According to the draft of an upcoming court decision, the “Supreme Court” wants to end the right to abortion that has been enshrined in federal law for 49 years. The law is known after the landmark case “Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. Now that right is about to fall! (BILD reported).
As explosive as the expected declaration is, the “leak” itself is equally spectacular: a hint of “Watergate” blows through the capital Washington due to the revelation. Never before in the history of the ‘Supreme Court’ have draft legal opinions been leaked to the media, let alone those regarding the most publicized and politically explosive decision in decades.
In fact, the judge’s verdict — in which at least five of the nine legal panel members sided with anti-abortion — shouldn’t have been released until June in its final version. A veritable media bomb exploded on Monday evening.
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/mit-massiven-barrikaden-versuchte-die-polizei-demonstranten-gruppen-voneinander-zu-trennen-934efe0d2c0b46148258e09c5b9414f4-79968090/Bild/6.bild.jpg”/> With massive barricades, the police tried to separate the groups of protesters from each otherPhoto: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP
With massive barricades, the police tried to separate the groups of protesters from each otherPhoto: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP
︎ The “Politico” portal has published a 98-page draft written by conservative judge Samuel Alito (72). In a nutshell, it was the legal backward step of half a century: “It is time to respect the constitution and to leave the question of abortion to the elected representatives of the people”, writes Alito.
︎ Amid the “Breaking News”, women’s groups in particular reacted with horror, followed by angry reactions. According to the newspaper, the states can decide again in the future – and in 13 of the 50 US states abortions would immediately become illegal, in ten others future bans or strict restrictions are expected.
Veteran Politico reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward have gone to great lengths to corroborate the paper’s authenticity. After all, as they wrote: “Never in the modern history of the Court has a draft decision been made public while a case was pending – this unprecedented disclosure will intensify the debate in what is already the most litigious case of the current period”.
Hunt for potential informants
Of course, that sounded like the understatement of the year…
As protesters with signs marched towards the Supreme Court Pillar building across from the Capitol, the hunt for the possible whistleblower began – and there were the first attempts at damage control by the judges themselves.
︎ “Chief Justice” John Roberts (67) confirmed after nearly 12 hours of shock that the leaked document was authentic. But he also wanted to make it clear that the final decision on the future of abortion rights in America has yet to be made. However, legal experts doubt it.
︎ Roberts also spoke of “treason” and announced a full investigation into how the newspaper fell into the hands of reporters. “This was a unique and egregious breach of trust, including the court and the people who work here,” said America’s most powerful judge.
︎ The “marshal” of the Supreme Court was put in charge of the investigation: many court employees (“clerks”) have access to such drafts, which the members of the Supreme Court exchange between themselves until the version final. The scandal would in no way affect the court’s work by “deeply loyal staff”, Roberts said.
Damage to the image of the American “Supreme Court”
But the damage to the image of America’s most important legal institution cannot yet be calculated.
The “leak” could have been some sort of desperate act, it is speculated, so that the verdict could be prevented – or at least mitigated – by public outcry. A decision only becomes final once the Court has officially published it.
The “Supreme Court” should indeed rule on the admissibility of an anti-abortion law in Mississippi. But according to the draft, by ending the previous “Roe v. Wade” to crush abortion rights. With the verdict, if it remains final, abortion will now be illegal in half of the United States.
The legal drama also triggered a political earthquake: US President Joe Biden (79) condemned the threatening move as a “radical decision”: he is deeply concerned that “after 50 years it is decided that a woman should not no longer has the right to choose”.
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/us-praesident-joe-biden-79-6f598c59725c4e8ab4faecf5a1c923ef-79968036/Bild/6.bild.jpg”/> US President Joe Biden (79)Photo: Evan Vucci/dpa
US President Joe Biden (79)Photo: Evan Vucci/dpa