The Republican Attorney General of Virginia, Jason Miyares, has led the charge in urging the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade case.
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Previously under a Democratic-controlled administration, Virginia joined a group of 21 other states in urging the Supreme Court to invalidate Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and reaffirm the role that the 1973 Roe decision played in the outcome.
According to Miyares, the Supreme Court should give the states the power to draft stricter laws when it comes to abortion.
“The [new] Attorney General has reconsidered Virginia’s position in this case,” Miyares said in a letter to the justices. “Virginia is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several states to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion.”
It was announced yesterday by Governor Miyares that Virginia will be forming a coalition with 19 Republican attorneys general and a dozen red-state Republican governors to campaign for state control of abortion laws.
According to a draft of the majority opinion written in February and leaked earlier in the month, the majority of Supreme Court justices remain in favor of overturning Roe v Wade.
At least five justices, a majority if you count the Chief Justice, have not changed their votes, according to what sources told The Washington Post.
“Three conservatives close to the court” told WaPo that “the majority of five justices to strike Roe remains intact.” As a result of a leak of a draft of the US legislation on abortion, this question has provoked debate that has erupted on both sides of the issue surrounding the future of abortion law in the US.
“The leaked draft opinion is dated in February and is almost surely obsolete now, as justices have had time to offer dissents and revisions. But as of last week, the majority of five justices to strike Roe remains intact, according to three conservatives close to the court who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter,” the WaPo report stated.
“A person close to the most conservative members of the court said Roberts told his fellow jurists in a private conference in early December that he planned to uphold the state law and write an opinion that left Roe and Casey in place for now. But the other conservatives were more interested in an opinion that overturned the precedents, the person said. A spokeswoman for the court declined to comment, and messages extended to justices were unreturned,” the report added.
It is presumed that Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett are all in favor of overturning Roe v Wade.
It is expected that the three liberal justices on the Court – Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan – would vote against overturning the decision.
It’s not clear, however, where Justice Roberts stands on the controversial issue.
There has been a firestorm on social media over the draft of the majority opinion written U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that was leaked to Politico.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts called the leak of a draft opinion “absolutely appalling” and announced an investigation to find the leaker.
“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” Politico reported.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.”
Alito adds: “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
“We, therefore, hold the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court.”
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Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri stated last month that Roe v Wade is the greatest injustice in the history of mankind, and that the Supreme Court has the opportunity to correct this injustice.
Hawley explained, “It would mean the reaching of a landmark goal that I mean, frankly, I have to say just personally, that Roe is one of the reasons that the major reason that I went into politics, and I think that’s true for many, many other people. That’s one of the major reasons I was interested in the law. And this is the greatest injustice of our lifetime.”
Hawley said, “I just have to say that someone who believes that that row is one of the worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court, I think it would be a monumental moral landmark and reverse a great injustice.”