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The Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortionImage: Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo/picture alliance
PoliticsUnited States of America

US chief justice orders probe into leak of abortion draft

May 3, 2022

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft opinion was authentic and ordered an investigation into the leak after what he called an "egregious breach of trust.''


US Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday ordered an investigation after a draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the Roe v. Wade case was leaked.

Roberts vowed to find the source of the leak, which he called an "egregious breach of trust."

Decision not finalized

In a press release, the court confirmed that the leaked document is authentic while cautioning that the draft opinion, dated from February, does not serve as the "final position of any member on the issues in the case."

The draft indicates the Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion across the United States. 

On Monday, media outlet Politico published the leaked draft opinion. Protesters later gathered outside the court demonstrate against the decision.

Biden fears over reduction in rights

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday told reporters the draft opinion threatens to undermine a "whole range of rights" if it comes to fruition.

Biden said he hoped the draft wouldn't be finalized by justices, arguing it reflects a "fundamental shift in American jurisprudence" that jeopardizes "other basic rights" like privacy and marriage.

"If this decision holds, it's really quite a radical decision," he concluded.

Leaked draft: US Supreme Court to roll back abortion rights

Conservative justices 'lied,' says Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said it would be an "abomination" if the Roe v. Wade law was overturned, promising the Senate will vote on legislation to uphold women's access to abortions next week.

Schumer said the conservative justices "lied" during confirmation hearings when they assured senators the 1973 law was secure.

He said with the draft opinion circulating, "the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years, not just on women, but on all Americans."

"This is a dark and disturbing morning in America,'' Schumer said as he opened the Senate on Tuesday.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who voted for Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh but against Justice Amy Coney Barrett, said in a statement that if the draft opinion turned out to be accurate, it would contradict what justices said in their hearings as they sought approval for high federal office.

Supreme Court leak is "absolutely mind-boggling": DW's Stefan Simons

jsi/nm (AP, Reuters)

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