Supreme Court Draft Leaks, Revealing the Possibility of the Overturn of Roe v. Wade

On Monday, May 2, a Supreme Court draft was leaked that revealed the overrule of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was in talks.

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Cayla Peacher

A graphic of the topic of abortion being discussed in the Supreme Court.

Amidst Met Gala outfit judging and catching up on the Depp v. Heard case, the Internet became an even more talkative place as it was leaked Monday night that the Supreme Court drafted an opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision declared abortion a constitutional right and after forty-nine years, the decision could possibly come to an end after this summer. In 1992, the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case upheld that abortion is a constitutional right. In the leaked draft, five conservative judges voted to overturn the cases, with Justice John Roberts being the only one to be undecided as of now.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito said in the draft, according to POLITICO. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Following the leak, people began sharing their opinions on the issue, teary-eyed with passion on all sides. Some argued for the overturn, keeping their stance that abortion is murder and that it is right to have the decision given back to the states.

Roe is not a super-precedent because calls for its overruling have never ceased,” Justice Amy Coney Barrett said, according to NPR. “But that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled. It just means that it doesn’t fall in the small handful of cases like Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. Board that no one questions anymore.”

Others, like Senator Bernie Sanders, shared their outrage in terms of the issue of the overrule.

Pro-choice protesters gathered around the Supreme Court building on May 3. (Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press)

“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Sanders tweeted following the leak. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.” 

Just minutes after the draft was leaked by POLITICO, barricades went up around the Supreme Court Building in preparation for protests that were to follow. Sure enough, protesters were out and about in Washington the next morning, with Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking to protesters and signifying her unity with them.

“I am angry,” Warren said. “Angry and upset and determined. The United States Congress can keep Roe v. Wade the law of the land. They just need to do it.”

Warren also bashed her Republican colleagues, condemning them for their party’s actions. 

“Republicans have been working toward this day for decades,” Warren said. “They have been out here plotting carefully cultivating these Supreme Court justices so they could have a majority on the bench who would accomplish something that the majority of Americans do not want.”

The cultivating of justices that Warren is referring to follows Donald Trump’s former presidency, where he was presented the opportunity to appoint three justices: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Barrett. Most notably, Barrett takes the spot of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a very adamant pro-choice figure. Warren also notes that the majority of Americans do not want to see the decision being overturned. 

Anti-abortion activist standing outside a Women’s Healthcare Center on May 3, 2022. Full story can be read at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Arvin Temkar, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“With the Supreme Court poised to overturn the right to abortion, the survey finds that 54 percent of Americans think the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision should be upheld while 28 percent believe it should be overturned,” a survey conducted last week by Washington Post-ABC said.

Because the draft is not the final opinion, justices have the ability to change their minds before the final vote comes out. In an effort to lay on the pressure, protesters in Washington chanted and held signs. As people in Washington gathered, so did others in cities like Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia and New York City.

Other people have shown their support for the leaked draft, standing outside abortion clinics holding signs as well. Others have posted their support for the overturn online instead of going out and protesting.

“What the Supreme Court did [on May 2] was very clear,” commentator Glenn Beck said on his radio show, Blaze Media. “It did not ban abortion. It didn’t. What it did was return the power to the people. [The justices said that they] should not be making the decision on something so personal that is not in the Constitution. That is up to the people themselves to decide. It was empowering for the average person.” 

If Roe v. Wade is overturned in the near future, the states where abortion will more than likely be banned include Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, according to the map shown below.

A map of which states are likely or unlikely to ban abortion if the overturn of Roe v. Wade occurs. (New York Post)

People who are eighteen years old or above are eligible to vote in Kansas on August 2, 2022 about whether or not the state’s constitution should be amended. The amendment would state that nothing within Kansas’s constitution requires government funding for abortions nor certifies the right to an abortion. Register to vote here.