ARTICLE: DOE V. ROE: AN ARGUMENT FOR DEFENDANT ANONYMITY WHEN A PSEUDONYMOUS PLAINTIFF ALLEGES A STIGMATIZING INTENTIONAL TORT Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1995 Wayne State University Law School
The Wayne Law Review

ARTICLE: DOE V. ROE: AN ARGUMENT FOR DEFENDANT ANONYMITY WHEN A PSEUDONYMOUS PLAINTIFF ALLEGES A STIGMATIZING INTENTIONAL TORT

Summer, 1995

41 Wayne L. Rev. 1659

Author

Adam A. Milani *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Roe v. Wade 1 is arguably the best known Supreme Court decision in history. Debate about its holding that women have a constitutional right to abortion continues to this day. Roe and its companion case of Doe v. Bolton 2 are also significant for another reason: they were the first of a wave of cases brought by anonymous plaintiffs, who shielded their identity by filing cases under pseudonyms, to reach the Supreme Court. Prior to this trend of cases, which began hitting the federal reporters in 1969, only one Supreme Court case, 3 three court of appeals' decisions, 4 and one district court decision 5 in the previous quarter-century featured an anonymous individual as the sole or lead plaintiff. 6 Between 1969 and January 22, 1973, the date when the Supreme Court decided Roe and Doe, there were twenty-one district court and two court of appeals decisions featuring anonymous plaintiffs. 7 Almost all of these cases were filed by persons challenging the validity and/or constitutionality of state or federal laws and regulations. In fact, of the twenty-three decisions between 1969 and the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe, ten decisions involved challenges of welfare regulations governing payments to single mothers 8 and nine decisions dealt with abortion laws. 9

The years following Roe's tacit approval of the practice have seen a virtual explosion not only in the number of cases brought by anonymous plaintiffs but also in the types of actions using the procedure. In ...
 
 
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