The Leak is a Shock. What the Draft Decision Says is Not.

Published May 3, 2022

Washington Post

The least surprising thing about the shocking leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade is what’s actually in the opinion.

There is a deep consensus within the broad conservative legal world that Roe was wrongly decided a half-century ago. The absence of a clear textual right to an abortion, combined with the ruling’s wholly invented trimester system that guided when abortions could be banned, struck conservatives as a quintessential example of a court run amok. Over the years, this view was has been expressed by many liberals, too, including Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe and Stanford Law School dean John Hart Ely. No one should be surprised, then, that five distinguished conservative legal minds would concur that Roe is bad law.

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Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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