• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Biden on leaked Supreme Court abortion opinion: ‘A radical decision’

·Senior Writer
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

President Biden said Tuesday that if a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade holds, it would represent a “radical” and “fundamental” shift in the rule of law.

“It concerns me a great deal that we're going to, after 50 years, decide a woman does not have the right to choose,” Biden told reporters at Joint Andrews Base in Maryland. "But equally as profound is the rationale used."

On Monday night, Politico published the draft of a majority opinion written by Alito in which he states that the court’s decision in the “Roe” case was “egregiously wrong” and “must be overruled.”

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito writes, referencing the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case that reaffirmed Roe. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Alito argued that rights protected by the Constitution but not explicitly mentioned in its text must be strongly rooted in U.S. history and tradition — and that abortion is not one of them.

President Biden speaks to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)
President Biden speaks to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden said that such a rationale would put other rights — including gay marriage — in jeopardy.

“Every other decision related to the notion of privacy is thrown into question,” the president said. "Who you marry, whether or not you decide to conceive a child or not, whether or not you can have a abortion, a range of other decisions."

“If this decision holds, it's really quite a radical decision,” Biden added. “I think it goes way overboard.”

Several progressive lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have called for the codification of Roe v. Wade in order to protect abortion rights at the federal level.

Biden told reporters that the “codification of Roe makes a lot of sense.”

Earlier Tuesday, Biden released a lengthy statement saying that his administration is committed to defending Roe.

“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court,” Biden said in his statement. “With that critical caveat, I want to be clear on three points about the cases before the Supreme Court."

A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court on Monday night after publication of a draft opinion suggesting that the nation's high court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Anna Johnson)
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court on Monday night after publication of a draft opinion suggesting that the nation's high court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Anna Johnson)

“First, my administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade,” Biden continued. “We said that Roe is based on ‘a long line of precedent recognizing ‘the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty’… against government interference with intensely personal decisions.’ I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.

“Second, shortly after the enactment of Texas law SB 8 and other laws restricting women’s reproductive rights, I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued.

“Third, if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”

“First, my administration argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade,” Biden continued. “We said that Roe is based on ‘a long line of precedent recognizing ‘the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty’… against government interference with intensely personal decisions.’ I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.

“Second, shortly after the enactment of Texas law SB 8 and other laws restricting women’s reproductive rights, I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued.

“Third, if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting