Hodgson v. Minnesota

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Hodgson v. Minnesota
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued November 29, 1989
Decided June 25, 1990
Full case name Jane Elizabeth Hodgson, et al. v. Minnesota, et al.
Citations 497 U.S. 417 (more)
110 S. Ct. 2926; 111 L. Ed. 2d 344; 1990 U.S. LEXIS 3303; 58 U.S.L.W. 4957
Prior history Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Stevens (parts I, II, IV, VII), joined by Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, O'Connor
Concurrence Stevens (part III), joined by Brennan
Concurrence Stevens (parts V, VI), joined by O'Connor
Concurrence O'Connor
Concur/dissent Marshall, joined by Brennan, Blackmun
Concur/dissent Scalia
Concur/dissent Kennedy, joined by Rehnquist, White, Scalia
Dissent Stevens (part VIII)
Laws applied
Minn. Stat. §§ 144.343(2)-(7) (1988)

Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case that dealt with whether a state law may require notification of both parents before a minor can obtain an abortion. The law in question provided a judicial alternative.


The case concerned a Minnesota law. The law required notice to both parents of a minor before she could undergo an abortion; it also contained a judicial bypass provision designed to take effect only if a court found one to be necessary.[1] Dr. Jane Hodgson, a Minneapolis gynecologist, challenged the law. The Eighth Circuit had ruled that the law would be unconstitutional without a judicial bypass, but that the bypass provision saved it.[1]

The law made no allowance for the fact that half the children in Minnesota lived without both biological parents.[1]

Supreme Court Justice Positions[edit]

Justice O'Connor thought the two-parent requirement entailed risk to a pregnant teenager; she also said the rule failed to meet even the lowest standard of judicial review, a rationality standard.[1]

Justice Kennedy pointed out the usefulness of the bypass procedure, as judges granted all but a handful of requests to authorize abortions without parental notice.[1]


There were five votes for each of two holdings.[1] O'Connor, Stevens, Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun formed a majority holding that the two-parent notice requirement was unconstitutional.[1] O'Connor joined the Court's conservatives, however, to form a majority for the law being valid with the judicial bypass. The ruling struck down the two-parent notification requirement, the majority citing an APA brief asserting that one-parent families are common in that state and that within the state, a minor often only needs one parent's permission for certain health needs; the rest of the statute, though, was voted constitutional because of its allowance for judicial bypass.

This case involved the first restriction on abortion that O'Connor voted to strike down.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Greenhouse, Linda (2005), Becoming Justice Blackmun, Times Books, pp. 196–197 

External links[edit]

  • Text of Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia