Progressive advocacy groups renewed calls to pack the Supreme Court this week after a leaked draft opinion was released Monday night, suggesting the high court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion case. Roe v. Wade.
The Alliance for Justice argued that the way to protect abortion rights is to expand the high court by adding Democratic-appointed judges.
“We must expand the Court to control this increasingly anarchic and hyper-partisan conservative majority. We must fill all judicial vacancies by the end of this year. Progressives must turn our attention to the state courts, which will now be a critical front line in the fight to protect abortion rights,” said Rakim HD Brooks, AFJ President.
“There are paths to restore our rights, but we must recognize that they cannot be achieved through business as usual. Conservatives spent decades laying the groundwork for this outcome, and our response must be commensurate with this moment,” he added.
Demand Justice, another liberal advocacy group, led Twitter demanding Democrats expand the court.
Progressives have been calling to fill the bench for years after former President Donald Trump appointed three justices, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority on the court.
SEE ALSO: White House Says Leaked Supreme Court Abortion Opinion ‘Surprises’ It
But conservative legal scholars say the controversial leak was the left’s way of trying to bully the judiciary into changing their votes.
“It’s a new low in efforts to intimidate judges and attacks on the court,” said Carrie Severino, a former clerk for Judge Clarence Thomas.
Court watchers were horrified late Monday when it emerged that a draft opinion indicated the high court would overturn the 1973 Roe decision, which gave women the national right to abortion until fetal viability.
It’s the first time a full draft opinion has been leaked in the Supreme Court’s 233-year history, according to former court staffers.
In the 98-page draft opinion obtained by Politico, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. said abortion should return to state legislatures.
“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion,” he wrote. “Roe was terribly wrong from the start.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people,” says the ruling, dated February.
An official ruling in the case is expected by the end of June.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion Tuesday, but said it is not a final ruling.
The court is weighing a Mississippi abortion ban at 15 weeks in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Mississippi officials argue that Roe should be struck down because it is out of date. The state maintains that the viability standard established in Roe is unclear, and Mississippi has an interest in banning abortions after 15 weeks to protect the health of women and unborn children.
The legal battle was launched by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s only abortion clinic and a doctor who performs abortions. According to court documents, the clinic offers abortions up to 16 weeks gestation.
They defied the state’s Gestational Age Law, enacted in 2018. The law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks unless there is a medical emergency or serious abnormality within the fetus.
Abortion providers told the court in their filing that the state’s interest in the health of women and children does not begin until viability occurs “months” after the 15-week marker set in the law.