Swift reaction after leaked draft opinion suggests Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade

Jory Rand Image
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Draft opinion suggests Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade: Reaction
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In a stunning breach of precedent, both in constitutional law and Supreme Court protocol, a draft decision that would end Roe v. Wade was apparently leaked to the outlet Politico.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In a stunning breach of precedent, both in constitutional law and Supreme Court protocol, a draft decision that would end Roe v. Wade was apparently leaked to the outlet Politico.

The draft has not been verified and drafts can, and do change, before they're made final. However, it looks very much like the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision will soon be overturned.

"What it means is that women will live in two very different Americas," said Jessica Levinson, Professor at Loyola Law School. "It means women in about half of the states will have access to an abortion -- women who live in other states like Texas, like Missouri, like Mississippi. Again about half the states in this nation will have either no access to an abortion whatsoever or severely restricted access."

The fact that we learned of this news now, and not when the U.S. Supreme Court announces its final judgment, is as unprecedented as it comes.

"We have never in modern history had a leak of a draft opinion before," Levinson said. "It's hard to overstate what an earthquake this will be for the Supreme Court, how this could fundamentally change the way they do business."

MORE | Supreme Court apparently to overturn Roe v. Wade abortion case, draft opinion shows: REPORT

Republicans and conservatives have long had their eyes set on overturning Roe v. Wade. Former President Donald Trump promised to put pro-life justices on the court, and he did -- Three of them, who sure didn't sound like they would do it during their confirmations.

"As a judge, it is an important precedent of the Supreme Court, by it I mean Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey," said Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

"That's the law of the land," said Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation hearing. "I accept the law of the land senator. Yes."

But that was then and this is now.

"Something can be entirely expected and still stunning," Levinson said. "And the thing that's surprising here for me is still to see that sentence that says Roe is overturned. Roe was wrongly decided."

A crowd of protesters quickly flocked to the Supreme Court in Washington, and reaction to the news came in fast.

"Our daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers will not be silenced. The world is about to hear their fury. California will not sit back. We are going to fight like hell," California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on Twitter.

Minnesota Senator Tina Smith's message on Twitter was a lot shorter -- just three words, saying so much.

The pro-life coalition celebrated the news Monday. The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement:

"If the draft opinion made public tonight is the final opinion of the court, we wholeheartedly applaud the decision. The American people have the right to act through their elected officials to debate and enact laws that protect unborn children and honor women."

Polls have shown for decades, that that opinion is not shared by a majority of Americans.