118 Yale L.J. 1318 (2009).
More than twenty-one years after Robert Bork’s failed Supreme Court nomination and seventeen years after Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the rhetoric of abortion politics remains unchanged. Pro-choice interests, for example, argue that states are poised to outlaw abortion and that Roe v. Wade is vulnerable to overruling. In this Essay, I will debunk those claims. First, I will explain how Casey’s approval of limited abortion rights reflected an emerging national consensus in 1992. Second, I will explain why the Supreme Court is unlikely to risk political backlash by formally modifying Casey—either by restoring the trimester test or by overruling Roe altogether. Third (and most important), I will explain how it is that Casey stabilized state abortion politics. The national consensus favoring limited abortion rights remains intact. Correspondingly, the template of laws approved by the Supreme Court in Casey were politically popular at the time of Casey and remain politically popular today. Indeed, since
118 Yale L.J. 1356 (2009).
Public discourse over abortion overwhelmingly focuses on whether the Supreme Court will overrule Roe v. Wade and states will again ban abortion. But at least since 1992, when the Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey reaffirmed Roe’s “central holding,” certain moderate-sounding abortion restrictions—sometimes framed as reasonable compromise regulations—have posed a greater threat to women’s reproductive health and liberty. This Essay examines one increasingly popular form of restriction: laws that regulate providers of abortion services in the name of advancing women’s health, without actual health justification. Little-noted efforts to enact such restrictions in
118 Yale L.J. 1394 (2009).
The Essay argues that the right to abortion constitutionalized in Roe v. Wade is by some measure at odds with a capacious understanding of the demands of reproductive justice. No matter its rationale, the constitutional right to abortion is fundamentally a negative right that rhetorically keeps the state out of the domain of family life. As such, the decision privatizes not only the abortion decision, but also parenting, by rendering the decision to carry a pregnancy to term a choice. It thereby legitimates a minimalist state response to the problems of pregnant women who carry their pregnancies to term and for poor parents who might need greater public support. These marginalized groups need greater community and state assistance with the demands of parenting, and the equation of reproductive justice with a right to terminate a pregnancy is in tension with a political or legal agenda for meeting those needs. The Essay then explores the possibility of creating a right to legal abortion through ordinary political means, rather than through constitutional adjudication, in such a way as not to carry these costs.
118 Yale L.J. 1434 (2009).
Conventional wisdom states that recent
118 Yale L.J. 1484 (2009).
This Note argues that the term “occurrence” in insurance law should be defined by reference to the statistical concept of independence. Most courts define occurrence according to a version of the “causation” theory. This approach, however, yields inconsistent results for strikingly similar fact patterns and routinely strains theories of proximate causation. The concept of independence provides a better approach because it is consistent with the insurance system’s assumption that adverse outcomes are independent. It also provides a clearer standard for adjudicators and better explains why decisions that seem confused under current doctrine are, in fact, correct for the insurance system.