How to Write a Case Brief

AP US Government
Chief Justice (Teachers name)

Roe v. Wade
On writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court
Oral Argument: 12/19/2012
Attorney for Wade

Jane Roe, a pregnant single mother, who wished to have an abortion in the State of Texas, sued on behalf of all mothers seeking abortions to prevent the enforcement of the Texas abortion ban. The appellant has challenged the Texas statue, claiming it violates the 1st, 5th, 9th and 14th amendment’s implied right to privacy which was established in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). The Texas statute under attack here is typical of those that are and have been in effect in many States for over a century without conflict. I am appealing the court to rule in favor of the respondent Henry Wade and uphold the constitutionality of the Texas statue concerning abortion. I hold that the state of Texas and all other states hold a legitimate interest in protecting the health of the mother and the potential of human life, where our interest grows and reaches a "compelling" point at certain stages of the woman's pregnancy. I also hold that the right to privacy is nowhere explicitly stated in the Constitution. In addition I would like to highlight the decision in Griswold v. Connecticut established privacy in a marital relationship and abortions are not of a private matter. Also the 14th amendment in its Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property, therefore the Texas legislature was protecting the right to life of the fetus and the court by overturning the law, would thereby disvalue the 14th amendment’s Due Process Clause. Again I urge the court to consider and affirm the constitutionality of the Texas abortion law based on the on the aforementioned grounds.

Legal Argument 1: Texas holds a legitimate state interest in protecting the health of the mother and the potential of life of the fetus. The Republic of Texas holds that it has a legitimate interest involving the pregnancy of Mrs. Roe. Texas is interested in protecting the health of the mother and the right to and possibility of life. This interest is justified by the 10th amendment, which sates that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (US Constitution, Amendment 10). Explicitly spelled out in Article I section VII of the Constitution are the powers given to congress. Healthcare regulation is nowhere mentioned in this article and therefore is to be monitored and regulated by the states due to the 10th amendment. As the mother progresses through a pregnancy, the fetus begins to resemble a newborn more and more; the further along a mother is in the pregnancy there is a greater risk of complications arising making the abortion more dangerous, therefore the Texas legislature has deemed it necessary to value the potential of life over the right to privacy of the mother and fears for the well being of all mothers during a pregnancy henceforth outlawing abortion (Dudley 103). This law is 100% constitutional and nowhere in the constitution is it held that a state does not have the power to regulate healthcare, specifically abortions. Legal Argument 2: Privacy is nowhere explicitly stated in the Constitution.

Ms. Roe and company claims that various amendments, including the 1st, 5th, 9th and 14th amendments, establish a recognizable right to privacy (Hitchcock 46). “To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment” (Roe v. Wade 410 U.S. 113, 1973). In deciding such a hypothetical lawsuit, the Court would depart from its longstanding reprimand that it should never "formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied”...

Cited: "Constitution of the United States - Official." Constitution of the United States - Official. US Archives, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013. <>.
Dudley, William
"The Oyez Project." The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013.
"The Right to an Abortion." The Right to an Abortion. University of Missouri at Kansas City, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013. <>.
"Roe v
"Roe v. Wade." Roe v. Wade. Cornell Law School, 13 Dec. 1971. Web. 10 Jan. 2013. <>.
Williamson v
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