Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Rescission of Puzzling and Extreme Ruling Against Physician-Only Abortion Requirement

I’m pleased to learn from this Washington Post article that federal district judge Henry E. Hudson has rescinded his ruling last week that held that a 1975 Virginia law that allows only licensed physicians to perform abortions cannot be enforced against abortions in the first trimester. (In this post, I explained why I found Judge Hudson’s initial ruling deeply troublesome in several respects.)

Kudos to Judge Hudson for having the humility to recognize his error and to correct it.

According to the article, Hudson intends to address at trial factual disputes that supposedly bear on whether the physicians-only law imposes an “undue burden.” For the reasons stated in point 1 of my previous post, I believe that existing Supreme Court precedents entitle Virginia to a ruling in its favor as a matter of law.

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