On Monday night, as many were distracted by the fancy costumes the ultrarich chose to wear to the 2022 Met Gala, POLITICO reported that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guarantees the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.
According to the 60+ page draft of the opinion leaked to the outlet, Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which asks whether abortions before the fetus would be viable outside the womb are constitutionally protected.
In addition to striking down Roe, Alito also repudiates Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, a 1992 decision which introduced the undue burden standard that bars states from banning abortion before viability. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” Alito wrote.
To be extremely fucking clear: Alito and the conservative arm of the Supreme Court want to end legal abortion in America. If this draft goes into effect as is—which it’s expected to—it will completely upend American life. Abortion access, already fraught in most of the country, would become nearly inaccessible, as advocates and providers deal with the legal fallout of returning abortion discretion to the states.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote in the document labeled “1st Draft.”
Of course, Republicans don’t want to stop at simply returning abortion to the states: They are currently plotting a nationwide six-week abortion ban that would apply even to blue states, eliminating the potential for any abortion rights havens across the country.
Moreover, Alito’s opinion is full of arguments that do not pass muster. “The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. 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,” he wrote.
What a crock of shit. Imagine being deemed one of the nation’s top political minds and writing that because abortion was once outlawed, it should be allowed again. This is not a decision based in sound legal judgment: It’s a right-wing political coup, for which Republicans nationwide have been frothing at the mouth for decades.
We should also note that it’s very strange that we’re getting this draft opinion early: Disclosure of an opinion draft has not happened in the modern history of the nation’s highest court. Someone within the justices’ clerk system, or a Justice themself, thought leaking such a draft was a fucking important thing for the American people to see. And we agree.