Maryanne Trump Berry and Accusations of Supporting Partial Birth Abortion

Donald Trump and Judge Maryanne Trump Barry

Who Is Maryanne Barry

Maryanne Trump Barry is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania).  She was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on September 14, 1983, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  She held that seat until she was nominated by President Clinton nominated her to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton on June 17, 1999.  (His first nominee was never given a hearing by the senate so he chose Maryanne Trump Barry, a republican.)

Her reputation on the bench was that of a tough judge with strong command of her courtroom[6] In 1989, while a district court judge in Essex County, New Jersey, she disapproved a plea bargaining deal that would have freed two county detectives accused of protecting a drug dealer, and forced the case to trial, where the detectives were convicted and received jail terms.

She also presided over the conviction of Louis Manna, the Genovese crime family boss accused of plotting to assassinate rival John Gotti.  In January 2006, Barry testified in support of the appointment of fellow Third Circuit Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.  On June 30, 2011, Barry assumed senior status and was ultimately succeeded by Judge Patty Shwartz.

The Partial Birth Abortion Case in front of U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

The actual case that everyone, who is trying to label Judge Barry as a supporter of partial birth abortion, was heard back on July 26, 2000. The date is important legally as it precedes the Federal Law, “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002”, that extended legal protection to an infant born alive after a failed attempt at induced abortionThe decision and opinion by Barry was also AFTER a very similar case and decision was reached in Nebraska on partial-Birth abortion.  The issue was not whether the court agreed with partial birth abortion but rather did the New Jersey law properly specify the definition of Partial Birth Abortion.  A portion of her position was:

Per NYT, July 2000:  “Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, writing for the panel, noted that it had reached and written its opinion in the case before the United States Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Nebraska on June 28. The high court said the Nebraska law was vague, that it put an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion and that it lacked any exception for the life and health of the woman involved. But because ”nothing in that opinion is at odds with this court’s opinion,” Judge Barry wrote, the panel issued its opinion without revisions or changes.  Further, Supreme Court Justice Alito was also on the court with Maryanne and he stated: The other panelists were Judge Leonard I. Garth and Judge Samuel A. Alito, who wrote a separate but concurring opinion. Judge Alito said he favored finding the New Jersey law unconstitutional, stressing that any limits on abortion must have an exception for the preservation of the health of the mother.

The question was settled when Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.  The law was enacted in November of 2003, and in 2007 its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.  Alito found in favor of the law.


A National Review writer, Ramesh Ponnuru wrote a derogatory article about Maryanne Barry back in 2015.  Later he wrote the following disclaimer:

Ramesh Ponnuru’s Disclosure 2/26/2015:
Read more at:

As some of you may have read here the other day, my wife is going to work for an organization affiliated with Jeb Bush, a likely presidential candidate. An old friend of mine, Senator Ted Cruz, seems likely to run as well. And another probable candidate, Bobby Jindal, a conservative Indian-American convert to Catholicism, is very nearly my demographic twin. So as you can tell, I have multiple sympathies. I reserve the right to criticize or praise any of these candidates, or their rivals, in the future, and expect to exercise that right frequently. Update: Since this post originally appeared, my wife has gone to work for Jeb Bush’s campaign.


 Hat Tips:

NRO Piece:

Barry’s Opinion Article:

Babies Born Alive Act:

Federal PB:



Professionalism is Appreciated

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