Perkins falsely claimed that Owen voted with majority in parental notification case

On the Family Research Council's (FRC) radio broadcast Washington Watch Weekly, FRC president Tony Perkins falsely claimed that Texas Supreme Court justice Priscilla Owen, nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, voted with the majority in a 2000 case involving a minor seeking a judicial bypass allowing her to receive an abortion under Texas' parental notification law. In fact, Owen wrote a dissent in the case of Jane Doe 1(II), 19 S.W.3d 346, for which her then-colleague on the court, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, accused her and the other dissenters of advocating “an unconscionable act of judicial activism.”

Perkins claimed that Owen “ruled with the majority against the exemption.” In fact, the majority ruled that the minor had met the statutory requirements for a judicial bypass, a ruling from which Owen dissented. She and her fellow dissenters earned a rebuke from Gonzales, who was then on the court, for what he described in a concurring opinion as an effort “to create hurdles that simply are not to be found in the words of the statute.”

Bush first nominated Owen to the 5th Circuit in May 2001 and re-nominated her in March 2003 and February 2005.

From the May 14 broadcast of Washington Watch Weekly:

PERKINS: Now liberals point to a Texas case in 2000 where a minor who lived at home with her parents sought a court exemption to the state law requiring her to notify her parents when she was having an abortion. It's called parental notification. Well, Justice Owen ruled with the majority against the exemption. Now, that would indicate it felt like parents need to be involved in these important decisions that children make when it comes to life and death in abortion.

According to the FRC, Washington Watch Weekly is broadcast on more than 250 American Family Radio network stations as well as the Bott Radio Network, a group of Christian radio stations mostly in the Midwest.