Report: The draft opinion suggests that the High Court may overturn Rowe


WASHINGTON, DC (AP) – A draft finding suggests the U.S. Supreme Court may be ready to overturn Rowe’s landmark case against Wade in 1973, which legalized abortion nationwide, Politico said in a statement Monday.

The decision to repeal Roe will lead to a ban on abortion in about half of the states and could have huge implications for this year’s election. But it is unclear whether the draft is the final word of the court on the matter – opinions often change in a big and small sense in the process of development.

Whatever the outcome, the Politico report is an extremely rare violation of the secret process of discussion in court and in cases of extreme importance.

“Rua was grossly mistaken from the beginning,” the draft report said. It was signed by Judge Samuel Alita, a member of the Conservative majority 6-3 of the court, appointed by former President George W. Bush.

The document was referred to as the “1st Draft” “Court Conclusion” in a case challenging the 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization.

The court is expected to rule on the case before its expiration in late June or early July.

The draft opinion in fact states that the constitutional right to abortion does not exist, and this will allow individual states to more strictly regulate or directly prohibit this procedure.

“We believe that Roe and Casey should be repealed,” it said, referring to 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe’s conclusion on the constitutional right to abortion but allowed states to impose some restrictions on practice. “It’s time to listen to the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s deputies.”

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said the court had no comment, and the Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the Politico draft released in February.

Politico only stated that it had received “a copy of the draft report from a person familiar with the Mississippi court, along with other details confirming the authenticity of the document.”

The draft opinion insists that when the judges met behind closed doors shortly after the December 1 dispute, at least five voted to overturn Rowe and Casey, and Alita was instructed to write a majority opinion.

The votes and opinions on the case are not final until a decision is announced or, due to the coronavirus pandemic, published on the court’s website.

The report comes amid a legislative push to restrict abortion in several states led by Republicans – Oklahoma – the latter – even before the court rules. Critics of the measures say low-income women will disproportionately bear the brunt of the new restrictions.

The leak has sparked intense political resonances that are expected to have a final Supreme Court decision in the midterm election year. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have already grabbed the report to raise funds and mobilize their supporters on both sides of the pressing issue.

An AP-NORC poll in December found that Democrats are increasingly considering protecting abortion rights a priority for the government.

Other polls suggest that relatively few Americans want Rowe to be abolished. In 2020, AP VoteCast found that 69% of voters in the presidential election said the Supreme Court should leave Rowe v. Wade’s decision as is; only 29% said the court should overturn the decision. Overall, AP-NORC polls show that the majority of the population is in favor of legal abortion in most or all cases.

However, when asked about abortion policy in general, Americans have some nuances regarding the issue, and many do not think that abortion should be possible after the first trimester or that women should be able to obtain legal abortion for any reason.

Alita stated in the draft that the court cannot predict how the public may react and should not try. “We cannot allow our decisions to be influenced by any outside influences, such as public concern about our work,” Alita wrote in the draft report, according to Politico.

People on both sides of the issue quickly gathered in front of the Supreme Court, waving signs and chanting on a balmy spring night, following the release of the Politico report.

The response was swift from elected officials in Congress and across the country.

In a joint statement by two top congressional Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is ready to impose the greatest restriction on rights in fifty years – not just women but all Americans.” .

New York Governor Katie Hochul, also a Democrat, said people who want to have an abortion can head to New York. “Everyone who needs access to help, our state will welcome you with open arms. Abortion will always be safe and affordable in New York, ”Hochul said on Twitter.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said: “We will allow the Supreme Court to speak for itself and wait for the court’s official opinion.” But local officials appreciated the call.

“It puts decision-making back in the hands of states that should have always been,” said Mississippi spokeswoman Becky Curry.

Congress could also act, though a bill that would enshrine Rowe’s defense into federal law was stuck in the Senate after it was passed into the House of Representatives last year only by democratic votes.

At a Supreme Court hearing in December, all six Conservative judges signaled they would support the Mississippi Act, and five asked questions suggesting the repeal of Rowe and Casey.

Only Chief Justice John Roberts seemed ready to take a smaller step – maintaining the 15-week ban, although it would also be a significant easing of abortion rights.

So far, the court has allowed states to regulate but not ban abortion until viability, about 24 weeks later.

The three liberal judges of the court seemed to disagree.

It is impossible to know what efforts are being made behind the scenes to influence the vote of any justice. If Roberts is inclined to allow Rowe to survive, he only needs to take away another conservative vote to deprive the majority court to repeal the abortion benchmark.

According to the Guttmacher Institute’s Abortion Research Center, twenty-six states are likely to ban abortions if Rowe v. Wade is repealed. Of these, 22 states already have a complete or near-complete ban on books that are currently blocked by Rowe, other than Texas. A state law banning it six weeks later has already allowed the Supreme Court to take effect because of its unusual civil law structure. It is believed that four more states will soon adopt the bans if Rowe is lifted.

Meanwhile, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have protected access to abortion in state laws.

This year, eight conservative states have already decided to restrict the right to abortion, pending a decision to repeal or deprive Rowe. For example, Oklahoma has passed several bills in recent weeks, including one that goes into effect this summer, making abortion a crime. Like many Republican-led anti-abortion bills this year, it has no exceptions for rape or incest, just to save a mother’s life.

Eight states that are pro-democracy have defended or expanded access to the procedure, including California, which has passed legislation that makes the procedure less expensive and is considering other bills to make itself an “abortion haven” if Rowe is repealed.

To some court supporters, the bill seemed legitimate. Veteran Supreme Court attorney Neil Katsyal, who worked as a clerk in Judge Stephen Breyer and therefore had the opportunity to see the drafts, wrote on Twitter: “There are many signals that the opinion is legitimate. The length and depth of the analysis would be very difficult to falsify. It says it’s written by Alita and definitely sounds like it. “


Associated Press authors Jessica Gresco of Washington and Lindsay Whitehurst of Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

Report: The draft opinion suggests that the High Court may overturn Rowe

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