The US Supreme Court is poised to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision protecting women’s rights to abortion, according to a draft majority opinion circulated inside the court, Politico reported.
Politico said it obtained the initial draft majority opinion, which was signed by Justice Samuel Alito.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote, according to Politico. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.
No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending, Politico said.
The immediate impact of the ruling, as drafted in February, would be to end the half-century-old guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortions, Politico said.
The Supreme Court’s declined to comment on the report. The Supreme Court heard two hours of arguments in December, and all six Republican-appointed justices indicated they would let states start banning abortion far earlier than the court’s precedents now allow.
Two justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, suggested at the hearing that they might go further and overturn Roe v. Wade ruling. Kavanaugh listed a series of famous cases, including decisions that outlawed school segregation and legalized gay marriage, that overturned precedents.
In the leaked draft opinion, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the majority’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and four other Republican-appointed justices — Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — voted with him in the conference held among the justices, according to Politico. The news organization reported that Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were working on dissents. It was not clear how Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. planned to vote.
Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States with its decision in Roe v. Wade, reshaping the America’s social and political landscape.