According to an initial draft majority opinion that POLITICO obtained, the United States Supreme Court recently voted to strike down the Roe v. Wade decision. The draft opinion, which was circulated inside the court, is an unflinching rejection of the 1973 decision, which sprung from the Roe v Wade case.
Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the draft opinion, noted in the document, which is labeled Opinion of the Court, that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” He added, “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.”
POLITICO receives a copy of the draft opinion
News publication platform POLITICO received a copy of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion and a few other details that supported the document’s authenticity. The document, which is 98 pages with a 31-page appendix, is complete with citations to books and previous court decisions. It includes 118 footnotes, as well.
POLITICO stated that the timing and appearance of the draft opinion are consistent with usual court practice. It is, so far, unclear if there have been further changes to the draft. Until now, draft decisions of the court have not been made public while a case was still pending.
In the past, deliberations on controversial, highly publicized cases have been fluid. Justices can change their votes even after the draft opinion is circulated. Major decisions can sometimes be subject to multiple rounds of vote-trading and drafts – this can go on until days before the decision has to be disclosed. Thus, the court’s holding will not be considered final until it is published.
A Supreme Court spokesperson refused to comment or make another court representative available to answer questions about Justice Alito’s draft document.
1973 ruling was exceptionally weak, argues Alito
Justice Alito, who was a George W. Bush appointee, argues that the 1973 ruling was a deeply flawed and ill-conceived decision. In the draft document, Alito quoted several people who criticized the Roe decision.
Alito’s stand on the issue, and the endorsement of the other Justices, is a measure of the Supreme Court’s rightward run in recent years. But liberal Justices are likely to take issue with Alito’s draft opinion because it could jeopardize other rights of women. Alito, however, rejected the idea that his draft opinion reflects the subjugation of American women. To prove his point, Alito noted, “Women are not without electoral or political power. The percentage of women who register to vote and cast ballots is consistently higher than the percentage of men who do so.”