Along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to life is fundamental both as a matter of our humanity and in our constitutional system. We are committed to the vindication of the right to life of all persons under the law, especially the most vulnerable.



Horne v. Isaacson was a case in which the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence participated as a direct representative. It involved a petition asking the Supreme Court to reinstate Arizona’s new law limiting abortions after 20 weeks. The petition was filed in August and the opposing briefs were just filed. The Supreme Court denied review on January 13, 2014. The case is now closed.


In 2012, the Arizona legislature passed a law prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks (except in cases where a pregnancy jeopardizes the life of or poses a serious health threat to the mother). Given the tenuous legal history of abortion law post Roe v. Wade (1973), the law was passed by the legislature and held constitutional by a federal district court on the grounds that an unborn child has developed the capacity for pain by 20 weeks and that abortions after 20 weeks pose significantly higher risks to the mother. The Ninth Circuit Court disagreed, finding that the viability of the unborn child was the only constitutionally permitted limitation on a woman's right to abortion. By arguing on the grounds of viability, however, the Ninth Circuit ignored the important legal precedents set by the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade. This case offered the Supreme Court the opportunity to clarify those precedents and extend needed legal protections for unborn children.

The case was initiated by three doctors who perform late-term abortions. The doctors brought suit against Tom Horne, the Attorney General for the State of Arizona, and William Montgomery, County Attorney for Maricopa County. In their effort to appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling, Attorney General Horne and County Attorney Montgomery have asked John Eastman and our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence to serve as lead counsel.

Case Documents

For a copy of our petition for writ of certiorari, click here: Horne v. Isaacson – Petition for Writ of Cetriorari; The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision: . Opposing briefs: ACLU & Center for Reproductive Rights; Pima County Attorney's Office. Finally, for our reply to the opposing briefs, click here: Horne v. Isaacson – Reply Brief of Petitioners