US: Declaring that the right to abortion is “not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions”, the US Supreme Court appeared set to overturn the historic Roe v Wade verdict of 1973 that legalised abortion nationwide, according to a leaked draft of the majority opinion reported by the news site Politico.
The draft majority opinion, in response to an ongoing case on a restrictive Mississippi law that banned abortion after 15 weeks, was written by Justice Samuel Alito. It is reportedly backed by four other conservative judges, all nominated by Republicans, while three judges nominated by Democratic administration – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan -are expected to dissent from the opinion.
The stand that Chief Justice John Roberts – a Republican nominee who in the past has adopted a more centrist position than his conservative colleagues – will take was not clear.
Even as the SC confirmed the authenticity of the document, the draft prompted a strong response by President Joe Biden, who warned against overturning Roe v Wade and said women’s right to choose is “fundamental”.
US Chief Justice John Roberts termed the leak a “singular and egregious breach of trust”, claimed that the “betrayal of confidences” would not affect the integrity of the court’s operations, and announced a probe into the source of the leak.
– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES