Politico published a draft in February in which conservative Justice Alito wrote that the ruling in Roe v. Wade from 1973 and a later decision from 1992 were wrong. In Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to abortion is enshrined in the Constitution, so states cannot ban it.
But Alito believes the Supreme Court should not decide that at the time. He believes that politicians should be involved in this. “We think Roe and Casey should be rejected,” Alito wrote. “It is time to follow the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives.”
If this is indeed the ultimate conclusion, it means that states will soon be able to decide for themselves whether or not abortion is allowed. In many conservative states in the South and Midwest, this would mean stricter legislation or an outright ban. Tougher laws have already been worked out in Texas, Florida and Mississippi in recent months. As a result, women from those states will not be able to have an abortion, or have to travel to another country to do so.
There were already indications that a majority of the conservative Supreme Court members would vote in favor of annulment. According to Politico, in addition to Alito, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas and the three Trump-appointed judges Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Connie Barrett voted to abolish the death penalty. That would already be a majority. Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion remains unclear.
The verdict is not final yet. Edits may have been made after this February draft. In theory, judges can also change their minds. But this opportunity does not look great. The real verdict is expected sometime in the next two months.
It is very rare for documents to leak out of the decision-making process. Old versions never leak before the official decision is known. Now issued 98 pages, about the most important resolution of the year. Supreme Court spokesmen declined to comment on the news.
If the Supreme Court really overturned the federal right to abortion, Republicans would be happy. They committed years ago to appointing conservative judges to make these kinds of decisions possible. For Democrats, this is a major blow that will resonate for a long time to come. Governance will certainly become an important topic in the run-up to the November congressional elections.
Supporters and opponents immediately gathered at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Monday night local time. Police put up fences around the building as a precaution.
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