Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Some Other Noteworthy Amicus Briefs in Dobbs Abortion Case

With apologies to the submitters of many other amicus briefs that I haven’t yet reviewed, I’ll briefly highlight a few other notable amicus briefs (on top of EPPC’s) in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

1. In arguing that Roe and Casey should be overruled, Americans United for Life, the leading pro-life legal advocacy organization, explain how the two rulings are “radically unsettled” and thus “contradict the stare decisis values of consistency, dependability, and predictability and are entitled to minimal stare decisis respect.”

2. Law professors Mary Ann Glendon and Carter Snead emphasize that Roe and Casey are “completely untethered from the Constitution’s text, history, and tradition” and have “imposed an extreme, incoherent, unworkable, and antidemocratic legal regime for abortion on the nation for several decades (pursuant to constantly shifting rules, standards, and rationales).” Further:

The Court’s abortion jurisprudence grafted onto the Constitution a vision of what it means to be and flourish as a human being that isolates mother and child, pitting them against one another in a narrative of zero-sum conflict among strangers, thus depriving them of much needed sources of protection, support, and care.

3. A brief submitted by law professors Teresa Collett, Helen Alvaré, and my EPPC colleague Erika Bachiochi on behalf of some 240 women scholars and professionals and various pro-life feminist organizations squarely contests the “faulty premise” in Casey that “women had ‘reliance interests’ in the judicially-created right to abortion that ensured their capacity ‘to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation’”:

Data regarding women’s participation in the labor market and entrepreneurial activities, as well as their educational accomplishments, professional engagement, and political participation, reveals virtually no consistent correlation with abortion rates or ratios…. Instead, the data suggest some correlation between abortion, the feminization of poverty, and women’s declining levels of happiness, including fewer and less satisfying long-term committed relationships with partners and the birth of fewer children than women desire by the end of their reproductive lives. There is also some evidence that the Casey plurality’s imprimatur on a male normative experience of reproduction as the model for economic and social participation has retarded meaningful accommodation of pregnancy and motherhood in the workplace and other spheres of society.



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