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N.D. Texas Opinion of U.S. District Court June (17,) (1970)

Judgment

This action came on for hearing on motions for summary judgment before a three-judge court composed of Irving L. Goldberg, Circuit Judge, Sarah T. Hughes and W. M. Taylor, Jr., District Judges. The defendant in both cases is Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas. In one action plaintiffs are John and Mary Doe, husband and wife, and in the other Jane Roe and James Hubert Hallford, M.D., intervenor.

The case having been heard on the merits, the Court, upon consideration of affidavits, briefs and arguments of counsel, finds as follows:

Findings of Fact

(1) Plaintiff Jane Roe, plaintiff-intervenor James Hubert Hallford, M.D., and the members of their respective classes have standing to bring this lawsuit.

(2) Plaintiffs John and Mary doe failed to allege facts sufficient to create a present controversy and therefore do not have standing.

17 "[T]he door is not open to all who would test the validity of state statues or conduct a federally supervised pre-trail of a state prosecution by the simple expedient of allerging that the prosecution somehow affects First Amendement rights." Porter v. Kimzey, 309 F. Supp. 993, 995 (N.D. Ga. 1970).

(3) Articles 1191, 1192, 1193, 1194, and 1196 of the Texas Penal Code, hereinafter referred to as the Texas Abortion Laws, are so written as to deprive single women and married persons of the opportunity to choose whether to have children.

(4) The Texas Abortion Laws are so vaguely worded as to produce grave and manifold uncertainties concerning the circumstances which would produce criminal liability.

Conclusions of Law

(1) This case is a proper one for a three-judge court.

(2) Abstention, concerning plaintiffs' request for a declaratory judgment, is unwarranted.

(3) The fundamental right of single women and married persons to choose whether to have children is protected by the Ninth Amendment, through the Fourteenth Amendment.

(4) The Texas Abortion Laws infringe upon this right.

(5) The defendant has not demonstrated that the infringement of plaintiffs' Ninth Amendment rights by the Texas Abortion Laws is necessary to support a compelling state interest.

(6) The Texas Abortion Laws are consequently void on their face because they are unconstitutionally overbroad.

(7) The Texas Abortion Laws are void on their face because they are vague in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

(8) Abstention, concerning plaintiffs' request for an injunction against the enforcement of the Texas Abortion Laws, is warranted.

It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that: (1) the complaint of John and Mary Doe be dismissed; (2) the Texas Abortion Laws are declared void on their face for unconstitutional overbreadth and for vagueness; (3) plaintiffs' application for injunction be dismissed.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972N.D. Texas Opinion of U.S. District Court June (17,) (1970) - Roe V. Wade, Per Curiam:, Conclusion, Judgment