While a leaked majority draft overturning Roe v. Wade has set the nation on fire, and not just figuratively in some places, the big question has been whether it’s going to be representative of the final vote. After all, a draft is just that, and it’s possible that a Justice who decided to overturn Roe months ago may change their mind.
But a new report from The Washington Post provides a major update on that front, once again indicating that the votes to overturn Roe are settled. Further, it provides a window into the abject cowardice of Chief Justice John Roberts.
NEW —- Chief Justice Roberts appears to lose the reins. He sought to write moderate opinion upholding 15 week abortion ban, source says, but ultra conservative wing told him they had votes to overturn Roe.
@scotusreporter, me +@amarimow https://t.co/i28DEUBoIY
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) May 8, 2022
The leaked draft of Alito’s opinion is dated February 10 and is almost surely obsolete now, as justices have had time to offer critiques, dissents and revisions. But as of last week, the five-member majority to strike Roe remains intact, according to three conservatives close to the court who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
That’s the first big part of this story. While the draft was dated from all the way back in February, as of just days ago, according to these sources, five Justices were still ready to overturn Roe. And at this late juncture, it’s unlikely any of them would be swayed, especially as the court’s integrity has come under attack from leftwing radicals. To fold now would be to completely demolish the credibility of the Supreme Court as an institution.
Yet, John Roberts, being the absolute coward that he is, is apparently still lobbying for some kind of “compromise” that would hand violent extremists exactly what they want, while completely spitting on the Constitution of the United States.
There is also reason to believe Roberts has not given up. Many who know him well and have watched his maneuvering of the court through other issues are certain he is still preparing his own opinion in hopes he might draw at least one of the court’s newest conservatives to his side. Such an outcome might save 1973′s Roe and the subsequent affirming 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, while severely limiting their protections…
…Roberts’s incremental approach was evident when the court held oral arguments in December in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It concerns Mississippi’s law, which has never gone into effect, banning almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Roberts seemed to get no takers for a compromise that would erase the bright-line rule that Roe and Casey share: that states may not forbid abortions before viability, the point at which a fetus would survive outside the womb, usually 22 to 24 weeks.
Most observers of the court believe Roberts is still promoting a decision that would remove the viability line but otherwise keep Roe and Casey intact. Both liberals and conservatives are skeptical it can be done.
Of note is that if you remove the viability standard of Roe and Casey, then they cease to have any enforcement mechanism. That’s all well and good if you are pro-life, but at that point, how can it be justified under the law to not overturn the two decisions completely? The answer is that it can’t be justified, and Roberts is just a spineless figure looking to appease the left while admitting he does not have the ability to preserve Roe the way he really wants to. It would simply pour gasoline on the fire of the abortion debate–instead of coming to some principled conclusion.
But while the legal aspects are bad enough, the decision to keep hunting for a “compromise,” while holding back the majority decision that is clearly already decided, is outright dangerous. It is encouraging the left to get more and more violent in an attempt to influence the court. We’ve seen the results of that over the last week. This needs to stop now. The decision needs to be released, and Roberts needs to get over his obsession with “protecting” the court when his action or lack thereof only helps to delegitimize it.
I’m of the opinion that Clarence Thomas wouldn’t be speaking out about the majority not being bullied if this wasn’t a done deal. The government wouldn’t be putting up no-climb fencing around the Supreme Court if this weren’t a done deal. They all know what’s coming, and enough is enough. Release the decision, and stop letting the pressure build.