SCOTUS Alert: Abortion Cases Still Undecided Amid Roe Leak

By Roberta Elliot | Wednesday, 25 May 2022 23:45
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The Supreme Court issued opinions on Monday, and once again, the court did not include a ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the extremely anticipated abortion case that could overrule Roe v. Wade.

A leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito aimed to do precisely that, declaring that “Roe and Casey must be overruled,” referring to the original 1973 case that established a constitutional right to get an abortion, and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which maintained that right.

Monday was the second time the Supreme Court issued opinions since Politico published the leaked draft opinion. The leak sparked demonstrations by pro-choice activists, both in front of the Supreme Court building and outside the private houses of Republican-appointed justices.

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An announcement issued by Chief Justice John Roberts the day after the draft was made public called the leak a “betrayal of the confidences of the Court” and announced, “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”

The court seems to be holding to that announcement. Typically, opinions in the most high-profile cases come out in the final weeks of the court’s term in June or July. By not ruling on Dobbs in the weeks instantly following the leaked draft, the justices reveal that they are not in a hurry to break that tradition, even with the protests.

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Roberts said that he had urged the Marshal of the Court to investigate the leak and find its sources. The announcement was included in a press release from the court that made clear that the court’s members “circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work” and that “it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”

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PA Department of Homeland Security memo dated May 13 reported by Axios detailed continuous investigations into threats to “burn down or storm” the Supreme Court building. It showed that the protests outside Conservative justices’ houses "are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling.”

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that state prisoners might not present new evidence in federal court in support of an allegation that their post-conviction counsel in state court was ineffective in violation of the Constitution, according to CNN.

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The ruling is a significant defeat for two inmates on death row who announced they had compelling allegations that their state lawyers failed to pursue.

It will make it harder for inmates across the nation to prevail on allegations that they received ineffective counsel at the state court level in post-conviction proceedings.

The 6-3 opinion was penned by Justice Clarence Thomas.

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