Williams v. Zbaraz
Annotate this Case
448 U.S. 358 (1980)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980)
Williams v. Zbaraz
Argued April 21, 1980
Decided June 30, 1980
448 U.S. 358
Appellees brought a class action in Federal District Court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to enjoin, on both federal statutory and constitutional grounds, enforcement of an Illinois statute prohibiting state medical assistance payments for all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the woman seeking the abortion. The District Court, granting injunctive relief, held that Title XIX of the Social Security Act, which established the Medicaid program, and the regulations promulgated thereunder require a participating State under such program to provide funding for all medically necessary abortions, and that the so-called Hyde Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds to reimburse the costs of certain medically necessary abortions does not relieve a State of its independent obligation under Title XIX to provide Medicaid funding for all medically necessary abortions. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the Hyde Amendment altered Title XIX in such a way as to allow States to limit funding to the categories of abortions specified in that Amendment, but that a participating State may not, consistent with Title XIX, withhold funding of those medically necessary abortions for which federal reimbursement is available under the Hyde Amendment, and the case was remanded to the District Court for modification of its injunction and with directions to consider the constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment. The District Court then held that both the Illinois statute and the Hyde Amendment violate the equal protection guarantee of the Constitution insofar as they deny funding for "medically necessary abortions prior to the point of fetal viability."
1. The District Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment, for the court acted in the absence of a case or controversy sufficient to permit an exercise of judicial power under Art. III of the Constitution. None of the parties ever challenged the validity of the Hyde Amendment, and appellees could have been awarded all the relief sought entirely on the basis of the District Court's
ruling as to the Illinois statute. The constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment was interjected as an issue only by the Court of Appeals' erroneous mandate, which could not create a case or controversy where none otherwise existed. P. 448 U. S. 367.
2. Notwithstanding that the District Court had no jurisdiction to declare the Hyde Amendment unconstitutional, this Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1252 over the "whole case," and thus may review the other issues preserved by these appeals. McLucas v. DeChamplain, 421 U. S. 21. Pp. 448 U. S. 367-368.
3. A participating State is not obligated under Title XIX to pay for those medically necessary abortions for which federal reimbursement is unavailable under the Hyde Amendment. Harris v. McRae, ante at 448 U. S. 306-311. P. 448 U. S. 369.
4. The funding restrictions in the Illinois statute, comparable to those in the Hyde Amendment, do not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Harris v. McRae, ante at 448 U. S. 324-326. P. 448 U. S. 369.
469 F.Supp. 1212, vacated and remanded.
STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which MARSHALL and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined, ante p. 448 U. S. 329. MARSHALL, J., ante p. 448 U. S. 337, BLACKMUN, J., ante p. 448 U. S. 348, and STEVENS, J., ante p. 448 U. S. 349, filed dissenting opinions.