The doc, which Politico stated it obtained from a “person familiar with the court’s proceedings,” is marked “first draft” and dated Feb. 10, 2022 — two months after oral arguments had been heard within the case Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group. ABC Information has not independently confirmed the draft.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” writes Justice Samuel Alito, the opinion’s obvious writer, in a replica of the draft posted on-line.
The leak is a rare breach of Supreme Court docket protocol and custom. By no means earlier than has such a consequential draft opinion been leaked to the general public earlier than publication.
Reached by ABC Information, a Supreme Court docket spokeswoman declined to remark.
The Dobbs case entails Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of being pregnant — effectively earlier than fetal viability, the longstanding dividing line established by the courtroom earlier than which states can not prohibit a lady’s entry to the process.
Throughout arguments in December, 5 of the justices hinted that they had been able to put off the “viability standard” established by Roe and a subsequent 1992 choice, Deliberate Parenthood v. Casey.
An unnamed supply acquainted with the deliberations instructed Politico that Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all initially supported a ruling siding with Mississippi and “that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.”
The drafting of Supreme Court docket opinions, nevertheless, is a fluid and dynamic course of, sources acquainted with the interior operations have instructed ABC Information. The doc posted suggests a majority of justices is more likely to facet with Mississippi, however how broad a ruling will finally come down stays unclear.
Chief Justice John Roberts famously modified his vote late throughout deliberations over the Inexpensive Care Act in 2012, narrowly saving the legislation from being struck down. A Wall Avenue Journal editorial this month instructed that Roberts, who reveres established precedent and the courtroom’s status, could also be making an attempt to persuade one in every of his conservative colleagues to hitch him in a narrower opinion.
If Alito’s opinion had been to carry, as written, it might dramatically upend abortion rights throughout America, successfully permitting every state to set its personal coverage.
“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” the draft concludes. “Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
This can be a growing story. Please examine again for updates.
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