(The Center Square) – The U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which established abortion as a constitutional right, Politico reported Monday based on what it said was a draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.
At least five justices are ruling to overturn Roe and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Politico reported, based on a reportedly leaked draft document. If the draft document is real, it would be the first time a Supreme Court decision was leaked in modern U.S. history before it became official with a formal release.
Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett signed on to the opinion, according to Politico. All were nominated by Republican presidents.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” the justices wrote in a draft deciding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a lawsuit initiated in Mississippi, according to Politico. “The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
A blog that covers the Supreme Court daily said the draft opinion is likely “authentic.”
It is “almost certainly authentic,” SCOTUSblog wrote, adding that the draft “does not reflect the comments or reactions of other Justices.”
But Politico added that the ruling is not yet final.
“Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid,” Politico wrote. “Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled. The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.”
If the draft becomes the formal opinion of the court, abortion would be decided by states and not embedded as federal law. Many conservative states in recent years have placed tighter restrictions on abortion through so-called heartbeat bills, banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected in the womb.
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