Biden warns court of ‘radical’ plan to repeal abortion law

Joe Biden warned the US Supreme Court against a “radical” move to overturn the right to abortion across America.

The US president said an apparent bombing decision by the court could also have implications for other issues, including same-sex marriage.

He urged Democratic voters to flood polls in November’s midterm elections so the party could try to pass a bill in Congress protecting abortion rights.

Biden’s bid to put pressure on America’s highest court came after a leaked majority opinion draft suggested it was about to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling. Republicans accused the leaker and the Democrats of an attempted “harassment”
the court to change its mind before the decision was final.

Overthrowing Roe v Wade would be a seismic shift, leaving the issue of abortion to individual states, about half of which would ban it. The move would also affect the November elections and the 2024 presidential election.

Polls show that a clear majority of Americans oppose the reversal of the ruling.

Mr Biden said: “If this decision stands, it will be a really radical decision. I hope there aren’t enough votes for it [in the Supreme Court]†

“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental. Roe has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years, and the fundamental fairness and stability of our law require that it not be overturned.”

He added: “It would mean questioning any other decision regarding the concept of privacy. It goes much further than the question of whether or not there is a right of choice.

“It’s about other basic rights, all the decisions that have to do with your private life, who you marry, whether or not you decide to have a child. It is a fundamental shift in American jurisprudence.”

The draft opinion of a majority of the nine-member court has leaked to Politico. It was an unprecedented event in the court’s 235-year history and has been compared to the leak of the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War.

The draft was written by Judge Samuel Alito and dated February 10. “Roe was hugely wrong from the start. The inescapable conclusion is that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions,” he wrote.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the document was “authentic”, although it did not represent the court’s “final position”. He called the leak a “single and blatant breach of trust” and announced an investigation.

Republicans suggested the leak was an attempt to “intimidate” the court into changing its mind. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said: “Last night’s stunning breach was an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court.

“This was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to intimidate and intimidate federal judges and replace the rule of law with the mob.”

He said criminal charges should be brought against the perpetrator and that the judges should “eliminate the bad faith noise” and “follow the facts”.

Mike Lee, a Republican senator, said, “As a former Supreme Court clerk, I can tell you that there are very few people in the entire building who had access to the opinion.”

Suspicion fell on clerks working for the three Democrat-appointed judges who disagreed with the advice.

Brian Fallon, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 press secretary, said: “A brave clerk takes this unprecedented step by leaking a draft advisory to warn the country of what’s to come, in a last-ditch effort to see if public response will judge to reconsider?”

Guardrails were erected as protesters descended on the court. Anti-abortion activists shouted, “Roe v Wade must go,” while pro-choice activist groups chanted, “Do something Democrats.”

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator, was almost in tears outside of Congress. She said: “Republicans have been working towards this day for decades. They’ve accomplished something that the majority of Americans don’t want.”

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