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In a stunning revelation published Monday night in Politico, a first draft majority opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito revealed that the United States Supreme Court was set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

According to reports from Politico; “The draft opinion is an unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision that guaranteed federal constitutional protections for the right to abortion and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – who largely upheld the law. “Roe was blatantly wrong from the start,” Alito writes.

This unprecedented disclosure marks the first time in the Court’s modern history that an opinion has been leaked while a case is still pending. If made, the ruling would pave the way for a majority of states to criminalize abortion — a devastating reality for millions of American women and transgender and non-binary people who rely on safe and legal abortion care.

Slate Senior Legal Writer Marc Joseph Stern noted that Alito’s draft opinion explicitly criticizes Lawrence v. Texas (legalizing sodomy) and Obergefell v. Hodges (legalizing gay marriage). He says that, like abortion, these rulings protect fictitious rights that are not “deeply rooted in history.”

A lawyer contacted by the Washington Blade who asked to speak on the merits said the biggest issue for the LGBTQ community and Americans in general is if the court were to proceed with the project in its current form, which, although it may seem unlikely, sends a clear signal. that the high court cannot be trusted to protect and preserve the rights of minority citizens.

In the draft, Alito writes; “We feel that Roe and Casey should be canceled. It is time to respect the constitution and return the question of abortion to the elected representatives of the people. With the current political climate tilted against LGBTQ Americans, as evidenced by the passage of a litany of anti-trans laws, ‘don’t say gay’ measures and book bans, “it underscores the immediate need to ring the alarm,” the attorney said. continued.

Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang in response to Politico’s reporting and the draft advisory:

“Abortion is health. Abortion is essential. Abortion is a fundamental human right.

“There is nothing the Supreme Court can do to change that. There is nothing five or six judges can do to stop people from needing and seeking abortion care. What they can do – and what Roe’s overthrow will do – is cost people’s lives and livelihoods. Women. Transgender and non-binary people. Our mothers, our sisters, our friends, our neighbors and our colleagues.

“Shame on us if we let this stand. We need to organize, mobilize and vote as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.

Reaction to the leaked document from politicians and others came quickly as news of the Politico report spread.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, released a statement saying;

“I am horrified by the apparent draft Supreme Court opinion released tonight that would overturn the right to abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. For the sake of women across the country, this should not be the Supreme Court’s final opinion on abortion rights.

“We have been fighting this battle for too long. I refuse to go back. I refuse that my new granddaughter has to fight for the rights that generations have fought and won, rights that should be guaranteed to her.

“For anyone in need of access to care, our state will welcome you with open arms. New York will always be a place where the right to abortion is protected and where abortion is safe and accessible. Just as the Statue of Liberty raises her lamp high in our harbor, New York will never stop standing up for what is right – without fear or discouragement.

Politico pointed out that deliberations on controversial cases have been fluid in the past. Judges can and sometimes do change their votes as draft notices circulate and important decisions can go through multiple drafts and vote swaps, sometimes up to just days before unveiling. of a decision. The court’s decision will not be final until it is released, likely within the next two months.

The court is expected to rule on the case before its term ends in late June or early July.

The Blade spoke with Shannon Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) who said;

“The fact that someone leaked this opinion – breaching the court’s most sacrosanct rule of secrecy – speaks volumes about how extreme and dangerous much of the court’s case law is. We do not know if this will be the final decision, but it is shocking to read this assault on an established fundamental right. A court that would give an opinion like this – if it does – is a court that has abandoned any pretense of protecting individual liberty.

It would be more difficult for the court to declare that there is no fundamental right to marriage or sexual privacy, because such a decision would apply to both homosexuals and heterosexuals, but it would be unwise to predicting how extreme this court could get. LGBTQ people should recognize that we are once again in the crosshairs and that all of our hard-earned protections are in serious jeopardy.

We have become too used to relying on the courts to protect us, and we need to realize that the days when we could do so safely are over. Our hope lies in joining forces with others who are fighting to protect democracy and the rule of law and to prevent our country from descending into the same authoritarianism that is growing around the world.

In Sacramento on Monday evening, California Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement:

“This draft advisory is an appalling attack on women’s rights across the country and if upheld will destroy lives and put countless women at risk. It will be the end of the basic constitutional rights that American women have enjoyed for nearly 50 years.

“This is not an isolated incident, and this is not the end. We have a Supreme Court that does not value women’s rights, and a political minority that will stop at nothing to take away those rights. “Will not stop at choice and the right to privacy. They undermine progress and erase the civil protections and rights that so many have fought for over the past half-century.”

“I am furious that my own daughters and sons can grow up in an America less free than the one in which they were born. We have to wake up. We have to fight like hell. We will not be silenced.

noted California State Senator Scott Wiener; “California unequivocally defends the right to abortion, no matter what the right-wing zealots in the Supreme Court say. We will fight hard to expand access to abortion, here and in other states.

US Senator Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wisc.), who is openly lesbian, tweeted her disgust at the leaked draft.

deer got it completely wrong from the start. His reasoning was exceptionally weak and the decision had damaging consequences. And far from achieving a national settlement of the abortion issue, deer and Casey inflamed the debate and deepened the division.

Judge Samuel Alito in a first draft majority opinion

Politico received a copy of the draft notice from a person familiar with court proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document. The draft opinion is 98 pages, including a 31-page appendix on historic state abortion laws. The document is filled with citations from previous court decisions, books and other authorities, and includes 118 footnotes. The appearances and timing of this project are consistent with court practice.

Link to full Politico article and draft document here: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/02/supreme-court-abortion-draft-opinion-00029473