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Leaked Supreme Court Opinion claims 50-year-old decision could be overturned.

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Brian Gornick - Staff Writer - News


In an unprecedented move, a leaked Supreme Court decision insinuates that the nation’s highest court plans to strike down a previous case that has been set in law for around 50 years.

A draft of the Supreme Court’s majority decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, written by Justice Samuel Alito, was released Monday evening by Politico.

According to the draft, the Supreme Court would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, a federal case in 1973 that granted a legal right to abortion on a federal constitutional scale. Five justices are allegedly voting to overturn Roe v. Wade: Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barett, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito.

Chief Justice John Roberts would be siding with the three liberal justices on the Supreme Court in their dissent.

Overturning Roe v. Wade will have major ramifications in the fight for reproductive rights in the United States, with states passing their own laws to protect or outlaw abortion, the decision being leaked is a strict breach of confidentiality in a court where secrecy is one of their biggest attributes.

Supreme Court deliberations and decisions on cases are some of the most well kept secrets in Washington D.C., as their decisions leave lasting impacts on American policy making as well as future elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts released a statement following the leak from Politico, calling the document authentic but not the court’s final decision. Justice Roberts also decried the majority opinion being leaked, calling for the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the leak.

Chief Justice Roberts looks on during President Biden’s first State of the Union Address.

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“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” Roberts said.

The fallout of the leaked decision is also felt in the legislative and executive branches of government, with President Biden giving his own statement on the matter.

“Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned," Biden said in his statement.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would be the top topic of discussion during the upcoming primaries in a time when Democrats are fighting to keep a majority in the Senate.

In the 50-50 split Senate, 34 Senate seats will be up for grabs in the 2022 elections, where virtually all Republican candidates have announced their support for restricting access to abortion.

Map showing which states have Senate seats up for reelection, with the color showing the party of the sitting senator.

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Democrats will have to use the fight for abortion to their advantage if they hope to win a majority in the Senate, while Republicans will have to use the fight to restrict abortion to their advantage. All in all, Roe v. Wade being overturned could completely reshape the political landscape of the nation as the topic of abortion is thrown into the forefront of American politics.

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