Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe, according to draft opinion published by Politico

by Amy Howe and James Romoser (SCOTUS Blog)

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nighttime scene in front of supreme court with crowd of people holding signs supporting abortion rights

Within hours of the Politico story, crowds of demonstrators gathered in front of the Supreme Court on Monday nigh [Katie Barlow]

The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, according to a copy of an apparent draft opinion obtained by Politico.

Obtained by reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward, the 98-page draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito is dated Feb. 10, 2022. It is styled as the “opinion of the Court” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which Mississippi and its supporters have asked the justices to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion that was first established by Roe in 1973 and re-affirmed by Casey in 1992.

Initial votes on the outcome of a case can change — and the wording of opinions frequently does — as the justices deliberate and circulate draft opinions. The court is expected to release its decision in Dobbs in the next two months.

nighttime scene of people seated on ground with candles in front of supreme court
Demonstrators lit candles and held signs in front of the court on Monday night. (Katie Barlow)

Stressing that abortion “presents a profound moral question,” Alito’s draft concludes that the Constitution “does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating and prohibiting abortion.” He describes Roe as “egregiously wrong from the start.”

In a staff email, Politico’s executive editor, Dafna Linzer, wrote: “After an extensive review process, we are confident of the authenticity of the draft. This unprecedented view into the justices’ deliberations is plainly news of great public interest.”

Posted in Featured, Merits Cases

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe and James Romoser, Court has voted to overturn Roe, according to draft opinion published by Politico, SCOTUSblog (May. 2, 2022, 10:17 PM),

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JUST IN: The Supreme Court confirms the authenticity of the draft opinion revealed last night by Politico. The chief justice has ordered an investigation into the leak.

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(cont’d) 2. Those interested in who leaked the draft should wonder why Alexander Ward — a national security reporter — shares the byline. The leaker would insist that their identity be incredibly tightly held. Politico would not assign someone who didn’t have to be on the story.

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Two final thoughts. 1. Politico reports that the 5 original votes to overturn Roe are “unchanged *as of this week*,” but does not report (and the leaker would know) that they have all said they will join the Alito opinion. At least 1 is apparently uncommitted. Hence the leak?

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It's remarkable, the leak of what appears to be an initial draft majority opinion. SCOTUS generally has kept its secrets and has kept confidential its internal processes and deliberations. But the Court does occasionally leak, and it has leaked before about Roe v. Wade. 1/x

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The @politico bombshell and the leaked opinion overturning Roe v. Wade in a TikTok minute.

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