Tuesday, May 3, 2022
WASHINGTON—Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation Tuesday into the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling recognizing abortion rights for women, as the breach sent tremors through the court, Congress, the White House and state capitals.
The draft, while genuine, is far from final, Chief Justice Roberts said. As written, though, it would again allow states to outlaw abortion, a rare instance that the high court would rescind a constitutional right that it granted. The leak mobilized forces on both sides of the issue to protest in front of the court on Tuesday, while abortion-rights advocates called for such rights to be codified into federal law and opponents decried the breach of the court’s usually secret deliberations.
In a statement Tuesday, the Supreme Court said the 67-page draft decision by Justice Samuel Alito, published Monday by Politico, “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” The draft opinion bears a stamp indicating it was circulated within the court on Feb. 10. The justices are expected to issue a final ruling on the case in question, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, by the end of June.