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Federal Bar Council American Inn of Court: The Pseudonymous Litigant

November 13, 2018

Speakers: Andrew M. Zeitlin

November 13, 2018

Daniel Patrick Moynihan
U.S. Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
Room 850, 8th floor
New York, NY

Andrew Zeitlin participates with other lawyers and federal judges in the Second Circuit in this program, “The Pseudonymous Litigant,” which explores the back-story of Roe v. Wade, one of the most significant Supreme Court cases of all time.

The program discusses the background of Norma McCorvey, the person who became Roe, who robbed a gas station at age 10 and spent most of her life running from crisis to crisis. The program provides often-overlooked details on the strategies of McCorvey’s lawyers, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, who took on the case when they were only two years out of law school. The program also highlights the arguments before a three-judge district court panel that included Judge Sarah Hughes, who swore in Lyndon Johnson as President after the Kennedy assassination. In addition, the arguments before the Supreme Court are re-enacted, as well as the deliberations of the Justices behind the scenes.

Finally, the program addresses the future of Roe v. Wade, where the Court was initially willing to find unanimously that the Texas abortion statute was unconstitutional; to the actual decision, which was 7 to 2; to the 5 to 4 vote in Planned Parenthood v Casey; to where we are today with five conservative Justices on the Supreme Court. This program will provide insights into the Roe v. Wade story unlike anything available before.

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