President Joe Biden expressed alarm on Tuesday about the report of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that strikes down the court’s landmark 1973 abortion ruling Roe vs. Wade.
Politico reported the draft late Monday, in which the court — along ideological lines — dismisses Roe vs. Wade as “egregiously wrong from the start.”
Legal experts have said that the draft opinion almost certainly is not the high court’s finally crafted opinion, as it was written in February and opinions routinely undergo changes before they are released.
The draft, however, has set off a wave of alarm nationwide among supporters of the 1973 ruling and abortion rights advocates.
“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the court. With that critical caveat, I want to be clear on three points about the cases before the Supreme Court,” Biden said in a statement.
“First, my administration argued strongly before the court in defense of Roe v. Wade. We said that Roe is based on ‘a long line of precedent recognizing the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty … against government interference with intensely personal decisions.’ I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.
If the Supreme Court does overturn Roe vs. Wade, it will be up to each state to determine the legal status of the procedure. Many have already made moves to ban abortion based on an expected dismissal from the high court. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
“Second, shortly after the enactment of [the] Texas [abortion law] and other laws restricting women’s reproductive rights, I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued.
“Third, if the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.
“At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, the move would leave it entirely up to each state to determine the procedure’s legality. Several states like Texas have already passed heavily restrictive laws against abortion, while others like California and New York have explicit protections.
The high court’s ruling will be based on a Mississippi case that was argued before the high court in December. The ruling was expected to come sometime in June before the court’s term ends.
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Pelosi and Schumer issue remarks on abortion
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued this statement following media reports of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling:
“If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years not just on women but on all Americans.
“The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.
“Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century.
“The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has now completely devolved into the party of Trump. Every Republican Senator who supported Senator McConnell and voted for Trump Justices pretending that this day would never come will now have to explain themselves to the American people.”
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) May 3, 2022
Last night’s stunning breach was an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court. By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/wvigWvPqm7
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) May 3, 2022
Former Clinton campaign official tweeted this:
Is a brave clerk taking this unpredecented step of leaking a draft opinion to warn the country what's coming in a last-ditch Hail Mary attempt to see if the public response might cause the Court to reconsider?
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) May 3, 2022
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