WASHINGTON, D.C., May 3, 2022 – Last night, Politico published a leaked draft decision showing that a five-justice conservative majority of the Supreme Court plans to completely reverse the constitutional right to an abortion established in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The final decision has not been reached, and Roe remains the law of the land, but the leaked draft provides the clearest indication yet that the Trump Court is poised to fully roll back people’s constitutional right to an abortion. The opinion also creates a clear path for the activist conservative majority on the Supreme Court to strip away other important federal rights like interracial marriage, LGBTQ equality, access to contraception and many more. Final issuance of such a decision, in direct contradiction of the precedents those conservative justices promised under oath to uphold, will immediately make abortion illegal in more than half the country.
Abortion remains legal today, but Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the authenticity of this draft while caveating that it’s not yet the final opinion. The five conservative justices purported to support this drastic outcome are all known to oppose abortion rights. That opposition is one of the primary reasons that former Presidents Donald Trump, George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush appointed each of them. Two of those presidents were elected despite losing the popular vote.
Overturning Roe is deeply unpopular with the American people. Our response must meet the crisis of the moment. It cannot be business as usual. The Senate must abolish the filibuster, Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and Congress must expand the Supreme Court to check this increasingly lawless and illegitimate Supreme Court majority. President Biden and Senate Democrats must commit to filling all of the more than 100 lower court vacancies by the end of this year. It is highly important that each of President Biden’s nominees are committed to protecting people’s constitutional right to an abortion, including lawyers with expertise in this area of the law.
Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:
“Today is a dark day for our nation. We must all now face the reality that this Supreme Court is preparing to strip away the constitutional right to an abortion for millions of people of reproductive age. Abortion is still legal today, but it may not be for long, which is no surprise given the Court’s willingness to allow Texas’ bounty hunter-enforced abortion ban to go into effect last year. If abortion is outlawed, people will die from this attack on our rights. The stakes could not be higher.
“We can and will respond to this moment. Congress must codify Roe at the federal level through passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. We must expand the Court to put a check on this increasingly lawless and hyper-partisan conservative majority. We must fill every judicial vacancy by the end of this year. Progressives must focus our attention on state courts, which will now be a critical frontline in the fight to protect abortion rights. There are paths to restoring our rights, but we must recognize that they cannot be accomplished through business as usual. Conservatives spent decades laying the groundwork for this outcome, and our response must be commensurate to meet this moment.
“Hope is not lost. We must fight to protect access to abortion and each of the other rights this decision clearly threatens, including marriage equality, sexual autonomy, and access to birth control. The time to act is now.”