Blake Mason

Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date




Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Law


In one of the most pivotal cases of the Fall 2006 Term, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 by a vote of 5-4. The Court found the Act to be facially valid, despite the absence of an exception for cases in which an abortion is necessary to preserve the health of the mother, stating that the Act was not "void for vagueness" and that it did not impose "an undue burden on a woman's right to abortion based on its overbreadth or lack of a health exception." The case signaled a departure from the Court's long-standing abortion jurisprudence, and provided an enormous amount of insight into the "Roberts' Court." The decision was the first major indication of how the Court will deal with abortion, how the Court feels about precedent, and how much deference the Court will give congressional findings of fact.