The U.S. Supreme Court has officially released its decision in the highly-anticipated case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi law that banned all abortions after 15 weeks.
The nation’s highest court has voted 6-3 in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that overturned all state laws concerning abortion at the time and legalized it throughout the United States, claiming there was some hidden constitutional right to killing unborn babies added to America’s founding governing document.
“There is nothing in the Constitution about abortion, and the Constitution does not implicitly protect the right,” the ruling states. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
As such, abortions will remain legal in states that deem it so; other states, however, are liable to ban the procedure altogether or severely restrict it.
The decision was foreshadowed last month. In early May, a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito in February was leaked to Politico and it set off a firestorm, not to mention that the leak was unprecedented and set off a chaotic investigation to discover who did it.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he wrote in the document. “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.”
The document was labeled the “Opinion of the Court.”
Soon after Alito’s draft majority opinion leaked, it’s assumed there were at least five votes in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, leaving state legislators to weigh their own abortion policies.
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz at one point offered his opinion of who he believed the “leaker” could be.
“I had several reporters ask today ‘what if it was a justice that did this?’ I got to tell you, I just don’t believe that,” Cruz said, ruling out Obama appointee Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “It is such a grotesque violation of trust, to me, it is beyond imagination that a justice would do this.”
He continued: “To use the nuclear code example, it’s like the president handing the nuclear codes to Putin, it’s just … I cannot believe that even the most left-wing justice would do this.
“I think it is very, very likely a law clerk. And it is very, very likely a law clerk for one of the three liberal justices, that means there are twelve human beings who are your likely suspect pool, that’s not a big likely suspect pool.
“It is likely to be someone who is a hard partisan, and who was willing to burn the place down because he or she was so upset about what happens. If I were to guess, the most likely justice for whom the law clerk is clerking is Sonia Sotomayor.”
Prior to the official ruling being announced, Supreme Court officials launched a probe into identifying the source of the leaked draft opinion, which included asking law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits.
CNN‘s Joan Biskupic provided an update on the Supreme Court’s investigation to identify the leaker.
“First of all, remember, this is the most important case of this term, the most important case in many years: the potential to roll back a half-century of abortion rights, and privacy rights. Midway through the negotiations over this case, a draft document was leaked, as we all know, it was leaked from last February,” he said.
“So not only did the public see where the court was headed, to roll back Roe v. Wade, but also it so seriously disrupted negotiations among the justices in terms of where they were actually going to head by the end of June.”
In the end, however, the justices who agreed with Alito did not change their views.