Judges to meet for the first time from the leaked draft of the egg ruling

Nine Supreme Court justices will meet in private on Thursday at their first planned meeting since a draft opinion was leaked that would undermine Roe against Wade and significantly reduce abortion rights in about half of the states.

The meeting in a panel of judges’ private panel hall could be a tense affair in an environment known for its decoration. No one but the judges will attend and the youngest of them, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, will be responsible for taking notes.

Thursday’s conference comes at a particularly difficult time, as the future of abortion rights is at stake and an investigation is underway to try to find the source of the leak.

Chief Justice John Roberts last week confirmed the veracity of Politico’s opinion by ordering the chief of police to launch an investigation.

Roberts emphasized that the draft, written by Judge Samuel Alito and distributed in February, may not be the final word of the court. The rulings of the Supreme Court are not final until they are formally issued and the results in some cases change between the first votes of the judges shortly after the reasoning and the official announcement of the decisions.

This is the case of a major 1992 abortion ruling that is now under threat, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, when Judge Anthony Kennedy initially indicated that he would be part of a majority to reverse Roe but was later one of five judges upholding a woman’s fundamental rights. to choose an abortion that the court first laid out in 1973.

Kennedy met with judges Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter privately to form a common opinion, without the public or even other judges hinting at what was happening.

“I think it’s a tradition and a decoration for everyone to write about things that are in circulation,” said Megan Wold, a former police officer at Alito. “But at the same time, there is nothing to prevent a judge from picking up the phone to make a call, visiting someone else in a room.”

A major change in the current abortion case seems unlikely, at least in part because of the leak, said abortion law experts and people on both sides of the issue.

“I think it’s very unlikely that broad outlines will change. To the extent that the leak matters, it will make far-reaching changes unlikely,” said Mary Ziegler, an abortion historian at Florida State University.

Sherif Gergis, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who was once a lawyer at Alito, agreed. “I will be surprised if it changes a lot,” said Gergis.

At least five votes in December

It is not clear who issued the opinion, or for what purpose. But Alito’s writing means there were at least five votes in December to overturn Roe and Casey, just after the court heard arguments in Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Judging by their arguments in the argument, Judge Clarence Thomas and three President-elect Donald Trump, Judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Barrett, seemed the most likely to join Alito.

Roberts seemed the most conservative among conservatives to avoid making a decision to overturn major abortion rulings, but his questions suggested he would at least vote in favor of Mississippi law. Even that finding would significantly undermine abortion rights and invite states to adopt increasingly stringent limits.

If Roberts, who often chooses incremental steps in an effort to preserve the court’s legitimacy, wanted to prevent the court from overturning Roe and Casey, he would only need to obtain the votes of one other colleague. That would be enough to deprive Alito of the majority.

Liberal judges Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are expected to reject any decision. But no dispute, Roberts’ special opinion, or even a revised draft majority opinion, has been circulated among the judges, Politico said.

The opinions of the majority often change in response to friendly suggestions and old-fashioned criticism. The judges consider the internal back and forth an important part of their work.

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the harsh criticism of her friend and ideological opponent, Judge Antonin Scalia, improved her views. Scalia died in 2016; Ginsburg, four years later.

The lack of other views came as a surprise to some former police officers, although Wold said it was also true that larger and more difficult cases usually take longer.

Spring is usually “excited”

Several former officials also said they expected the game to be discussed at a weekly meeting on Thursday, where judges will usually review their views on cases they have heard and select cases to discuss in the coming months. Spring is usually a tense time for the courts, where big decisions are imminent that often show extreme disagreement and sometimes give sharp words.

“I would be shocked if that did not happen,” Wold said, adding that based on what had happened, the court would likely take further precautions with future drafts, including restricting who has access to them.

Kent Greenfield, a law professor at Boston University who spent a year as a clerk at Souter, also wondered if the leak would be on the table on Thursday. “Roberts is in a tight spot. He has to deal with it, but it does not occur to me that he has many options,” said Greenfield.

Judges to meet for the first time from the leaked draft of the egg ruling

Source link Judges to meet for the first time from the leaked draft of the egg ruling

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