Report: Supreme Court draft suggests Roe could be overturned

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden said Tuesday that “basic justice and the stability of our law require” the US Supreme Court not to overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade landmark case that legalized abortions nationwide. that it will work to codify its right to abortion in accordance with federal law.

In a statement issued a day after Politico published a draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court could be ready to overturn the ruling, Biden said he could not speak to the authenticity of the plan and said his government was preparing for all possibilities for when the final rules of the court.

Biden said a decision to oust Roe would increase voter turnout in the run-off election in November.

“If the Court overturns Roe, it will be up to our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Biden said. “And it will be up to the voters to elect officials in favor of the election this November. At the federal level, we will need more senators in favor of the election and a majority in favor of the election in Parliament to pass legislation codifying Roe, which I will work on to pass and sign into law. “

THIS IS AN INFORMATION UPDATE. The previous AP story follows.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A draft opinion suggests the US Supreme Court could be ready to overturn the landmark case of 1973 Roe v. Wade who legalized abortions nationally, according to a Politico Exhibition.

A decision by Roe to overthrow him would lead to a ban on abortions in about half of the states and could have huge consequences for this year’s election. However, it is not clear whether the draft represents the court’s final argument on the matter – views often change large and small in the drafting process.

Whatever the outcome, the Politico report late Monday is an extremely rare one breach of the secret court consultation procedureand in a case of great importance.

“Roe made a terrible mistake from the beginning,” the draft said. Signed by Judge Samuel Alito, a member of the 6-3 Conservative majority in the court appointed by former President George W. Bush.

The document was described as the “First Draft” of the “Court of Opinion” in a case challenging the Mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The court is expected to rule on the case before the end of her term in late June or early July.

The draft opinion actually states that there is no constitutional right to abortion services and will allow individual states to regulate more strictly or to ban the procedure permanently.

“We believe Roe and Casey should be overlooked,” he said, referring to the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey who confirmed Roe’s assertion of a constitutional right to abortion services, but allowed states to impose certain restrictions on the practice. “It is time to pay attention to the Constitution and return the issue of abortions to the elected representatives of the people.”

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said the court had no comment and the Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the published Politico plan, which dates back to February.

Politico only said it had received “a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document”.

The draft opinion strongly suggests that when the judges met in private shortly after the arguments in the case on December 1, at least five voted in favor of Roe and Casey, and Alito was given the task of writing the majority of the court.

Votes and opinions in a case are not final until a decision is announced or, in a change brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, posted on the court’s website.

The report comes amid a legislative push to limit abortions in several Republican-led states – Oklahoma is the most recent – even before the court rules. Critics of the measures say low-income women will be disproportionately burdened by the new restrictions.

The leak sparked the strong political repercussions that the Supreme Court’s final ruling was expected to have during the midterm election year. Politicians on both sides of the aisle were already taking advantage of the report to raise funds and mobilize their supporters on both sides of the issue.

One AP-NORC poll in December found that Democrats increasingly see the protection of abortion rights as a high priority for the government.

Other polls suggest relatively few Americans want to see Roe overthrown. In 2020, the AP VoteCast found that 69% of voters in the presidential election said the Supreme Court should leave Roe v. Wade as it is. Only 29% said the court should overturn the decision. In general, the AP-NORC poll finds that the majority of the public argues that abortion is legal in most or all cases.

However, when asked about abortion policy in general, Americans have different views on the issue and many do not believe that abortion should be possible after the first trimester or that women should be able to have a legal abortion for any reason. .

Alito, in the draft, said the court could not predict how the public might react and should not try. “We can not allow our decisions to be influenced by any external influences, such as concern about the public reaction to our work,” Alito wrote in the draft opinion, according to Politico.

People on both sides of the aisle quickly gathered outside the Supreme Court, waving signs and shouting for a peaceful spring night following the publication of the Politico report.

The reaction was quick from elected officials in Congress and across the country.

A joint statement from Congress’ top two Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Sumer, said: “If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is ready to impose the greatest restriction of rights in recent fifty years – not just to women but to all Americans. “

New York Governor Kathy Hotsul, also a Democrat, said those seeking abortions could head to New York. “For anyone who needs access to care, our state will welcome you with open arms. “Abortion will always be safe and accessible in New York,” Hotsul said in a tweet.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitz said in a statement: “We will let the Supreme Court speak for itself and await the Court’s official opinion.” But local officials praised the draft.

“This puts decision-making back in the hands of the states, where it should always be,” said Mississippi State spokeswoman Becky Curry.

Congress could also act, although a bill that would have written Roe’s protections in federal law was delayed in the Senate after it passed the House last year with only Democrat votes.

In Supreme Court arguments in December, all six Conservative judges signaled support for Mississippi law and five asked questions suggesting Roe and Casey’s excess was possible.

Only Supreme Court Justice John Roberts seemed ready to take the smallest step of enforcing the 15-week ban, although that would also be a significant weakening of abortion rights.

Until now, the court has allowed states to regulate but not prohibit abortion before the viability point, about 24 weeks.

The three liberal judges of the court seemed likely to disagree.

It is impossible to know what efforts are being made behind the scenes to influence the vote of any justice. If Roberts tends to allow Rowe to survive, he only needs to choose another conservative vote to strip the court of a majority to overturn the abortion milestone.

Twenty-six states are certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Is overthrown. Wade, according to the think tank in favor of abortion, the Guttmacher Institute. Of these, 22 states already have total or near-total bans on books that are currently blocked by Roe, with the exception of Texas. The state law banning it after six weeks has already been allowed to enter into force by the Supreme Court due to the unusual structure of law enforcement policy. Four more states are expected to pass the bans quickly if Roe is overthrown.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have protected access to abortion under state law.

This year, pending a decision to overthrow or launch Roe, eight Conservative states have already moved to restrict abortion rights. Oklahoma, for example, has passed a number of bills in recent weeks, including one that goes into effect this summer, making abortion a felony. Like many abortion bills passed this year in the GOP-led states, there are no exceptions for rape or incest, just to save the mother’s life.

Eight Democratic states have protected or expanded access to the process, including California, which has passed legislation that makes the process less costly and is considering other bills to become an “abortion shelter” if Roe is overthrown.

The draft seemed legal to some of the court’s supporters. Veteran Supreme Court Justice Neal Katyal, who worked as a clerk for Judge Stephen Breyer and was therefore able to see drafts, wrote on Twitter: “There are many signs that the opinion is legal. The length and depth of the analysis would be very difficult to falsify. He says it was written by Alito and it definitely sounds like him. “


Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko in Washington and Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

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