Reported By Abby Liebing | May 11, 2022
Last week, Politico published a leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The draft showed that the court could strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Now, as the court is set to meet on Thursday, Politico has published more leaked information — and it is good news for pro-lifers.
The outlet reported Wednesday morning that Alito’s draft opinion is still the only circulated draft in the abortion case and that no votes have changed while the court is waiting for the dissent opinion to emerge.
“[T]here’s no sign that the court is changing course from issuing that ruling,” the report said.
The initial draft majority opinion by Alito said “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Politico reported on May 2.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” the justice wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
However, Politico noted at the time that the court’s votes on the Dobbs v. Jackson case could change.
“Under long-standing court procedures, justices hold preliminary votes on cases shortly after argument and assign a member of the majority to write a draft of the court’s opinion,” it said. “The draft is often amended in consultation with other justices, and in some cases the justices change their votes altogether, creating the possibility that the current alignment on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could change.”
But the report Wednesday indicated no change in the votes.
“Justice Samuel Alito’s sweeping and blunt draft majority opinion from February overturning Roe remains the court’s only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case, POLITICO has learned, and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes,” the outlet reported.
“No dissenting draft opinions have circulated from any justice, including the three liberals,” Politico added.
The initial leak led to outrage among pro-abortion activists and joy among pro-lifers over the possibility of the court overturning Roe v. Wade. But also shocking was that someone inside the Supreme Court would leak such information to the media.
University of Texas law professor Steve Vladek said these leaks indicate there is turmoil behind the Supreme Court’s closed doors.
“It’s hard to overstate how ugly this means things must be behind the scenes,” Vladeck tweeted.
Even Politico, which has published the leaked information, reported that the Supreme Court is facing a great crisis due to the leaks and the resulting furor, which has included protests targeting justices’ homes.
“This is the most serious assault on the court, perhaps from within, that the Supreme Court’s ever experienced,” one source told the outlet. “It’s an understatement to say they are heavily, heavily burdened by this.”
With the summer break coming, the justices have only about seven more weeks to craft a decision on abortion.
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Abby Liebing is a Hillsdale College graduate with a degree in history. She has written for various outlets and enjoys covering foreign policy issues and culture.