Conservatives are doing a victory lap in light of a recent report that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing the constitutional right to abortion, while at the same time seemingly having a complete meltdown about the potential impact of its release.
The bombshell report came late Monday evening, when Politico published a leaked draft of Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion, written back in February, rehashing the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe in 1992. According to the outlet, the draft is “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation” of both laws.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito reportedly wrote in his opinion. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”
This week, conservative pundits and politicians immediately praised the controversial draft, which culminates a decades-long campaign by Republicans to roll back reproductive rights all across the nation.
On Monday, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., a vehement anti-abortion advocate, called the court’s alleged draft “a heck of an opinion.”
“Voluminously researched, tightly argued, and morally powerful,” he tweeted.
I will say, if this is the Court’s opinion, it’s a heck of an opinion. Voluminously researched, tightly argued, and morally powerful
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 3, 2022
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem vowed to call a special session in support the potential decision’s rollout.
“If this report is true and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has a right to life in South Dakota,” the governor tweeted.
If this report is true and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has a right to life in South Dakota. https://t.co/oIiGibCP7B
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) May 3, 2022
Other conservatives railed against the leak of draft, arguing that the move impugns the court’s apparent nonpartisanship.
I have no doubt that the Chief Justice will work to root out the radical activist that betrayed the sacred tradition of the court. The leaker must be immediately removed from their position and exiled from the legal community.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) May 3, 2022
“Leaking a draft SCOTUS ruling is worse than January 6th. The Court was the one institution where conservatives and liberals lived in peace and trust,” wrote right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich. “You disagreed but the trust was sacred. This completely destroys the Court’s inner workings. Totally in shock right now.”
Leaking a draft SCOTUS ruling is worse than January 6th. The Court was the one institution where conservatives and liberals lived in peace and trust. You disagreed but the trust was sacred. This completely destroys the Court’s inner workings. Totally in shock right now.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 3, 2022
“To violate an understanding that has held for the entire modern history of the Court – seeking to place outside political pressure on the Court and the justices themselves – is dangerous, despicable, and damaging,” echoed Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
Given the apparently coordinated nature of this hit on the Court, I certainly hope every Democrat Senator is ready to answer whether they saw the opinion before Politico published it, and if they know who leaker is
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 3, 2022
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., suggested the draft’s leak was a coordinated assault by the left. “The next time you hear the far left preaching about how they are fighting to preserve our Republic’s institutions & norms remember how they leaked a Supreme Court opinion in an attempt to intimidate the justices on abortion,” Rubio wrote.
The next time you hear the far left preaching about how they are fighting to preserve our Republic’s institutions & norms remember how they leaked a Supreme Court opinion in an attempt to intimidate the justices on abortion https://t.co/9W6jKCZQQt
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 3, 2022
Politico’s report does not mark the first time that the draft of any pending Supreme Court case has been publicized before a ruling is made. While the draft offers an unprecedented glimpse into the bench’s deliberations, which the court has historically kept strictly confidential, it is important to note that the original Roe v. Wade decision was similarly released, infuriating the court.
Not everyone can pay for the news. But if you can, we need your support.
Truthout is widely read among people with lower incomes and among young people who are mired in debt. Our site is read at public libraries, among people without internet access of their own. People print out our articles and send them to family members in prison — we receive letters from behind bars regularly thanking us for our coverage. Our stories are emailed and shared around communities, sparking grassroots mobilization.
We’re committed to keeping all Truthout articles free and available to the public. But in order to do that, we need those who can afford to contribute to our work to do so.
We’ll never require you to give, but we can ask you from the bottom of our hearts: Will you donate what you can, so we can continue providing journalism in the service of justice and truth?