A Close Call

Despite restrictions, the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is upheld

No sooner had the Supreme Court announced that it was narrowly upholding Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that found a constitutional right to abortion, than both pro-choice and pro-life forces were bitterly denouncing it. The decision hewed carefully to the middle ground between the two groups. Yet, coming from a court dominated by conservatives, it was actually a remarkable declaration of judicial independence.

Though all three co-authors of the majority decision were appointed either by Ronald Reagan (Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor) or by George Bush (David Souter), their decision proved that presidential efforts to give the high...

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