Roe vs. Wade will be overturned, purported leaked Supreme Court draft suggests

The Supreme Court is ready to overturn Roe vs. Wade and allow states to outlaw abortion, according to purported draft opinion that was leaked to Politico.

It is highly unusual for the high court to overturn a landmark decision and equally extraordinary, or perhaps more so, for a draft opinion to leak out in advance of its final release.

The Los Angeles Times could not authenticate the purported draft. Sometimes draft rulings can be revised in the final months as justices weigh in during the writing process.

According to Politico, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote a draft in February that says the abortion ruling was “egregiously wrong” and should be overturned completely.

Such an outcome would not be a surprise. Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas have made clear for years they thought Roe should be overturned. In recent years, they have been joined by three Trump appointees who agree with them: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

During the oral argument in December, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. focused on the Mississippi law and its 15-week limit on abortion, which is at the heart of the current discussion.

Roberts argued that the court should decide that issue and stop there. The tenor of his argument suggested the five conservatives on his right were leaning toward overturning Roe entirely.

Typically justices take a tentative vote on an issue in their private conference, and the majority then begins work on a draft opinion.

But the outcome is not set until all the justices have signed off, and it is not uncommon for the wording or votes in some cases to change in May or June.

In 2012, for example, it appeared there were five justices ready to strike down the Affordable Care Act, but the chief justice switched his vote and decided on a narrow way to uphold it.

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