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U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, according to draft opinion

Jonah McKeownKatie Yoder   By Jonah McKeownKatie Yoder for CNA

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. / Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 2, 2022 / 19:46 pm (CNA).

The U.S. Supreme Court will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, according to draft opinion cited in a news report released Monday evening.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito writes in the purported 98-page draft document, obtained by POLITICO, which is labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

The POLITICO report described the opinion as “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation” of Roe v. Wade, which created a constitutional right to abortion nationwide up until roughly 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. The court sides with the state of Mississippi, which had appealed to the court to uphold a 15-week abortion ban that lawmakers there passed in 2018.

The document, which bears the words “1st Draft” at the top, states that Roe v. Wade’s reasoning was “exceptionally weak,” that the original decision has had “damaging consequences,” and that the decision was “egregiously wrong.”

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citiizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe [v Wade] and [Planned Parenthood v Casey] arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the draft decision reads.

CNA has not been able to independently verify if the draft opinion shared by POLITICO is genuine, and the court’s decision will not be final until it is published, likely to happen by the end of June. If the decision holds, more than a dozen states will immediately outlaw abortion.

The news report, while noting that justices can change their votes as drafts are revised, said it is “unclear” whether there have been changes made since that first draft. The report says that four justices have joined Alito in the majority opinion, while three are preparing dissents. Chief Justice John Roberts has not yet decided how he will vote, the report says.

In the draft, Alito writes that the Constitution “makes no reference to abortion,” and that “no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”

“[F]ar from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

If the draft is genuine, this marks the first time in the court’s modern history that a draft opinion of the court has been leaked while the case is still pending, POLITICO notes. SCOTUSblog, a popular site that reports on the Supreme Court, tweeted that the draft is “almost certainly an authentic draft opinion” and that its leakage constituted an “unforgivable sin.”

“The document leaked to Politico is almost certainly an authentic draft opinion by J. Alito that reflects what he believes at least 5 members of the Court have voted to support — overruling Roe. But as Alito’s draft, it does not reflect the comments or reactions of other Justices,” SCOTUSblog tweeted.

“It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.”

Pro-life leaders reacted cautiously to the POLITICO report.

The pro-life group SBA List said it “will not be commenting until an official decision is announced by the Court.”

On Twitter, reporters noted that barricades went up around the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., immediately after the news broke.

Georgetown student Gabe Fleisher, author of the Wake Up To Politics newsletter, tweeted, “Two police officers are standing watch as a crowd of about 50 has gathered, most sitting quietly with candles.”

This is a developing story.

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  1. Hoooooo-EEEEEEEEEEEY!

    We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give those justices courage, wisdom and clarity of vision.

    But at least now we see there’s a chance.

    We need to be prepared, to steel ourselves. Because soon we will be getting a glimpse of satan’s minions like few in history ever see.

    We have to pray, pray, PRAY!

    It’s going to be vividly and purposefully and dramatically evil.

    The left will do their best to destroy our country — far moreso even than usual.

    They will try to intimidate us by burning and looting and killing. Recall what they did a few years ago during the George Floyd riots.

    Only back then they were trying to convince us that killing black people was wrong, that “black lives matter”

    Now they will be doing it in order to preserve the right to destroy black lives — indeed, *all* lives — by the millions.

    I pray the evil they perpetrate will further differentiate the Democratic Party from all human decency and good sense.

    And I pray that American Catholics will finally, finally, FINALLY take courage and start voting their faith.

    Holy Spirit, save us!

  2. Praying that the good Catholics (Biden and Pelosi) don’t influence the courts to keep the legalization of murdering humans the law of the land.

    • Biden has asked for Roe to be codified. Will the Pope excommunicate him? He is not neutral, he shouts from the rooftops, but apparently he is a good Catholic

  3. This must be our refrain in the ugly and violent days ahead: the Democratic Party is the party of hatred and death. its power is derived, not from right ideas or virtue or decency; it is derived from fists and guns and bombs, and it is aimed at anyone who stands in their way.

  4. Read the draft document. It demolishes Roe and the worn out, lame arguments typically advanced by advocates of “legal” baby murder.

  5. “It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff…”

    This is the least of the “earthquakes” and does not begin to match the “destruction of trust” that has deformed and even aborted our entire culture for half a century. Mother’s deceived into believing that their pre-born infant was simply part of their own bodies…

    Across the board, two generations will have to be weaned from the Big Lie—in all of its forms. Two generations as well as the one upcoming will have to be undeceived—by both the actual reality, and from the trust-busting (!) former court’s 1973 incantations of untruth so much in step with the so-called Sexual Revolution of 1968.

    As with the very similar Galileo who inspected reality through a telescope, now the awakened court and society with ultrasound: “Eppur se muove” (Nevertheless, “it” moves).

  6. The shock troops of the Democratic Party are already massing.

    Through this upcoming terrible time of turmoil, our refrain needs to be:

    See? The Democratic Party is the party of destruction and death.

    Their power is not derived from right ideas or virtue or a commitment to freedom.

    It flows from from guns and fists and fire.

    From intimidation and fear.

    Catholics need to open their eyes.

  7. A great turn in favor of life, now threatened by disclosure, an unethical perhaps illegal disclosure to the media, Politico. Disclosure prior to ratification on this most antagonistic issue will likely have widespread repercussions, violence, unlawful protests directed at members of the SC Judiciary.
    Schumer is already spewing false allegations fomenting alarm and hatred. Hatred for justice, and inevitably Catholicism. He vows to fight justice itself, alleging that the justices in favor of overturning Roe are “extremists”. If we are in favor of life, we’re now extremists. Couple that with the newly founded Ministry of Truth by abortion purveyor extraordinaire Pres Biden.
    While this, for the present [the alleged decision hasn’t been ratified] is wonderful for the protection of a right to life, the fight for true liberty, freedom of speech – the battle for truth and goodness has begun. America as envisioned by the founding fathers is imperiled. We’ll be tested.

  8. The question must be asked – WHO leaked this? I for one would not be surprised in the least were it to be a pro-choice advocate in order to give the abortionists plenty of time to get the troops all set and ready to go when it is made official. In fact I would tend to believe that that is how it came about. Will we find out?

    The next few months – and past that – will be brutal.

    I am reminded of that old union rally song – “Which side are You On?”

  9. 50 People are sitting in front of the court with candles? Really? Why? To mourn the loss of their ability to murder some babies? An article today by Dick Morris says that the court decision will do little to change abortion reality, and he is correct. The decision will be thrown back to the states, so abortion will NOT be banned across the country. Some states will ban it but just as many will let it remain legal. Woman wanting an abortion who live in a banned state will simply have to travel to a state where it is legal. As Morris says, there will be plenty of donated money to “help” these women by buying them bus, train or plane tickets. Pro-lifers MUST be certain to vote in November, as radical extreme actions by the DEMs are certain to take place as they use this red herring of an abortion ban to whip up their crazed base. As for the person who leaked this story ( assuming it is not fake like so many other news stories used by the left to attack the right) , THAT person should be found and jailed.If we cannot trust in the security of our major institutions, we have a big problem and a strong example needs to be made. Leaking govt information, whether real or fake, causes immense civic turmoil and often violence. As for Biden, his disgusting statement should be brought to the attention of the Bishops in his diocese and to the Pope, who seems to think he is such a great guy. I saw one of his minions on TV today STRESSING that Biden is a “devout” Catholic. Its just disgusting they are letting him get away with this act.

  10. The only thing that motivates traditionalist catholics in america is their fervor over abortion. If they don’t have that, what faith do they have left? What brings them together? You can only get angry at gay people for so long.

    • Are you capable to any words of truth on this topic? Regardless, how about this ultra-right-wing, traditionalist ranting?

      It must in any case be clearly understood that whatever may be laid down by civil law in this matter, man can never obey a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle the liceity of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it. Moreover, he may not collaborate in its application. It is, for instance, inadmissible that doctors or nurses should find themselves obliged to cooperate closely in abortions and have to choose between the law of God and their professional situation.

      On the contrary, it is the task of law to pursue a reform of society and of conditions of life in all milieux, starting with the most deprived, so that always and everywhere it may be possible to give every child coming into this world a welcome worthy of a person.

      Darned CDF!

      The real fervor over abortion comes from the Left; the principled stand for life comes from all those who actually acknowledge reason, facts, science, and natural law.

    • Well, what “brings them together” in my parish is daily Mass and the Eucharist. These are the folks who will go out in a blizzard to help a neighbor,care for a sick friend, run the food banks,raise money to help others through the Knights of Columbus. They are the ones who volunteer to help with the RCIA programs for months on end,and the bereavement ministry to help the grieving through the funerals of loved ones. They are the ones taking up collections of clothing and baby supplies for unwed mothers.They were the ones who came to church during covid to help as EM’s, servers,and lectors, musicians, making Mass as normal as possible in an abnormal time, while others were too fearful to do so. The ones praying for women who feel the need to investigate abortion clinics, which by policy, NEVER mention alternatives. I attend daily Mass. Nobody there HATES anybody. Some in fact, even have gay family members and friends themselves, for whom they pray. If they are distressed at anything, it is the occasional failure of church authorities to stand up for church teachings which have been held valid for thousands of year. Being “nice” should not trump the word of God. Hate however, does NOT enter into this. You should come into our world once in a while. You might be enlightened about who we really are.

  11. I totally object to the release of this article based on a stolen document which was released without official consent of the Supreme Court. This all hearsay until official. In the name of civility and for the sake of the nation cancel it now.

  12. The principle established at the Nuremberg Trials must be enforced in all 50 states: No state has the authority to legalize the murder of innocent humanity.

    There were defendants at the Nuremberg Trials who demonstrated that they had done nothing illegal under Nazi law who were hanged anyway. Why? Murder is intrinsically illegal and can’t be made legal. This is why prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials treated “legal” abortion as a crime against humanity.

    This is surely a battle with the one Christ called “The father of lies” and a “murderer from the beginning.” Our engagement in it, or lack of engagement, will reveal our concern, or lack of it, for Christ in the least of His brethren, which, according to Christ in Matthew 25, will determine where we spend eternity.

    We must never forget that God became a child in the womb, and that every baby murdered is someone God has loved from all eternity. There is no nine month gap in God’s eternal love for each of us. Every one of those murders was a catastrophe.

    Now is the time for God’s people to respond in a manner commensurate with the urgency of the situation, or one day hear the dreadful words of Christ addressed to them: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

    Some are called to prayerful activism. Some are called to prayer alone. All are called by God to respond to the greatest holocaust of innocent human life in the history of the world. Discern His will and carry it out with all your might.

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