The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and the Commerce Clause
14 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2003
Date Written: November 2003
The constitutional controversy surrounding the recently enacted Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 has focused on whether the Act imposes an undue burden on a woman's right to choose an abortion. More specifically, the question is whether the Act runs afoul of the principles enunciated in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000). The focus of this essay is on a separate constitutional question, namely, whether the Act represents a valid exercise of the commerce power under the principles enunciated in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995), and United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000). The author concludes that under current Commerce Clause doctrinal standards the constitutionality of the Act as written is in serious doubt. Since this is a working draft, the author invites comments and criticisms.
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