A leaked initial draft majority opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Politico reported on Monday.
Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the draft independently.
The Supreme Court and the White House declined to comment.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the draft opinion which is dated Feb. 10, according to Politico.
Four of the other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices, the report added.
“It is possible there have been some changes since then (Feb. 10),” Politico reporter Josh Gerstein, who broke the story, said on MSNBC late on Monday.
After an initial vote among the justices following the oral argument, one is assigned the majority opinion and writes a draft. It is then circulated among the justices. At times, in between the initial vote and the ruling being released, the vote alignment can change. A ruling is only final when it is published by the court.
In a post on Twitter, Neal Katyal, a lawyer who regularly argues before the court, said if the report was accurate it would be “the first major leak from the Supreme Court ever.”
In a statement, Governor Kathy Hochul — New York’s first female governor — said she was “horrified by the apparent draft Supreme Court opinion,” and said that New York refuses “to go backwards” in defense of women’s reproductive rights.
“We have been fighting this battle for too long. I refuse to go backwards. I refuse to let my new granddaughter have to fight for the rights generations have fought for and won, rights that she should be guaranteed,” Hochul said. “For anyone who needs access to care, our state will welcome you with open arms. New York will always be a place where abortion rights are protected and where abortion is safe and accessible. Just as the Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp tall in our harbor, New York will never stop fighting for what’s right — unafraid and undeterred.”
With reporting by Robert Pozarycki