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
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan, Jr. · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
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
U.S. Const. amend. XIV; Minn. Stat. §§ 144.343(2)-(7)

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]

Opinion of the Court[edit]

While Justice Stevens delivered a majority opinion for one of the holdings, there were five votes for each of two holdings, with Justice O'Connor proving as the decisive vote for each.[1] Justices Stevens, Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun and O'Connor formed a majority holding that the two-parent notice requirement by itself was unconstitutional.[1] Justice O'Connor believed that the two-parent requirement entailed risk to a pregnant teenager; she also argued that the rule failed to meet even the lowest standard of judicial review, a rationality standard.[1] She joined the Court's more conservative Justices (Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices White, Scalia and Kennedy), to form a majority for the law being valid with the judicial bypass; Justice Kennedy had pointed out the usefulness of the bypass procedure, as judges granted all but a handful of requests to authorize abortions without parental notice.[1]

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 Justice O'Connor voted to strike down.[1]

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]