Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Judge Who Presided Over Federal "Partial Birth Abortion Ban" Trial Dies

Judge Richard Conway Casey, the country's first blind federal trial judge, died on March 22.

Judge Casey was one of three federal trial judges to rule that the federal abortion ban, the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act," is unconstitutional.  He held so despite obvious personal opposition to abortion.  In his opinion, he wrote, "The Court finds that the testimony at trial and before Congress establishes that D&X [the procedure that the ban purports to target] is a gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure."  The New York Times reports that, during the trial, "Judge Casey asked a doctor if doctors ever hear a baby cry during an abortion. He asked the same doctor if a mother can detect in advance that a baby will be born blind."  Judge Casey's decision was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has issued a stay pending the Supreme Court's ruling on the other two challenges to the ban.

I noticed Judge Casey in attendance at the arguments before the Supreme Court in the other federal abortion ban cases, Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood (9th Cir.) and Gonzales v. Carhart (8th Cir.).

Read the AP obituary in the New York Times.  Thanks to Lara Romansic for the tip.


Abortion, Abortion Bans, In the Courts | Permalink

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