The Supreme Court plans to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to a draft opinion obtained by Politico and published Monday night.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the leaked draft majority opinion. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision…”
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” the opinion continues. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
This looks like good news for pro-lifers, but this doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court will definitely rule against Roe and Casey when it decides Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization later this year. “The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months,” the Politico article notes.
In fact, Politico seems to be doing its best to make sure that the court’s holding is subject to change. The news outlet admits, “No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. The unprecedented revelation is bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term.”
SCOTUS Blog tweeted about the “unprecedented” leak: “It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.”
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the draft is authentic and said the leak will not change the court’s deliberations. “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” Roberts said.
Already, the reaction to the Politico report has been strong. Minutes after the leak, barricades went up at the Supreme Court, and activists on both sides flooded in front of the court Monday night.
President Joe Biden released a statement on the leak Tuesday morning, saying that while it may not reflect the final decision of the court, his administration stands strongly in the pro-abortion camp.
In response to this news, pro-lifers need to be ready for a country in which abortion legislation has gone back to the states, and some months ahead of intensified debate on the issue. As tensions rise, we must continue making our case with moral clarity and kindness.