Wulff v. Singleton, No. 74-1484

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore MATTHES, Senior Circuit Judge, and ROSS and STEPHENSON; STEPHENSON; PER CURIAM
Citation508 F.2d 1211
PartiesGeorge J. L. WULFF, Jr., M.D. and Michael Freiman, M.A., Appellants, v. Thomas E. SIGNLETON, Chief of Bureau of Medical Services, Division of Welfare, State Department of Public Health and Welfare, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 74-1484
Decision Date09 January 1974

Page 1211

508 F.2d 1211
George J. L. WULFF, Jr., M.D. and Michael Freiman, M.A., Appellants,
v.
Thomas E. SIGNLETON, Chief of Bureau of Medical Services,
Division of Welfare, State Department of Public
Health and Welfare, Appellee.
No. 74-1484.
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
Submitted Dec. 13, 1974.
Decided Dec. 31, 1974, On Rehearing Jan. 9, 1975, Rehearing
Denied Jan. 9,1974.

Page 1212

Frank Susman, St. Louis, Mo., for appellants.

Michael Boicourt, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Mo., for appellee.

Before MATTHES, Senior Circuit Judge, and ROSS and STEPHENSON, circuit judges.

STEPHENSON, Circuit Judge.

This appeal from the order of a statutory three-judge district court dismissing plaintiffs' cause of action for lack of standing raises troublesome questions of jurisdiction and procedure as well as a question concerning state interference with the abortion decision. The three-judge court opinion is reported as Wulff v. State Board of Registration for Healing Arts, 380 F.Supp. 1137 (E.D.Mo.1974). We reverse.

Appellants, Missouri licensed medical doctors, brought a three count complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts and against Thomas E. Singleton in his capacity as Chief of the Bureau of Medical Services. The complaint challenged the constitutionality of state statutes regarding welfare benefits, claiming that the statutory wording

is vague and uncertain, deprives plaintiffs and their patients of the right to privacy, deprives plaintiffs of their right to practice medicine according to the highest standards of medical practice, deprives plaintiffs' patients of the fundamental right of a woman to determine for herself whether to bear children, infringes upon plaintiffs' right to render and their patients' right to receive safe and adequate medical advice and treatment, deprives plaintiffs and their patients of the equal protection of the law and due process of law, and constitutes state interference with the abortion decision, all of which is in violation of the United States Constitution.

380 F.Supp. 1137, 1139.

The three-judge court dismissed Count II of the complaint for lack of standing by the medical doctors to challenge the constitutionality of the statute. See Wulff, supra at 1144. Appeal was filed in this court. 1

Page 1213

I. APPELLATE JURISDICTION

The portal question we have goes to the propriety of an appeal to this court from an order entered by a district court of three judges. 2

That inquiry has been settled for us in the instant case by the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Gonzalez v. Automatic Employees Credit Union, 419 U.S. 90, 95 S.Ct. 289, 42 L.Ed.2d 249 (filed December 10, 1974).

In Gonzalez appellant took his appeal directly to the Supreme Court from a three-judge court order dismissing the complaint for lack of standing. The court observed that when the basis of decision by a three-judge court is lack of standing, the case is such that 'a single judge could have declined to convene a three-judge court' or 'the three-judge court could have dissolved itself, leaving final disposition of the complaint to a single judge.' Gonzalez, at 100, 95 S.Ct. at 295. The Court went on to say:

We hold, therefore, that when a three-judge court denies a plaintiff injunctive relief on grounds which, if sound, would have justified dissolution of the court as to that plaintiff, or a refusal to request the convention of a three-judge court ab initio, review of the denial is available only in the Court of Appeals.

419 U.S. 90, 101, 95 S.Ct. 289, 296. This court has jurisdiction in the instant case.

II. STANDING

The district court found that there was no logical nexus between the status of appellant-physicians and the claims they sought to have adjudicated. Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 88 S.Ct. 1942, 20 L.Ed.2d 947 (1968). We disagree.

This court made clear in Nyberg v. City of Virginia, 495 F.2d 1342 (1974), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 891, 95 S.Ct. 169, 42 L.Ed.2d 136:

We think that the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705, 35 L.Ed.2d 147 (1973) and Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 93 S.Ct. 739, 35 L.Ed.2d 201 (1973) has clearly paved the way for physicians to assert their constitutional rights to practice medicine, which now includes the right to advise and perform abortions. * * *

. . . .cin

Clearly the claims of medical doctors to 'freely practice medicine according to the highest medical standards without arbitrary outside restraints' are inextricably bound up with the privacy rights of women who seek abortions. YWCA v. Kugler, 342 F.Supp. 1048, 1055 (D.N.J.1972). This is sufficient to present a justiciable controversy and confer standing on the physicians who bring this action. See Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 481, 85 S.Ct. 1678, 14 L.Ed.2d 510 (1965); Abele v. Markle, 452 F.2d 1121, 1125 (CA2 1971); stay granted, 409 U.S. 908, 93 S.Ct. 212, 34 L.Ed.2d 169 (1972), remanded for consideration in light of Roe and Doe, 410 U.S. 951, 93 S.Ct. 1417, 35 L.Ed.2d 683 (1973); Doe v. Turner, 361 F.Supp. 1288, 1289 (D.Iowa 1973) (3 judge court); freeman & Bass, P.A. v. State of N.J. Com'n of Invest., 359 F.Supp. 1053, 1059 (D.N.J.1973); cf. O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 94 S.Ct. 669, 38 L.Ed.2d 674 (1974). Furthermore, the practical effect of the stringent limitation on the use of hospital facilities for performing abortions is to arbitrarily bar the physicians from activities that directly affect their economic interests. Abele v. Markle, supra, 452 F.2d at 1125; see also, Data Processing Service v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 90 S.Ct. 827, 25 L.Ed.2d 184 (1970); Epperson

Page 1214

v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 89 S.Ct. 266, 21 L.Ed.2d 228 (1968).

We reiterated the same though more succinctly in Word v. Poelker, 495 F.2d 1349, 1350 (8th Cir. 1974), where we said:

It is now clear from the decisions in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705, 35 L.Ed.2d 147 (1973) and Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 93 S.Ct. 739, 35 L.Ed.2d...

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18 practice notes
  • Doe v. Beal, No. 74-1727
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • July 21, 1975
    ...federal jurisdiction (under 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3))." Hagans v. Lavine, supra at 536, 94 S.Ct. at 1378. See, E. g., Wulff v. Singleton, 508 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1974); Doe v. Westby, 383 F.Supp. 1143 (D.S.D.1974), and cases cited therein at 1145, Vacated and remanded For further consideration i......
  • Singleton v. Wulff, No. 74-1393
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • July 1, 1976
    ...clearly violated the Equal Protection Clause. Held : The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded. Pp. 112-121; 121-122; 122. 508 F.2d 1211, reversed and remanded. Mr. Justice BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II-A, and III, finding that: 1. Responden......
  • Roe v. Norton, No. 593
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 31, 1975
    ...is eligible for A.F.D.C. benefits. 15 Like the Sixth Circuit, we disagree with the ruling of the Eighth Circuit in Wulff v. Singleton, 508 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1974), Cert. granted, --- U.S. ---, 95 S.Ct. 2655 (1975), that state restrictions of this kind are so obviously and patently unconst......
  • Planned Parenthood Association v. Fitzpatrick, Civ. A. No. 74-2440.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • September 4, 1975
    ...Doe v. Wohlgemuth, supra, aff'd on other grds., Doe v. Beal, supra; Doe v. Rose, 499 F.2d 1112 (10th Cir. 1974); Wulff v. Singleton, 508 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1975); and Doe v. Rampton, 366 F. Supp. 189 (D.C.Utah For the reasons stated above, we find that Section 7 of the Abortion Control Act......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Doe v. Beal, No. 74-1727
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • July 21, 1975
    ...federal jurisdiction (under 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3))." Hagans v. Lavine, supra at 536, 94 S.Ct. at 1378. See, E. g., Wulff v. Singleton, 508 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1974); Doe v. Westby, 383 F.Supp. 1143 (D.S.D.1974), and cases cited therein at 1145, Vacated and remanded For further consideration i......
  • Singleton v. Wulff, No. 74-1393
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • July 1, 1976
    ...clearly violated the Equal Protection Clause. Held : The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded. Pp. 112-121; 121-122; 122. 508 F.2d 1211, reversed and remanded. Mr. Justice BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II-A, and III, finding that: 1. Responden......
  • Roe v. Norton, No. 593
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 31, 1975
    ...is eligible for A.F.D.C. benefits. 15 Like the Sixth Circuit, we disagree with the ruling of the Eighth Circuit in Wulff v. Singleton, 508 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1974), Cert. granted, --- U.S. ---, 95 S.Ct. 2655 (1975), that state restrictions of this kind are so obviously and patently unconst......
  • Planned Parenthood Association v. Fitzpatrick, Civ. A. No. 74-2440.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • September 4, 1975
    ...Doe v. Wohlgemuth, supra, aff'd on other grds., Doe v. Beal, supra; Doe v. Rose, 499 F.2d 1112 (10th Cir. 1974); Wulff v. Singleton, 508 F.2d 1211 (8th Cir. 1975); and Doe v. Rampton, 366 F. Supp. 189 (D.C.Utah For the reasons stated above, we find that Section 7 of the Abortion Control Act......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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