What is the US Supreme Court abortion law leak, and why does it matter?

What is the US Supreme Court abortion law leak, and why does it matter?
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets at the U.S. Supreme Court building the week that the court is expected to hear arguments in a Mississippi case that challenges Roe v. Wade in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

On Monday, Politico released a leaked US Supreme Court draft that suggested the court was planning on overturning nearly five decades of precedent in abortion protection, essentially giving individual states the ability to make abortion legislation as strict as they like.

The opinion itself isn’t a huge shock, but it’s the fact that it’s happening this quickly since many people thought the change by the conservative court might happen more slowly. Even more shocking, though, is the fact that there was a leak at all. The Supreme Court notoriously holds its cards close to the vest, and the fact that someone leaked this is what many have called an “unforgivable sin.”

Key comments:

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Chief Justice Samuel Alito writes in the draft. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”

“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” said the court in a press statement confirming the legitimacy of the leak.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”