According to a leaked draft opinion written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade within the next two months. The document obtained by Politico blasts both the 1973 law designed to protect abortion rights and the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey which largely upheld the precedent set by Roe.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes in what is labeled the “Opinion of the Court. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The draft decision could be officially confirmed by the court before the end of its term in late June or early July. If it is, states would have the ability to determine their own regulations around abortion rights.
No draft of a Supreme Court ruling has ever been leaked to the public prior to its formal publication, according to CNBC.
“It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff,” the Supreme Court news site SCOTUSblog wrote in a tweet. “This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.”
Alito’s draft opinion concerns the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which pertains to a Mississippi law that would prevent nearly all abortions after a woman’s 15th week of pregnancy.
Lower federal courts had ruled against the law, considering it an infringement upon the legal precedent established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
An unnamed source privy to the Supreme Court’s deliberations revealed that Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett – all of whom were appointed by Republican presidents – sided with Alito during the court’s conference that followed oral arguments last December.