The leak of a draft of a Supreme Court decision concerning Roe vs. Wade has sparked premature controversy and protests about the upcoming decision.
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Abortion-rights supporters are convening in nationwide protests, and an investigation into the very concerning leak within the highest court of the nation is underway at the courthouse.
A leak such as this has never happened before, so this investigation and result will presumably set new precedents concerning court decision making processes.
The court confirmed the authenticity of the document but called it preliminary, the Daily Mail reported. The court is due to issue its ruling in the case by the end of June. Police have surrounded the court with tall black fencing due to the so-far peaceful protests.
Republicans are saying that the leak was intentional in order to sway the SCOTUS opinion away from overturning Roe vs. Wade. The draft, which was obtained by Politico, repudiated both Roe v Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs Casey Decision.
Right now, the opinion is a draft, but when the draft is made final, the decision removes the federal right to abortion in America, leaving it up to elected officials in each state to legislate the question. It has been long thought b many Republicans that this issue should go back to the states.
The U.S. Supreme Court was uniquely created by the writers of the Constitution to continually interpret the Constitution. It is not meant to be an entity that finds cases for the majority, but rather that finds cases in regard to the U.S. Constitution, making sure that any federal laws align with the Constitution.
As uscourts.gov explains, ‘First, as the highest court in the land, it is the court of last resort for those looking for justice. Second, due to its power of judicial reveiew, it lays an essential role in insuring that each branch of government recognizes the limits of its own power. Third, it protets civil rights and liberties by striking down laws that violate the Constitution. Finally, it sets appropriate limits on democratic government by insuring that popular majorities cannot pass laws that harm and/or take undue advantage of unpopular minorities. In essence, it serves to ensure that the changing views of a majority do not undermine the fundamental values common to all Americans,i.e. freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and due process of law.”
Justice Clarence Thomas spoke on Friday at a judicial conference in Atlanta concerning the leaked draft, and the fact that there are protests.
Thomas, a native of Georgia, spoke at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, a gathering of lawyers and judges from the Atlanta-based federal appeals court and the federal district courts of Georgia, Florida and Alabama, the Daily Mail reported.
As a society, ‘we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,’ Thomas said, and added ‘We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want. The events from earlier this week are a symptom of that.’
Other Justices have also remarked on the leaked draft situation.
On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts told conference attendees that the leak was ‘absolutely appalling’ but promised it would not affect the work of the court.
Justice Samuel Alito on Friday canceled his appearance at another court conference, instead sending a video message in which he told attendees it would have been ‘impractical’ to attend, according to people who attended the conference, the Daily Mail reported.
‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,’ Alito writes in the draft opinion, which was crafted in February and circulated among the court members. ‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,’ he continues in the document, titled ‘Opinion of the Court.’
‘It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,’ Daily Mail reported.
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court said: ‘The Court has no comment.’
Politico reports that, aside from Alito, four other judges voted in favor of overturning the law: Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom were nominated by Republican presidents.
Other members of the SCOTUS are Stephen Breyer, Elana Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayer. Justice Breyer is planning to retire, and President Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown to fill the vacancy. Brown expected to be sworn in this coming summer at the beginning of the next session.
before its term is up this summer in late June or early July.
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A part of the draft in question:
It seems that we need a return of Civics class in public education in the U.S. as some to not understand the function of the SCOTUS. Currently, in addition to peaceful protests, activists who are against the overturning of the controversial laws have attacked the justices personally, publishing their home addresses online, and are planning protests at the private homes of the justices next week. According to 18 U.S.C. 1507, this seems to be ‘obstruction of justice’ and would not be covered by the First Amendment.
As Justice Thomas stated Friday, “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want.”