Leaders are reacting to reports that abortion law could take a monumental turn in the states.
Nearly half a century after the landmark Roe v. Wade, who protected constitutional abortion rights, the U.S. Supreme Court, with a 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed justices, appears poised to overturn that 1973 ruling.
According to Politico reporting Monday night, Judge Samuel Alito wrote a majority opinion that says “Roe was horribly wrong all along.” The draft notice had been circulated inside the court and leaked to Politico.
“It is time to respect the Constitution and return the question of abortion to the elected officials of the people”, wrote the justice, seeming to want to make the federal right to abortion a question of rights of the States.
The High Court’s draft opinion, which would strike down Roe, prompted Utah politicians to start reacting to the news.
“The Supreme Court is not like other branches of government; it is not a political body,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee tweeted, before going on to call the Supreme Court leak “dangerous, despicable and damaging.”
“I hope and pray,” the Republican senator added, “that what appears to be Judge Alito’s well-written and well-reasoned draft in fact reflects the majority opinion of the Court.”
On Fox News Monday night, Lee, who worked for Alito before the judge was appointed to the Supreme Court, called the news of the leak “bittersweet.” Sweet, Lee told Fox News, because the “babies” would be protected by law, and bitter “because the way it was leaked.”
“I am saddened that his (Alito’s) work was published without permission prior to its release, specifically for the purpose of threatening, intimidating and harassing judges inclined to follow what appears to be the majority opinion .”
Last summer, Lee joined Republican Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas in sending a “friend of the court” brief to the Supreme Court, urging the body to reconsider national abortion rights. .
Ally Isom, one of two Republicans trying to unseat Lee in a primary, said the leaked opinion shows the landscape appears to be changing.
“Although this is a complicated question for women, and there are exceptions,” Isom wrote on Twitter“I choose to err on the side of life and states.”
Utah Senator Mitt Romney said he supports the Supreme Court’s decision whether the leaked project actually reflects the opinion.
“The sanctity of human life is a fundamental American principle,” Romney, also a Republican, wrote on Twitter. He added that the leak “should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible should be punished”.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson said in a joint statement that while they “are encouraged and optimistic that abortion law may be left to duly elected state officials, the draft rulings are not real rulings and the leaked drafts are a dangerous violation of the court protocol and deliberations.
In 2020, the Utah Legislature passed SB174, a trigger law that would ban elective abortions in Utah if Roe is overturned.
“We look forward to the actual court decision in this case,” Henderson and Cox tweeted.
Utah Senate President Stuart Adams wrote on social media that “life is worth protecting”.
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court is finally addressing this long overdue issue and respecting the right of states to regulate abortion,” added Adams, R-Layton. “Although the report is preliminary, I hope that with the official decision, lives will be protected.”
Derek Kitchen, one of six Utah Senate Democrats, called the idea of taking down Roe “a terrible setback for all Americans.”
“No universal health care. No affordable daycare,” the Salt Lake City Democrat tweeted. “Now no reproductive freedom. Our fundamental freedoms are under attack.
This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day.