Some Friendly Advice on Abortion and Judicial Activism

Judge Henry J. Friendly (Public Domain/via Wikimedia)
Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Second Circuit offered some prescient thoughts on abortion and the law in a 1970 opinion.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W ith oral argument approaching this week in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is fitting to take a moment to consider what might have been had the Court in Roe v. Wade taken the view of the legendary Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Second Circuit. In 1970, three years before Roe, Friendly drafted an opinion in an abortion case that came before him. Its contents would not be known for many years because the case was mooted by the New York legislature, and the draft opinion waited more than 35 years to be published by Friendly’s law clerk,

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