Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested in December 2021 that the court would not “survive the stench” if it upheld a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks.
Sotomayor weighed in on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case involving a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, addressing whether bans on abortion before fetal viability are constitutional.
“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” the justice asked an attorney who backed the Mississippi law in late 2021, suggesting that the Supreme Court would be seen as highly politicized. “I don’t see how it is possible.”
On Monday evening, Politico revealed a draft opinion showing that the justices will likely rule to overturn Roe v. Wade. The news has sparked nationwide protests and frenzy as pro-abortion rights supporters grapple with the potential that Roe v. Wade could soon be overturned.
Experts and political commentators on the right have suggested that the draft opinion was leaked, most likely by a progressive Supreme Court clerk, in efforts to intimidate the court and change its decision.
It has not yet been determined who the leaker is.
“The leak appears to be totally political in nature, not only intended to damage the Court and pressure the justices, but more immediately to incite Democrats to push their laundry list of terrible anti-life ideas, including blowing up the filibuster and attempting to codify abortion violence at the federal level prior to the November elections,” Katie Glenn, Government Affairs Counsel at Americans United for Life (AUL), told The Daily Wire late Monday evening.
The draft majority opinion, which is not final, says Roe v. Wade was egregiously wrong. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote, according to POLITICO. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
“Obviously no one can actually force the Chief Justice’s hand,” Severino told The Daily Wire, “but he may want to release the opinion early to avoid exposing the Court to further pressure and intimidation tactics that risk undermining the Court as an institution as a result of the draft opinion hanging out there for what could be months.”
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board also discussed Tuesday how fast the court should move to release its decision.
“There’s an argument for getting it out fast to make it a fait accompli,” the WSJ Editorial Board said. “Politico said the Alito draft was circulated in February, so the Justices have had ample time to absorb it and respond. We hate to say this, but some abortion fanatic could decide to commit an act of violence to stop a 5-4 ruling. It’s an awful thought, but we live in fanatical times.”