ABORTION: Judges Face Election Battle Over Parental Consent
Pro-life activists are gearing up to attempt to vote out of office two state Supreme Court justices who overturned the state's parental-consent law last year. Under the state constitution, Supreme Court justices must "appear on the ballot for yes-or-no retention votes at the same time as the first governor's election after their appointment to 12-year terms." The two justices in question -- Justice Ming Chin and Chief Justice Ronald George -- were both appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson and are due for retention votes this November. The AP/Nando Times reports that in 1997, George wrote a 4-3 ruling -- joined by Chin and two other justices not on November's ballot -- stating that an unenforced 1987 law mandating parental consent in order for minors to receive abortions "would violate the privacy rights of minors who were unable to obtain that permission or feared confronting their parents." Opponents decry the "ruling [as] a violation of parental rights." Chin and George reportedly "sit in the court's ideological center" and have "lined up crucial endorsements from statewide groups of prosecutors, police, manufacturers and prominent figures from both parties, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former Republican Gov. George Deukmejian" (9/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.