Leaked Opinion Draft Suggests Supreme Court May Overrule Roe v. Wade

Washington – The Supreme Court appears ready to overturn its historic decisions establishing the right to abortion, according to A draft opinion Obtained and published by Politico, a resolution that – if finalized – would undo 50 years of precedent and pave the way for states to severely limit abortion rights in the United States.

The leaking of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court is astonishing and unprecedented in modern times, and it has already sent shock waves through Washington and the nation.

The court confirmed in a statement Tuesday morning the authenticity of the document. Chief Justice John Roberts denounced the leak, describing it as… “betrayal” And an “individual and egregious betrayal of trust” will be fully investigated.

Late Monday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the courthouse after Politico published the report indicating that a conservative majority was preparing to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing the right to abortion.

Democrats and Republicans alike have issued statements in response to the reported draft and the repercussions it would have if such a ruling were eventually issued. Planned Parenthood tweeted“Let’s be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it’s not final. Abortion is your right — and it’s still legal.”

The draft published by Politico notes that it was written by Judge Samuel Alito and circulated on February 10. It didn’t say which other judges joined in the opinion, but it Politico He noted that a person familiar with the court’s deliberations said that four other conservative justices, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Connie Barrett, voted with Alito to bring down Roe during closed-door debates after oral arguments and did not change their positions. It’s unclear whether Chief Justice John Roberts will join the conservative majority, according to Politico.

Supreme Court protest against abortion
A crowd gathered outside the Supreme Court Monday night, May 2, 2022, after Politico published a draft opinion indicating that a majority of justices intended to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.

Anna Johnson/AFP

Judges can change their votes in the days or weeks before a decision is issued. The Supreme Court’s opinion on the case, known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, A Mississippi law Abortion is prohibited after 15 weeks and is expected to be delivered before the judges expire their tenure by the end of June or early July.

Politico said it had received a copy of the draft opinion “from a person familiar with court proceedings in the Mississippi case, along with other details that support the authenticity of the document.”

Roberts calls for a thorough investigation by a court marshall into the leaking of the draft opinion to determine the source.

The The judges heard oral arguments In the huge dispute relating to the Mississippi law in December, at the end of the hearing, the majority of the members of the Court It looked balanced To allow the state scale to stand. It was less clear, however, whether five justices would vote to overturn the Roe and Planned Parenthood case against Casey.And In a 1992 case that reaffirmed Roe’s core belief that states cannot ban abortion before fetal survival, which is generally considered between 22 and 24 weeks of gestation.

But according to a draft opinion leaked and published by Politico, Alito wrote that Roe “was blatantly wrong from the start” and that his reasoning was “extremely weak”.

“It is time to turn to the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote, according to Politico.

Alito, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Supreme Court, concluded, “Abortion raises a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of every state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and a case have invoked that power. We are now prosecuting those decisions and restoring that power.” to the people and their elected representatives.

The document states that the resolution is a “first draft,” Alito’s opinion is 67 pages long and is accompanied by a 31-page appendix containing various state laws criminalizing abortion.

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe and Casey’s case, as the reported draft opinion indicates, it would be a long-awaited victory for anti-abortion advocates who for decades have called for the Supreme Court to reconsider abortion antecedents.

Former President Donald Trump’s appointment of three conservative justices — Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett — expanded the court’s conservative majority to 6-3, and then Mississippi officials called on the Supreme Court to use their legal battle as a way to overthrow Roe and Casey. .

The Guttmacher Institute, an organization that supports abortion rights, estimated That 26 states are either confirmed or likely to ban abortion if the Supreme Court overturns or dismantles Roe. Some already have laws in place that would do so if Ru were to be overthrown, and the rulers in Oklahoma And Florida Each signed the new abortion restrictions into law last month.

a CBS News Poll in November He noted that a majority of Americans supported leaving Roe in place. According to a November poll, if Ro was overturned and left to the states, the majority would want miscarriage In their own state to be legal in all or most cases: More than six in 10 say so. Only 14% want their state to make it illegal in all cases.

Lawmakers respond to leaked opinion draft from Scotos


The opinion draft, as reported by Politico, angered Democrats in Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to impose the most severe restrictions on rights in the past 50 years — not just on women but on all Americans.” statment. “The votes of Republican-appointed justices to overturn Roe v. Wade would become a despicable matter, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.”

Pelosi and Schumer accused conservative judges of “lying the US Senate” and “rip up the United States Constitution.” They said such a ruling would strip millions of women of their “physical independence and constitutional rights on which they have relied for half a century.”

Meanwhile, Republican reaction has focused on criticism of the leak as harmful to the Supreme Court as an institution.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Webmaster Steve Scales, and Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said the leak was a “clearly orchestrated campaign to intimidate and obstruct justices of the United States Supreme Court, and its independence in our political system, from upholding the Constitution should we.” Immediately check by the court.” They added, “Republicans are committed to respecting the sanctity of life.”

Several GOP senators commented on the ruling Monday night. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida chirp“The next time you hear the far left preach about how they are fighting to preserve our republic’s institutions and standards, remember how they leaked the Supreme Court’s opinion in an effort to intimidate judges about abortion.”

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas chirp That the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice should use “every necessary investigative tool” to get to the truth of the leak, but added that he was calling “the Court follows the Constitution and allows the state to once again protect the life that has not yet been born.”

Jan Crawford contributed to the report.