US Supreme Court set to upend abortion rights, leaked document suggests

Democrats in Congress sounded alarm bells after a leaked draft ruling indicated the US Supreme Court was set to overturn the landmark Roe vs Wade ruling that has assured abortion rights throughout the nation for nearly 5 a long time.

The draft opinion, dated February 10 and signed by Justice Samuel Alito, a part of the court docket’s staunchly conservative majority, was revealed by Politico on Monday night time. The nine-member physique isn’t anticipated to difficulty its remaining opinion till June or July, and a draft from a number of months in the past can change earlier than it’s revealed.

The Supreme Court declined to touch upon its authenticity.

The doc, which emerged in a extremely uncommon leak, triggered fast outrage amongst Democratic politicians and teams devoted to the safety of abortion rights within the US. Barricades have been positioned across the Supreme Court constructing in Washington as protesters started assembling outdoors.

The two prime Democrats in Congress — Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, and Senate majority chief Chuck Schumer — expressed fury in an announcement: “If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years — not just on women but on all Americans.”

“Every Republican Senator who supported Senator [Mitch] McConnell and voted for [Donald] Trump[‘s] Justices pretending that this day would never come will now have to explain themselves to the American people,” they added.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, wrote on Twitter: “An extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country. It’s time for the hundreds of thousands who help the structure and abortion rights to face up and make their voices heard.”

Raphael Warnock, the Democratic senator from Georgia who’s working for re-election this yr, added: “As a pro-choice pastor, I’ve always believed that a patient’s room is way too small for a woman, her doctor and the United States government. I’ll always fight to protect a woman’s right to choose. And that will never change.”

Some Democrats referred to as for fast legislative cures, despite the fact that their get together’s management of Congress could also be too slim for them to succeed. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, mentioned it was time to codify the protections of Roe vs Wade into legislation, whereas Mondaire Jones, a Democratic consultant from the northern suburbs of New York City, mentioned the Supreme Court ought to usher in new members.

The Supreme Court’s draft ruling pertains to the constitutionality of a Mississippi legislation that bans abortions after 15 weeks. “It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote within the draft opinion.

The Politico report mentioned Alito was joined by at the least 4 different conservative justices in siding with Mississippi — Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

Lower courts had initially blocked the 15-week ban, deeming it unconstitutional. But final yr, the Supreme Court agreed to listen to Mississippi’s case, creating enormous anticipation across the ruling, which might have sweeping political and social implications months earlier than the 2022 midterm elections.

The Republican-led state argued residents must be allowed to determine on a problem on which the structure “does not take sides”. But authorized representatives for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the one remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, which is searching for to cease the ban, mentioned the statute was unconstitutional and that curbing abortion rights would “propel women backwards”.

If the Roe precedent is thrown out, almost half of US states could be poised to outlaw abortion because of statutes that embrace so-called set off legal guidelines, which routinely come into pressure if the choice is overturned, in accordance with the Center for Reproductive Rights.

“If the Supreme Court does indeed issue a majority opinion along the lines of the leaked draft authored by Justice Alito, the shift in the tectonic plates of abortion rights will be as significant as any opinion the court has ever issued,” mentioned Anthony Romero, government director on the American Civil Liberties Union, in an announcement.

Lynn Fitch, Mississippi’s attorney-general, mentioned in an announcement: “We will let the Supreme Court speak for itself and wait for the court’s official opinion.”

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