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 circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.
Per the document, written by Justice Samuel Alito and called “Opinion of the Court,” the 1973 decision “was egregiously wrong from the start.”The draft opinion extensively calls out both the initial call that guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and the following 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey which upheld the right.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” continued Justice Alito in the documents. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Despite the initial votes, court deliberations can be tricky. Oftentimes with controversial cases, justices will go through the process of changing their votes as draft opinions circulate. As previously mentioned, the final decision is not clear until the court’s holding is published. In this case, the move could take up to two months before it has been finalized.
Until today, there has not been a draft decision that has made its way to the public eye while the case is still pending. Roe v. Wade has already been considered one of the most controversial cases in modern history, but this news just solidified that it is.
“Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Justice Alito wrote in the initial draft majority opinion. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issues, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Within the document is a notation that this was circulated among justices on Feb. 10. Should this first draft of the majority opinion be adopted, it would come just in time to rule in favor of Mississippi. The state is currently working to ban most abortions following 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Chief Justice John Roberts has come forward to announce that the supreme court’s marshal will investigate the source of the leak of the draft opinion on abortion, which is genuine and was published late Monday, and slammed the “egregious breach of trust”.