According to a draft opinion by one of its conservative justices, the United States Supreme Court is set to reverse nearly 50 years of precedent protecting the right of abortion in the country.
Monday evening Politico reported that it had received a copy of a draft opinionJustice Samuel Alito, a staunchly anti-abortion judge who was appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote the document. The Court considers the February draft to be the first draft of its majority opinion.
Politico It is important to note that the Court may not make the draft opinion the final ruling. “Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid,” the publication stated. “Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled.”
According to a source who spoke with them, Politico reported that at least five conservative justices of the Court were still committed to supporting Alito’s draft opinion as of this week.
Oral arguments were heard by the justicesOn the case in question Dobbs v. JacksonIn December, the state of Mississippi imposed a 15-week ban upon abortion. In their deliberations, the state’s conservative counsel sought to overturn a previous ruling from the High Court, Roe v. WadeThe 1973 Supreme Court decision recognized abortion as a fundamental rights for all residents of every state.
Alito’s draft opinion, however, overturns that decision, stating that it was “egregiously wrong from the start.”
“We hold that RoeAnd Casey” — another subsequent Supreme Court ruling that recognized abortion rights but placed new restrictions on them — “must be overruled,” Alito wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The ruling, if it is indeed the final decision of the Court, would remand “authority to regulate abortion” to state governments, Alito added. 22 states currently have statutes that would ban abortion right after a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe.
The Court decided in the beginning that it would be able to hold a hearing on this matter. RoeThrough, abortion became legal in all 50 states. a penumbra of rights mentioned in the Constitution — including the 14th Amendment’s Due process clause and the Ninth Amendment’s recognition of additional rights that exist but were not necessarily enumerated in the document. Alito’s ruling contradicts that decision, stating, in part, that Roe should be overturned because the Constitution doesn’t make an explicit statement saying abortion is a protected right. His opinion was further errantly states that the right to an abortion is not “deeply rooted” in our nation’s historyIn fact, abortion was widely practiced in the U.S.From the 18th century to its criminalization in 1880.
Moreover, as Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern noted after the draft ruling was published, Alito’s ruling also suggests that other more recent decisions from the Court — including the recognition of marriage equality and even a ruling from two decades ago barring states from banning or regulating same-sex relationships — were errantly decided.
“He says that, like abortion, these decisions protect phony rights that are not ‘deeply rooted in history,’” Stern tweeted.
Alito’s draft opinion criticizes Lawrence V. Texas (legalizing homosexuality) and Obergefell V. Hodges (“legalizing same sex marriage”). He claims that these decisions protect phony historical rights similar to abortion. https://t.co/4690k0KG1F pic.twitter.com/urF7A02INU
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 3, 2022
Many social media users noticed that Alito used the exact same reasoning in his draft ruling. could be used to dismantle the rights to birth controlThey were recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 Supreme Court ruling which also relied on the penumbra rights argument.
Following the announcement of the draft opinion’s findings, several abortion rights activists spoke out against it, urging action should the Court undo Roe and even before it had the chance to affirm Alito’s order as law.
“It’s past time to vote out every official who stands against the pro-choice majority,” tweeted Laphonza Butler, president of Emily’s List.
Roxane Gay, a feminist writer, lamented Alito’s draft order. She said it was a violation of basic human autonomy rights.
“What do you say when nine people can dictate what happens to your body? It’s ridiculous and hateful,” Gay said. “The court clearly wants to deepen the political crisis in this country and women will pay the price.”
Author Mona Eltahawy recognized the underlying causes of Alito’s draft ruling, adding that other rights could soon be under attack, too, if it is indeed the eventual opinion of the Court.
“Unless the United States develops the stomach for a long-overdue reckoning with the white supremacist Christian theocracy that has been unabashed in its destruction of #RoeVsWade, abortion rights will not be the only rights it destroyed,” she said.
Hours later, the report is still in effect Politico After the draft opinion was published, abortion activists marched to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to protest it. Vincent Vertuccio, organizer, said that thousands protested the impending decision.
— Vincent Vertuccio (@VVertuccio) May 3, 2022
If the Court upholds the protections against abortion that were set out in Roe v. Wade, it’s likely the issue will become a massive one for the midterm electionsIt is possible that Democrats will try to capitalize on this. But, activists (and some politicians) are not immune to this. such as Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders) are calling on the party to act now — to dismantle the filibuster and pass abortion rights protections, essentially codifying RoeLegislation. Republicans stopped a bill on the topic earlier this year. and moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).