Politico has obtained and revealed an unpublished draft in an unprecedented leak that has significant implications for the Court and country.
The leaked document is a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. In the opinion, Alito writes in his opening statement:
Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views. Some believe fervently that a human person comes into being at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. Others feel just as strongly that any regulation of abortion invades a woman’s right to control her own body and prevents women from achieving full equality. Still others in a third group think that abortion should be allowed under some but not all circumstances, and those within this group hold a variety of views about the particular restrictions that should be imposed.Leaked Opinion of Justice Alito
It is unclear at this time if the opinion has been rewritten or revised. The opinion was written in early February and it is not uncommon for early drafts to change completely by the time they’re published.
According to the leaked document, Justice Alito closes his opinion by saying:
We end this opinion where we began. Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.
The Judgment of the Fifth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.Leaked Opinion of Justice Alito
If the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, the issue of abortion will be left up to individual states.
The leak of this document is unprecedented and signals a major change in the American political landscape. Those weighing in on the leak have described this leak as a malicious act.
Other commentators suggested that this was a deliberate move by someone to change the media narrative ahead of the upcoming primary elections.
Political commentator Buck Sexton suggests that the Supreme Court could change its opinion as a result of this leak and that doing so would erode their credibility.
After the news first broke, protests erupted outside of the Supreme Court.
Multiple sources, including Fox News, reached out to the White House for comment but did not get an immediate response.