The Supreme Court will overturn the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade in June, Politico reported Monday night, with an apparent draft of the majority opinion leaked to the beltway magazine. Never before has a full draft opinion been pre-emptively leaked to the press in the modern history of the court, and it was leaked this week for one reason: to incite violence and bully justices into changing their votes.
“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenhood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” Politico reported, with conservative Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority opinion drafted in February.
Draft opinions are not final. Justices can and often do change their minds throughout the writing process. The published opinion in Politico will only add fuel to the fire on one of the most politically sensitive topics in the country. Its premature release designed to place undemocratic pressure on justices to bend their opinion in conformity with loud extremist voices already waging insurrectionist threats on the court.
According to Politico, the court’s conservative bloc — Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — have joined Alito in striking down the nearly five-decade unconstitutional court precedent. The panel’s three leftist justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — plan to issue a dissent.
“How Chief Justice John Roberts will ultimately vote, and whether he will join an already written opinion or draft his own, is unclear,” the magazine reported.
The notion of an undecided Roberts willing to dissent leaves no room for the court’s conservatives to change their votes if Roe is to be overturned this summer. Even if Politico’s reporting is air-tight and the justices stick to their opinions, the premature leak of the written ruling will undermine the credibility of the court with the appearance of the decision now made political.
It is unclear who leaked the draft opinion due in two months. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, contests a Mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy seen as a direct challenge to the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
The end of Roe has been a nightmare for Democrats who’ve harnessed the court for decades to operate as a super-legislature. Democrats have fought to protect the decision’s standing in every nomination battle, with an increasing virulence waging serial character assassinations on every Republican nominee to the high court as its balance shifted in conservatives’ favor with GOP appointments.
After the successful confirmation of Barrett, who replaced leftist Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tilting the court to a 6-3 conservative majority, Republicans began to prepare for Roe’s end with abortion restrictions that the bench has declined to strike down.
The Supreme Court three times rejected opportunities to block a Texas law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. In March, Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a near-total ban on the procedure.