Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Christine Nemacheck

Committee Members

Claire McKinney

Lindsay Barna


The increasing emergence of abortion-related interstate travel bans — spatial regulations that prohibit the physical travel of a pregnant woman from one state to another to obtain an abortion procedure or treatment — pits the Dormant Commerce Clause against the exclusive police powers of state governments in a manner not seen since Edwards v. California (1941). The Dormant Commerce Clause prohibits states from passing legislation that discriminates against or imposes undue burdens on interstate commerce, regardless of existing federal regulation. Against the backdrop of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022), inconsistency in the application of the Dormant Commerce Clause is inevitable as more states work to outright ban or severely restrict abortion access, a feature of federalism that pervades the Dobbs judgment. Roads Less Traveled analyzes the constitutional standards litigators must apply should an abortion travel case reach the Supreme Court under the Dormant Commerce Clause, first from the perspective of states attempting to restrict interstate travel to obtain an abortion and then from that of fictive challengers to such state statutes. By analyzing dissenting and concurring opinions, lower court judgments, interviews, and legal scholarship, this thesis argues a majority of the Supreme Court would declare abortion-related interstate travel bans unconstitutional, with possibly as many as three conservative jurists joining the liberal bloc.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 04, 2024