Roe v. Wade Potential Overturning; Supreme Court Document Leaked for the First Time in History

The Roe v. Wade case has come into question lately, with the draft of a majority opinion leaked to Politico.


Politico has acquired a draft of a majority opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn the milestone abortion decision Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that proclaimed abortion a constitutional right.

An early draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion on the constitutionality of the health care law was circulated within the court in February, according to Politico. However, the final opinion has not been released, and votes and language can still change before opinions are formally released. The opinion, in this case, is not expected to be published until late June.

 No draft decision in modern Supreme Court history has been disclosed to the public. The unexpected revelation is bound to heighten the debate over what was already the most controversial case on this term’s docket.

The court’s authenticity review confirmed the document’s accuracy on Tuesday. The court also emphasized that this was not a final decision in the case.

The Supreme Court’s decisions are not always resolved in an open and thorough manner. They can change their vote after draft opinions have circulated, and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading. Sometimes they do this just days before they are announced, which means that the exact nature of their deliberations is never fully revealed to the public.

As said in the draft, the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding that federal constitutional guarantees of liberty extend to a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. The decision would be the most consequential abortion ruling in decades and significantly impact women’s reproductive health in America.

The draft opinion offered an exceptional look into the justices’ deliberations in one of the most consequential cases before the court in decades. The drafts show that the court is looking to reject Roe’s logic and legal protections.

Students at Arvada West are taking this in different ways. Shayla Wyckoff, a freshman, says, “If a woman is raped, and she doesn’t want to have a rapist’s baby, then she should be able to get an abortion. But, I feel like if it’s her husband’s baby that she just doesn’t want, I feel like there’s a different view on that.”

However, Apollo Cravens, another freshman says, “I felt really upset, because the only way that they’re considering that they might not do it is for rape or for incest. They think that the only reason someone should have a right to their own body is that someone has to be violated first, which is really messed up.”

“This news is simply stunning for the Supreme Court as an institution,” said Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law and CNN Supreme Court analyst. “Not only is the result it portends — the overruling of Roe and Casey — a shockwave to our constitutional politics, but we have never seen a leak remotely like this from inside the Court, where we’re not just hearing what the result is going to be, but we’re seeing the draft majority opinion in advance. It’s hard to believe that the former doesn’t help to explain the latter, but it’s an earthquake in both respects.”

“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Alito wrote in the draft. He claimed that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start” and the reasoning was “exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.”

With a leak like this, it has definitely brought up questions about the security of the court, as well as many protests and upset from women, fearing their abortion rights will be taken away.