WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Politico obtained a leaked draft opinion revealing that the Supreme Court is planning to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
- Justice Samuel Alito penned the opinion, which denounces the nearly 50-year-old ruling that protected abortion as a constitutional right.
- The news caused outrage among several lawmakers and the pro-choice community.
The news caused outrage among the community, leading to protests outside the high court on Monday night.
The leaked document was a first draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito on February 10, regarding the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case challenged Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a fetal “viability standard” established by Roe and a subsequent 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The opinion revealed that the court’s 6-3 conservative majority voted to overturn the landmark decisions. Alito wrote that the nearly 50-year-old Roe ruling, which protected abortion as a constitutional right, “was egregiously wrong from the start.”
News of the leaked document caused an uproar within lawmakers and the community.
Protesters chanting “abortion is healthcare” gathered outside the high court on Monday night. Pro-choice protesters expressed “shock” that the justices would overturn such a landmark ruling that “personally” affects their rights.
Meanwhile, pro-life demonstrators celebrated the potential overturn, saying that it would stop mass killings of the unborn.
The opinion is still in the draft phase, however, so the high court justices could still change opinions before the final ruling.
According to sources familiar with the ruling process, justices usually vote after arguments are heard in a case. They then write draft opinions that are circulated among fellow justices and their clerks.
A final ruling is expected to be released next month. If the current standing decision becomes final, the legality of abortion would be left up to individual states to decide — unless Congress steps in and makes it legal nationwide.
According to a Supreme Court spokesperson, the justices refused to comment on the leaked document. This kind of leak is unprecedented in a court that values secrecy while members review cases.
Source: NBC Washington