According to an unprecedented leak of a draft opinion, the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationally. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority judgment, which was leaked to Politico in an exceptional breach of Supreme Court protocol, sparking political uproar and protests outside the court. “Roe was egregiously incorrect from the outset,” Alito writes in the “Opinion of the Court,” a 98-page initial draft. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the right to have an abortion up to roughly 23 or 24 weeks has been guaranteed by the federal government under the Constitution.
“Its reasoning was very poor, and the decision has had severe repercussions,” Alito said in his draft majority ruling. The verdict also overturns the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision. Instead, it would delegate authority to various states. “Roe and Casey have enflamed discussion and increased discord,” the paper claims. Alito, a member of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority who was chosen by former President George W. Bush, stated that Roe’s “study of history ranged from the legally irrelevant to the manifestly erroneous.”
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go,” anti-abortion campaigners sang late into the night, while abortion rights advocates screamed, “abortion is health care.” The projected legal upheaval caused immediate criticism on the left as well. In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer stated, “The Republican-appointed Justices’ rumored votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an obscenity, one of the worst and most devastating judgments in modern history.”
“Not surprising,” Hillary Clinton replied. “However, it’s still absurd.” The former first lady and secretary of state tweeted, “This judgment is a clear assault on the dignity, rights, and lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law.” “Even though the great majority of Americans believe abortion should be allowed, it will murder and oppress women.” What a complete embarrassment.” “Congress must adopt legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in our country NOW,” Senator Bernie Sanders stated.
“And if we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate to accomplish it, which we don’t,” he added, “we must abolish the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.” Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, on the other hand, issued a heartfelt video calling it “the best news of our lifetime.” “This is a huge win for God and the unborn,” the Georgia representative remarked, admitting she was “overwhelmed with emotion.” “If your answer to the SCOTUS announcement is to dust off your ridiculous pink hat from 2016 and go march to promote infanticide, re-evaluate your whole life,” fellow Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted.
“Overturning #RoeVWade makes it a state matter,” he said, “and many BLUE states have previously stated that they would be abortion sanctuary states.” Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, was among the senior Republicans who expressed their support. “A fundamental American principle is the sacredness of human life. He stated in a statement that “abortion laws would not be restored to the people and their elected representatives.” He was, however, among many who were incensed by the leak, which Politico claimed was the first time a draft report had been made public while a final judgment on a case was still pending.
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“The court’s deliberate process breach… is an abhorrent disrespect to a key institution that should be thoroughly probed and those involved penalized,” Romney wrote. “If there isn’t a comprehensive criminal investigation into who leaked confidential information from the United States Supreme Court, then we live in a clown show state,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Tuesday. “The next time you hear the extreme left talking about how they are fighting to protect our Republic’s institutions & traditions, remember how they leaked a Supreme Court ruling in an attempt to scare the judges on abortion,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said.
There was also outrage over the leak, which Politico claimed was the first time a draft report had been made public while a final decision on a case was still pending in the court’s modern history. “It would be one of the worst breaches of security in the history of the Court,” said Harvard law professor emeritus Jonathan Turley, calling it “nothing short of stunning” and a “malicious conduct.” The most obvious aim is to put pressure on the Supreme Court and force Congress to pass a nationwide abortion bill before the November elections. He also predicted that the clamor for court-packing will be renewed.
“The fact that some are cheering this leak demonstrates how absolutely craven our politics have become,” he continued. The leak, according to former Congressman Justin Amash, “destroys confidence among the judges and weakens justice.” “The justices must be able to openly—and vulnerablely—share their ideas with one another.” He stated, “They are judges who decide cases, not lawmakers who write laws that require public participation.” The draft judgment appeared to be based on an oral debate in December on Mississippi’s quest to reinstate a near-total ban on abortion beginning at 15 weeks of pregnancy, which had previously been barred by lower courts.
After the judges gathered following oral arguments in December, a person familiar with the court’s views on the topic told Politico that four other conservative justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett – supported Alito in his decision. As of this week, the four judges have kept their posts. According to the source, Democratic-appointed justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were working on one or more dissents, leaving Justice John Roberts to either join the dissent or write his own opinion. Meanwhile, 16 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation protecting abortion access.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California also announced intentions to “enshrine the freedom to choose” in the state constitution. “We can’t trust the Supreme Court to preserve abortion rights, so we’ll do it ourselves.” He wrote, “Women will be safeguarded here.” “Our moms, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters will not be silenced.” Their rage is soon to be heard across the world. California will not be complacent. He said, “We’re going to fight like hell.” Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running for governor of Pennsylvania, has likewise promised to “fight like hard” to safeguard present rights. “In Pennsylvania, abortion is permitted under state law. No matter what the Supreme Court decides, it will stay lawful,” he said.
“This puts decision-making back in the hands of the states, which is where it should have always been,” Mississippi state Rep. Becky Currie said. Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion organization, applauded the news. “If Roe is overturned, our task will be to develop agreement in every legislature for the strongest possible safeguards for unborn children and mothers,” its president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement. Alito emphasized in his draft that the court would not be persuaded by the expected public response. “We must allow any outside factors, such as anxiety over the public’s reaction to our work, to influence our judgments,” he wrote.
“We make no claims to understanding how our political system or society will react to today’s judgment overturning Roe v. Wade.” Even if we knew what would happen ahead of time, we wouldn’t have the power to allow that information affect our decision.” Politico only stated it had “a copy of the draft ruling from a person familiar with the court’s processes in the Mississippi case, as well as additional information corroborating the document’s legitimacy.” Josh Gerstein, one of the site’s reporters on the subject, told MSNBC late Monday that they were “quite confident in the legitimacy.” It has yet to be authenticated by the Supreme Court. “The Court has no comment,” said Patricia McCabe, a spokesman for the court.