The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that has beeen circulating inside the court.
The document was obtained by Politico and released to the public on Monday night.
The 98-page opinion — allegedly authored by Justice Alito and leaked to the press in what appears to be an historic breach of confidentiality — states that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.
It adds that "we [the Supreme Court majority] hold that Roe and Casey [another ruling on the right to abortion from 1992 which upheld the previous court decision] must be overruled.
The draft was circulated in early February, according to Politico.
The final opinion has not been released and no vote on this case has actually been tallied just yet; experts expect the latter to take place some time in June or July.
If this draft is legitimate, however… and if this is the direction Conservative judges are truly headed in… then the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion.
The opinion would be the most consequential abortion decision in decades, transforming the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America in the process.
The draft document, labeled as the "Opinion of the Court," also says:
"It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives."
An individual familiar with the court’s deliberations says that four of the other Republican-appointed justices — Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — previously voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December.
Votes can always change.
But everything is currently lined up for the Supreme Court to over the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by a 5-4 vote this summer.
The draft opinion states that the right to have an abortion would remain up to each state, although about half of states have already created laws that would ban abortion if Roe is overturned.
In response to this document leaking, a large crowd gathered outside the Supreme Court building Monday evening.
At one point, those in attendance began to chant, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Samuel Alito’s gotta go," along with "We will not go back" and:
"Abortion rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up fight back."
This potential ruling comes at a time when abortion rights are under assault across the nation.
In 2021, a record 106 restrictions on abortions became law in the United States.
The three Democratic-appointed justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — are working on one or more dissents, according to a souce who spoke to Politico.
Politico’s publishing of the draft is unprecedented by the high court’s standards of secrecy.
No such thing as this has ever happened before.
"Let’s be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it’s not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL," Planned Parenthood said in a tweet following Politico’s reporting.
For how much longer, though? That is the troubling question.