Today, SCOTUS handed down its first major limitation on Roe v. Wade, 410 U.s. 113 (1973), finding constitutional the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which prohibited partial-birth abortions.

hell freezes over

Unlike the Court’s 1992 plurality opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, the Court’s majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart, Nos. 05-380 and 05-1382 (April 18, 2007) was a 5-4 decision that distinguished the Court’s last majority opinion touching upon abortion in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000).

In Gonzales v. Carhart, Justice Kennedy was assigned the drafting oar by C.J. Roberts, and adopted a decidedly aggressive tone for the majority opinion.

Part I.A at pages 3-8 of the slip opinion goes into strikingly graphic detail as to what the various forms of the proscribed procedure–clinically termed “evacuation”–entail.

Part III goes through the vagueness, overbreadth, and facial invalidity analysis, Part IV examines the “substantial obstacle” Casey claim put forth by the Respondents, and Part V reiterates that the proper method for constitional review of the Act is through an “as-applied” challenge.

Some early jurisprudential analysis may be found here .

Thx to Kennedy, J., joined by Roberts C.J., Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, J.J.

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