draft opinion published Monday by Politico that would overturn the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and 1992 Planned Parenthood v.
Casey decisions. The Court confirmed the authenticity of the draft in a statement Tuesday. The opinion’s disapproval of a broad understanding of a constitutional right to privacy implicates a host of others — from sexual relations to marriage to procreation, legal scholars said.“This opinion, if it becomes official constitutional law, would be a tipping point in a direction quickly sliding us backwards, really almost to the early part of the 20th century in terms of what the Constitution protects and how it limits state action that trammels what we now take for granted as fundamental rights,” said Columbia Law professor Katherine Franke, who directs the school’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
In his draft, Alito said attempts “to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much.” Alito noted the outcome “does not undermine” other privacy decisions “in any way” because those other rights don’t implicate “the critical moral question posed by abortion.”The majority’s legal reasoning could still shift before an opinion is ultimately announced, and the draft published by Politico included no dissenting opinions, which are likely still in the works.But several justices said during oral arguments in December that such an argument could undermine a host of other rights.
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