Politico reported Monday that they has obtained a leaked draft of the majority opinion in this term’s abortion rights case and that the justices have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The draft, which is written by Justice Samuel Alito and labeled as the “Opinion of the Court,” was reportedly circulated inside the court.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito writes in the draft. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Politico has linked a PDF version of the leaked draft in which Alito argues that Roe was “egregiously wrong” and that the legality of abortion should be left up to each state. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitution provision,” Alito writes.
“The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito concludes. “On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.”
According to Politico, a person close to the court’s deliberations said that the four Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.
Meanwhile, the three Democratic-appointed justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – are currently working on one or more dissents, according to the source close to the matter. However, it is unknown how Chief Justice John Roberts will vote.
“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,” Politico noted.
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