Chafee Cites Parental Notification Case as Reason for Nay Vote

By Jered Ede | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee cited a minority opinion by nominee Priscilla Owen as his reason for voting against her confirmation to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The minority opinion is one of a series of opinions Owen took part in during the 2000 session of the Texas Supreme Court. The cases focused on parental notification as a requirement for a minor to receive an abortion. Owen consistently voted in support of notification, which conflicted with a Texas law.

Stephen Hourahan, Chafee's press secretary, explained to the Cybercast News Service that the senator had deliberated for a long time before making his choice.

"Her minority opinion which went far beyond what the majority of the Supreme Court interpreted, and what parental notification required," Hourahan said, "was something that was enough to give him pause."

Owen's opinion "went far beyond how the other justices on the Supreme Court ruled and how they interpreted the law," Hourahan said.

Chafee was the only Republican to vote against Owen. Hourahan points out that, despite this vote, Chafee "has done everything he can to support the president [and] is in total support of Majority Leader [Bill] Frist."

Sen. Orrin Hatch's press secretary, Adam Elggren, said Hatch was "happy" with the results but that "the important thing is that we have a confirmation vote, up or down."

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