The Supreme Court’s abortion bomb suggests a staggering change in American life



CNN

A draft Supreme Court ruling suggesting the Conservative majority may be banning the constitutional right to an abortion that strikes like a political lightning strike Monday night.

The draft opinion, obtained and approved by Politico, heralds what would be a massive victory for the Conservative movement for decades to come. It sparked immediate condemnation and called for action from leading liberal and medical groups and democratic leaders, as well as protests outside the Supreme Court building.

The bombshell concerns a draft majority opinion, written by Conservative Judge Samuel Alito, who criticized the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which enshrined the right to an abortion as wrongly decided. It was circulated in early February, according to Politico, but the final statement is not expected to be published until late June. Voices and language may change before statements are formally released.

CNN has not independently confirmed the authenticity of the document. A spokesman for the Supreme Court declined to comment to CNN.

But if the High Court follows up on such a decision in the coming weeks, it will create a massive shift in American life and law – and give a surprising sign of how fundamentally the Conservative majority, in solidarity with former President Donald Trump, will change. society in the coming decades. It would potentially cast doubt on all forms of precedent and previous court decisions that have been considered permanent law for years.

If the final decision is issued in accordance with Alito’s draft, millions of American women could be deprived of a fundamental right that many have known all their lives. But millions of people who believe that life begins at conception would celebrate such a judgment.

There will be weeks of debate on the legal rationale and implications of Alito’s draft opinion.

But in practice, such a decision is likely to send the issue back to the states. This could mean that abortion would soon be banned by state legislators in Republican-governed states, but remain legal in democratically governed states. Such a scenario would further drive a schism between two halves of the country, which has been exacerbated by increasingly polarized policies in recent years.

The emergence of the draft is also astonishing in itself. It represents a major and probably unprecedented breach of court confidentiality that will almost certainly exacerbate the politicization of the court, which has been drawn deeper into bias since it decided the 2000 election in favor of George W. Bush over then-vice president Al Gore and has only accelerated ever since.

The draft also opened up an unexpected new dimension to the midterm election campaign. The drama could set in motion the turnout in November for both parties.

So far, the Social Conservatives’ decision to stick with Trump is validating after he promised to appoint judges who would overturn the constitutional right to abortion despite reservations about his moral conduct.

And if the court makes such a statement, it would mean that the former president’s political legacy could potentially last for decades.

Such a ruling would revive democratic outrage over then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to confirm then-President Barack Obama’s election to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, in 2016. Four years later, the GOP leader ignored his own rule banning confirmations in an election year. as he hurried through Trump’s election, Amy Coney Barrett, days before the November election.

However, there is a possibility that a final decision to overthrow Roe v. Wade – rather than a slower process of banning abortion with a more step-by-step set of decisions over time – could stimulate democratic turnout, especially among women, in an election, where the party tensed for great losses.

A CNN poll by SSRS in January, for example, showed that 69% of Americans were opposed to overthrowing Roe, while 30% supported such a move.

CNN’s legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer Joan Biskupic reported late Monday that Chief Justice John Roberts did not want to overthrow Roe completely, meaning he would have distanced himself from part of Alito’s draft statement, likely with the three Liberals on the top bench.

It would still give the Conservatives a 5-4 majority on the issue.

However, Roberts is willing to uphold the Mississippi law, which will ban abortion by 15 weeks of pregnancy, CNN has learned. Under current law, the government cannot interfere in a woman’s choice to terminate a pregnancy until about 23 weeks when a fetus can live outside the womb.

Democrats were quick to respond to the Politico report, with many senators, or potential senators, turning to the filibuster.

To try to protect the right to abortion through legislation, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont called on Democratic leaders to remove the requirement for greater legislation to achieve a super-majority of 60 votes to pass. “Congress must pass legislation codifying Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Sanders wrote, calling for the end of the filibuster if necessary.

But the restrictions of the 50-50 majority in the Senate mean that the party is unlikely to be able to pass such legislation by a simple majority. That’s because moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposes abortion rights. And Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic senator from Arizona who has been a roadblock to other administrative priorities, is opposed to changing the filibuster rules.

The Politico report triggered an immediate political firestorm. “This is a fire with five alarms,” ​​said Washington Senator Patty Murray, who is part of the Democratic leadership.

“In a few days or weeks, the horrible reality is that we could live in a country without roe. If this is true, women will be forced to remain pregnant regardless of their personal circumstances. Extreme politicians will control patients’ most personal decisions. And extreme Republicans want to have eliminated a fundamental right a whole generation of women have known all their lives, ”she continued.

Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York, told CNN’s Don Lemon that the ruling, if issued in accordance with the draft, would be a “game changer for America.”

“It’s a game changer for women and women’s rights,” he said.

There was also quick reaction from the American Civil Liberties Union, whose CEO Anthony Romero warned that such a decision would “deprive half the nation of a fundamental, constitutional right that millions of women have enjoyed” for decades.

Any decision by the court to send the issue of abortion back to the states would put immediate pressure on governors and legislatures on both sides at a time.

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement Monday night calling the draft statement a “shocking attack on women’s rights throughout this country, and if left standing, it will ruin lives and endanger countless women.”

But South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024, promised to step in immediately if the Supreme Court’s decision ultimately follows the rationale of the draft.

“If this report is true and Roe v. Wade is overthrown, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has the right to life in South Dakota,” Noem tweeted.

And there was already a sense of triumph evident in conservative circles around the Politico report.

GOP Representative Lisa McClain of Michigan tweeted that she was asking that “the Supreme Court make it official and formally overturn this attack on the unborn.”

Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina praised Trump’s role in building the unassailable Conservative majority on the court.

“Because of Donald J. Trump, Roe v. Wade will be overthrown,” Cawthorn tweeted. Rep. Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene, a staunch Trump supporter, called the draft statement “the most significant and glorious news of our lives.”

Outside the court itself, meanwhile, the songs underscored the split in the issue.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Samuel Alito’s musta go,” advocates of abortion rights said.

“Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has to go,” replied others.

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