U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts in a statement issued on May 3 acknowledged that the draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito overturning Row v. Wade that had been leaked to Politico is the real thing. Even before Robert issued his statement, the reporting by Politico that the justices had decided to end the right to reproductive choice brought strong reactions, including from New York and Connecticut officials.
The full text of Roberts’ statement said:
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.
“We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.
“I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York had earlier said on Twitter, “The Roberts Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years. The Republican-appointed Justices reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination.”
Schumer promised a vote in the Senate to codify in federal law the privacy right of a woman to make her own reproductive choices.
“This is not an abstract exercise. This is urgent,” Schumer said. “We will vote on protecting a women’s right to choose, and every American is going to see which side every senator stands on.”
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, whose district includes the southern part of Westchester County, said, “The Supreme Court is willing to violate everyone’s rights to further the extremist agenda of the far-right, without a care for the rights outlined in our Constitution. What we are seeing in the nation’s highest court is a clear signal that more inalienable rights will soon come under attack. As such this opinion is an assault on people everywhere.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was “horrified” by the draft Supreme Court decision.
“For the sake of women across the country, this should not be the Supreme Court’s final opinion when it comes to abortion rights. We have been fighting this battle for too long. I refuse to go backwards,” Hochul said. “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 pledged that New York state will always be a place where abortion rights are protected and where abortion is safe and accessible. Hochul did not mention the new warnings being floated that if the Republicans manage to take control of the House and Senate they would pass legislation to explicitly ban the right to choose throughout the U.S.
Rob Astorino, former Westchester County Executive who is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Hochul for governor in the November election, told the Business Journal, “Kathy Hochul and the Democratic Party will try desperately to change the conversation from crime, taxes, and corruption to abortion, abortion, and abortion, but they won’t succeed. The State Legislature codified abortion on demand and up to the moment of birth in 2019 and lit the Empire State Building to celebrate. Abortion isn’t going anywhere in this state and New Yorkers understand that, including unabashed pro-lifers like me. Crime, the cost of living and the highest tax rates in America will remain the key issues in this race whether Gov. Hochul likes it or not.”
New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers, said, “Unfortunately, we knew this day was coming, and that is why when we took the senate majority we immediately codified Roe v. Wade into state law allowing us to withstand any Supreme Court decision. We will remain a destination state for any and all seeking abortion care. Our fight is not over. Our partner in Congress must act and choice must be codified into federal law.”
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said in a statement, “As we approach the midterm elections, it is absolutely critical that Democrats turn out in record numbers to maintain our majorities. The American people do not support the government interfering with what people do with their own bodies.”
Connecticut’s U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said, “If this draft reflects the true opinion of the Court’s majority, it will be a devastating, unprecedented attack on reproductive freedom for millions of Americans, especially for those living in states with trigger laws designed to ban abortion as soon as Roe is overturned.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to signing into law a bill that was recently approved by both the Connecticut House and Senate and is being made ready to be sent to Lamont’s office. The bill protects medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion. Additionally, the bill expands abortion access in Connecticut by expanding the type of practitioners eligible to perform certain abortion-related care.
Lamont said, “As long as I am governor of this great state, we’ll never waiver on the right to choose, and the belief that medical decisions should be made between a patient and their doctor. As soon as this bill is transmitted to my office, I will sign it into law.”
Connecticut’s Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said, “This draft Supreme Court ruling demolishes almost a half-century of settled law ensuring women’s reproductive freedom and marks a sad day in our nation’s history.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said on Twitter, “Thanks to CT’s legislature for anticipating this potential horror SCOTUS overturning Roe & unleashing state laws like S.8 in TX. Our state will protect reproductive rights, & people who exercise them.”