I must rush off the boat, but must note this disturbing occurrence. Read Jean sent me a NYT article noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has already written the draft of an opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade’s decision about abortion. This draft was obtained by Politico, and the link to that draft is in a New York Times article that is giving updates.
From the NYT:
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that has guaranteed the right to abortion for nearly a half-century, according to a leaked draft opinion from February published online Monday night by Politico.
In the draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., a majority of the court voted to overturn Roe, according to Politico. Justice Alito called it wrongly decided and said the contentious issue, which has animated political debates in the United States for more than a generation, should be decided by politicians, not the courts.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court,” referring to a second decision that reaffirmed Roe. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The draft posted by Politico is consistent with the Supreme Court’s published opinions in ways large and small, including structure, length, typography and how legal citations are rendered. Its assertive and sometimes slashing tone reads very much like other major opinions from Justice Alito.
The release of the 98-page document is unprecedented in the court’s modern history: Early drafts of opinions have virtually never leaked before the final decision is announced, and never in such a consequential case. And early drafts of opinions often change by the time the decision from the court is announced.
Shortly after the article was published Monday night, Politico’s editor in chief, Matthew Kaminski, and its executive editor, Dafna Linzer, sent an email to newsroom employees emphasizing its authenticity. In the memo, Mr. Kaminski and Ms. Linzer said that the article underwent “an extensive review process,” describing it as “plainly news of great public interest.”
Asked for reaction to the apparent leak, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said the court had no comment. . .
There’s a lot more at the site.
We all knew this decision was coming, and I haven’t yet read the whole draft, but if this is issued as is, the problem of abortion will devolve to individual states, and you know what that means. I had clung to a thread of hope that the court would abide by stare decisis, but that is not to be—precedent means nothing to this ultraconservative court.
I can’t help but think that a court like this would, besides loosening gun control even further, also be capable of overturning another precedent: preventing the teaching, on First Amendment grounds, of creationism in the public schools.