CNN

Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade published by Politico

May 2, 2022, 7:33 PM | Updated: 8:50 pm
TOPSHOT - Pro-choice activists participate in a "flash-mob" demonstration outside of the US Supreme...
TOPSHOT - Pro-choice activists participate in a "flash-mob" demonstration outside of the US Supreme Court on January 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. - January 22 marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established the constitutional right to abortion care in the United States. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — In a stunning breach of court confidentiality, Politico has obtained what it calls a draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down Roe v. Wade.

The draft was circulated in early February, according to Politico. The final opinion has not been released and votes can change before opinions are formally released. A Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment to CNN.

CNN has not independently confirmed the document’s authenticity. Politico says it has authenticated the draft.

According to the draft, the court would overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The opinion would be the most consequential abortion decision in decades and transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America.

Politico’s publishing of the draft is unprecedented by the high court’s standards of secrecy. The inner deliberations among the justices while opinions are being drafted and votes are being settled are among the most closely held details in Washington.

The case in question is Dobbs v. Jackson. It concerns a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion and oral arguments were heard on December 1. The release of a final opinion in the case is expected later this Spring or early summer.

In the draft opinion, Alito writes that Roe “must be overruled.”

“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Alito wrote. He said that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start” and that its reasoning was “exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.”

He added, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s representatives.”

“That is what the Constitution and the rule of law demand,” he said, according to the draft.

Already nearly half of the states have or will pass laws that ban abortion, while others have enacted strict measures regulating the procedure.

Process of voting

Oral arguments in the case were held on December 1.

Under normal procedure, by the end of that week the justices would have met in their private conference to take a preliminary vote on the issue. They would have gone around the table in order of seniority discussing their take on the case. Roberts would have gone first, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett last.

After that initial tally, if Roberts was in the majority he would assign the majority opinion. Otherwise the most senior justice would have taken that responsibility. After that, draft opinions would go between chambers. In the past, justices have changed their votes and sometimes a majority opinion ultimately becomes a dissent.

A reversal of Roe would leave abortion policy up to individual states and would likely produce a patchwork system where the procedure would remain largely available in Democratic-led states, while Republican-led states would pass extreme limits or outright bans on it.

The Dobbs case was perhaps the most anticipated case of the court’s term, and most court observers expected that the conservative majority was likely to scale back or outright overturn Roe’s holding. At oral arguments, Roberts was the only one of the six Republican appointees who signaled interest in exploring a narrower opinion that would have upheld Mississippi’s law but preserved some protections for abortion rights.

Because it is one of the court’s most high-stakes and contentious decisions, the anticipation was that the opinion would be among the final ones the court released at the end of its term in late June.

Roe is the law of the land until the court formally issues its opinion.

“Let’s be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it’s not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL,” Planned Parenthood said in a tweet following Politico’s reporting.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

Thousands of previously banned Twitter users have begun to have their accounts restored to the plat...
Clare Duffy, CNN Business

The mass unbanning of suspended Twitter users is underway

Twitter accounts that had previously been banned are beginning to be restored to the platform, according to a independent analysis.
9 hours ago
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 3: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a vote August...
Jeremy Herb, CNN

Sinema leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent

Sinema declined to address questions about her reelection bid in the interview with Tapper, saying that simply isn't her focus right now.
9 hours ago
holiday deals...
Matt Egan, CNN

Shoppers are dipping into savings and going into debt. That could cause a holiday hangover

The problem, however, is that many Americans' paychecks are not keeping up with stubborn inflation.
9 hours ago
U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later...
Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Herb and MJ Lee, CNN

WNBA star Brittney Griner released from Russian detention in prisoner swap for convicted arms dealer

The Biden administration repeatedly made offers to get Whelan released as part of this deal, even after Russia made clear only Griner was acceptable.
1 day ago
...
Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend and Gregory Krieg, CNN

Georgia voters once again have the last word during election season

During a campaign rally for Warnock in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama stressed the immediate impact of Democrats potentially winning a 51st Senate seat.
3 days ago
This photos shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, ...
Nouran Salahieh and Hannah Sarisohn, CNN

Tens of thousands still in the dark after ‘targeted’ attacks on North Carolina power substations

With no suspects or motive announced, the FBI joins the investigation into power outages in a North Carolina county.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade published by Politico