Here’s what we know…
The revelations made in the leaked Supreme Court draft decision have set off the nation, igniting protests, causing political leaders to start scrambling and raising questions about the substance and form of the leaked draft ruling.
Since the draft ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito, was published by POLITICO, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed its authenticity. The ruling shows that Alito has been joined by four of his conservative colleagues to create a majority on the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
This unprecedented leaking has created quite a storm, but there are only a few main takeaways from the ruling.
The Ruling is Still Subject to Change
In the court’s modern history, no draft ruling has been made public, this means that spectators haven’t seen Supreme Court justices change their opinions, trade votes, and win over colleagues. As it stands, the Roe v. Wade decision has a 5-3-1 divide, with Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas joining Alito. But Roberts remains undecided on which way to go, and liberal justices could still persuade their colleagues to change their votes after releasing their dissenting opinions.
Democrats are Calling for Legislation to Codify Abortion Rights
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would be up to states to create their own abortion laws, which could cause some states to ban or restrict abortions. Now that this has become a possibility because of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, Democratic leaders want to ensure abortions have federal protection.
In a statement on Tuesday, President Biden said, “[If] the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a women’s right to choose.” He added that it would be up to voters “to elect pro-choice officials this November.”
The GOP Wants Leaker Punished
On Tuesday (May 3), Republican leaders responded to the leak by calling for action to be taken against the leaker.
During a floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) said, “This lawless action should be investigated and punished to the fullest extent possible, the fullest extent possible,” adding that “If a crime was committed, the Department of Justice must pursue it completely.”
Progressives Want to Pack the Court and Abolish the Filibuster
Progressive lawmakers called for a more drastic response to the leak.
Democratic Representative Cori Bush of Missouri called on Democratic leaders to “Abolish the filibuster. Codify Roe. Expand the Supreme Court. Protect abortion rights by any means necessary,” adding in her tweet that “We need all the above. This is an emergency.”
Democratic lawmaker Andy Levin of Michigan echoed Bush’s calls in a statement released on Tuesday.
“The Senate must abolish the filibuster and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe immediately and we must reform and expand the Supreme Court,” Levin stated.