A new report alleges that United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts made a last ditch effort to protect abortion access following the decision to reverse Roe v Wade.
According to CNN, Roberts had been lobbying his fellow conservative justices to protect the constitutional right to abortion access while also reversing Roe, something they could have done by limiting their written opinion.
Despite his best efforts and even some potential success initially, the prospect of protecting the procedure became all but impossible after a draft of the Court’s decision on the case was leaked to the public.
CNN also notes that the person Roberts was closest to flipping on the issue was former President Trump’s appointee Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who had suggested he would protect the abortions protection in the past while interviewing for his current role. Despite that the liberal network claimed, “It appears unlikely that Roberts’ best prospect – Justice Brett Kavanaugh – was ever close to switching his earlier vote, despite Roberts’ attempts that continued through the final weeks of the session.
Sources told CNN that his conversations with Kavanaugh had raised hopes amongst the liberal judges that they could reach a decision to reverse Roe while protecting abortion access, at least on some level. When Politico leaked the draft, however, Conservatives around the nation put pressure on the conservative leaning justices to release the final draft quickly, quashing the negotiations.
In the past Roberts has managed to swing conservative and liberal votes towards pro-establishment outcomes, like when he convinced the court to protect Obama’s flagship Affordable Care Act.
Ultimately Roberts voted on the side of his fellow conservatives when deciding on the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. He still ended up siding with the liberal justices on using that ruling to reverse the 50 years of precedent behind Roe, with the final decision being made 5-to-4.
Democrats across the nation urged President Joe Biden to stack the Supreme Court or work to codify abortion protections into law before the decision was made, two ideas he rejected at the time. Do you think he was counting on Justice Roberts to protect the procedure or was he just unable to round up the necessary votes?