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The Federal court system: Structure and jurisdiction 2. Les migrations 3. Féminisme et antiféminisme 4. La colonne brisé, Frida Kahlo Please select type 5. Démarche de soin de Mme Rose 6. Lettre de motivation pour une grande école 7. Compte rendu TP

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- Roe v. Wade declared unconstitutional any state law that prohibited a woman from obtaining an abortion, arguing that women had a constitutionally-protected “right to privacy” and could decide, in virtue of that right, to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

- Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld the status of precedent of Roe v. Wade (the legal right to have an abortion), and established a systematic test for when they could overrule their own precedents.

- The rule of stare decisis = (from Latin, to stand by decided matters), a doctrine or policy of following rules or principles laid down in previous judicial decisions unless they contravene the ordinary principles of justice.

- Precedents are likely to be overruled if proven to be unworkable ; if there is no general social reliance on the rule ; if there have been subsequent changes in doctrine ; if there have been subsequent changes in fact.

- It is contradictory in the sense that it is difficult to know how much precedential weight to give a precedent in the first place.

- No, according to Justice Ginsburg, who decried the absence of respect of the Casey

precedent in Stenberg v. Carhart.

- The Casey stare decisis test leaves room for the court to move away from it, yet succeeded nevertheless in entrenching Roe v. Wade to a certain extent.

Exercise 3 (page 140)


- Chief Justice = William Rehnquist (appointed by Ronald Reagan)

Associates Justices = Byron White (appointed by John F. Kennedy), Harry Blackmun, appointed by Richard Nixon), John Paul Stevens (appointed by Gerald Ford), Sandra Day O’Connor (appointed by Ronald Reagan), Antonin Scalia (appointed by Ronald Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (appointed by Ronald Reagan), Clarence Thomas (appointed by George Bush Sr.).

Rehnquist replaced by John Roberts. White replaced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Blackmun replaced by Stephen Breyer. O’Connor replaced by Samuel Alito.

- Students' own answers.

- The Pennsylvania legislature amended its abortion control law in 1988 and 1989. Among the new provisions, the law required informed consent and a 24 hour waiting period prior to the procedure. A minor seeking an abortion required the consent of one parent (the law allows for a judicial bypass procedure). A married woman seeking an abortion had to indicate that she notified her husband of her intention to abort the fetus. These provisions were challenged by several abortion clinics and physicians. A federal appeals court upheld all the provisions except for the husband notification requirement. The question at hand for the US Supreme court was can a state require women who want an abortion to obtain informed consent, wait 24 hours, and, if minors, obtain parental consent, without violating their right to abortions as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade? In a bitter, 5-to-4 decision, the Court again reaffirmed Roe, but it upheld most of the Pennsylvania provisions. For the first time, the justices imposed a new standard to determine the validity of laws restricting abortions. The new standard asks whether a state abortion regulation has the purpose or effect of imposing an “undue burden”, which is defined as a &substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability”. Under this standard, the only provision to fail the undue-burden test was the husband notification requirement. The opinion for the Court was unique: it was crafted and authored by three justices. (From 1999/1991/1991_91_744.)

- The high court ruled unanimously to overturn the Plessy v. Ferguson decision […] The decision of the court was delivered by Chief Justice Earl Warren […] The rational of the Court's decision was based on the dehumanizing effects of segregation […] The Brown case signaled the end of "de jure" segregation in the United States, that is, segregation of public places that is mandated by law. Once the Brown decision was handed down, the African- American community, along with forward-thinking white Americans, placed sufficient pressure on the legal and political system to bring an end to state-supported segregation in all public facilities within twenty years through the Civil Rights Movement, led by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The nation paid a high price for its moral conversion in the form of riots, assassination, and additional government programs to enforce the Court's decision such as court-ordered busing and affirmative action. Americans soon found that Congress and the Courts were unable to change the attitudes of Americans in respect to race relations. Certainly, America moved toward the ideals of equality and justice in the public arena, but as seen in the race riots of the 1960s and the civil disturbances in Los Angeles in 1992, the inner life of the nation is still resistant to change. (From


- Responding to a reported weapons disturbance in a private residence, Houston police entered John Lawrence's apartment and saw him and another adult man, Tyron Garner, engaging in a private, consensual sexual act. Lawrence and Garner were arrested and convicted of deviate sexual intercourse in violation of a Texas statute forbidding two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct. In affirming, the State Court of Appeals held that the statute was not unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, with Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), controlling. The questions at hand for the US Supreme Court included do the criminal convictions of John Lawrence and

Tyron Garner under the Texas “Homosexual Conduct” law, which criminalizes sexual intimacy by same-sex couples, but not identical behavior by different-sex couples, violate the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection of laws? Do their criminal convictions for adult consensual sexual intimacy in the home violate their vital interests in liberty and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? Should Bowers

v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), be overruled? The response was no, yes, and yes. In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court held that the Texas statute making it a crime for two


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