For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Professor David Cohen Contests Justice Kennedy’s Image as Abortion ‘Swing Vote’ in Slate

David S. Cohen

November 22, 2013

As a battle over a Texas law that restricts abortion access unfolds, observers expect the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the issue. 

When it does, Professor David S. Cohen wrote in an essay appearing in Slate, there is little reason to believe that Justice Anthony Kennedy will uphold a woman’s right to accessible abortion facilities. 

Cohen noted that Kennedy gained a reputation for being a “swing vote” on abortion from his vote in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case, which struck down a Pennsylvania law requiring married women to notify their husbands before obtaining an abortion.  

But that reputation is undeserved, Cohen said, observing that Kennedy has voted to uphold all of the other 21 abortion restrictions that have come before the high court since he was sworn in and has written opinions that “have become increasingly hostile to abortion rights.”  

Cohen is an expert on constitutional law who focuses his scholarship on gender and the law.