Sources: United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Politico and History.com (Information)
United States: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022 that the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting Roe versus Wade could be overturned is authentic and has ordered an investigation into the leak.
The United States Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting the Roe versus Wade case could be overturned was revealed by Politico late at night on Monday, May 2nd, 2022.
The draft opinion was reportedly written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated in February 2022, suggests that at least five justices side with Mississippi in a case pending before the court challenging the landmark 1973 abortion ruling.
The posted document was labeled a “1st Draft” of the “Opinion of the Court” in a case challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The draft opinion in effect states there is no constitutional right to abortion services, and would allow individual states to more heavily regulate or outright ban the procedure.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” it stated, referencing the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey that affirmed Roe’s finding of a constitutional right to abortion services but allowed states to place some constraints on the practice. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The draft opinion strongly suggests that when the justices met in private shortly after arguments in the case on Dec. 1, 2021, at least five — all the conservatives except perhaps Chief Justice John Roberts — voted to overrule Roe and Casey, and Alito was assigned the task of writing the court’s majority opinion.
Politico said only that it received “a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.”
*** More Information and Read Full Document: ***
Soon after the news story by Politico broke, people flooded social media platforms expressing their views opposing and supporting the overturning suggestion well in Washington, District of Columbia people gathered Monday night with signs outside the steps of the United States Supreme Court building upset at the United States Supreme Court for suggesting to overturn the Roe versus Wade case.
Later, the United States Supreme Court released a press release saying that “Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” and that, “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
In his statement also included in the press release, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. said, “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way. We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce — permanent employees and law clerks alike — intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”
Well opinions from the United States Supreme Court often change in the drafting process, a final ruling has not been expected until the end of the United States Supreme Court’s term in late June 2022 or early July 2022.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday before boarding Air Force One, United States President Joe Biden said he hoped the draft wouldn’t be finalized by justices, contending it reflects a “fundamental shift in American jurisprudence” that threatens “other basic rights” like access to birth control and marriage.
United States President Joe Biden added, “If this decision holds, it’s really quite a radical decision,” and that the “basic fairness and the stability of our law demand” that the court not overturn Roe.
“If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose, and it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” United States President Joe Biden.
Roe vs. Wade was a landmark decision in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court in which the court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
The landmark decision involved the case of Norma McCorvey, known by the legal pseudonym “Jane Roe,” who in 1969 became pregnant with her third child.
McCorvey wanted an abortion but lived in Texas where abortion was illegal except when necessary to save the mother’s life.
McCorvey’s attorneys, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, filed a lawsuit on her behalf in United States federal court against her local district attorney, Henry Wade, alleging that Texas’s abortion laws were unconstitutional.
A three judge panel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas heard the case, and in June 1970 ruled that the state’s abortion ban was illegal because it violated a constitutional right to privacy.
Afterward, Wade declared he’d continue to prosecute doctors who performed abortions well Texas appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.
On January 22nd, 1973, the United States Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in favor of McCorvey, ruling that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides a “right to privacy” that protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion.
The United States Supreme Court also ruled that this right is not absolute and must be balanced against governments’ interests in protecting women’s health and prenatal life.
The United States Supreme Court divided pregnancy into three trimesters, and declared that the choice to end a pregnancy in the first trimester was solely up to the woman.
In the second trimester, the government could regulate abortion, although not ban it, in order to protect the mother’s health.
In the third trimester, the state could prohibit abortion to protect a fetus that could survive on its own outside the womb, except when a woman’s health was in danger.
As the nation awaits a final decision later by the United States Supreme Court possibly in the summer, more protests along with heated debates by both political parties are expected to continue.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates regarding the breaking news.