suit alleging that the Amendment was not properly ratified.
Continue reading “Amendment 1: How Tennessee Is Aborting a Woman’s Right to Privacy”