Updated May 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers weigh in on Supreme Court Roe v. Wade leak

The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.,
Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have weighed in on Monday's stunning report that the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a draft opinion obtained by Politico.

The big picture: While the Supreme Court declined to comment on the extremely rare breach, Congress members flooded Twitter. Some called for an urgent investigation into the apparent leak. Others said Congress should immediately codify Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed the right to an abortion.

Meanwhile, the Democratic governors of New York and California vowed to protect abortion rights and South Dakota's Republican governor said she would immediately call for a special session of the state legislature to introduce abortion regulations if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v Wade.

What they're saying:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), the top congressional Democrats, said in a joint statement that "if the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years — not just on women but on all Americans."

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) responded to nonpartisan outlet Politico's report by saying in the first of a series of tweets: "The left continues its assault on the Supreme Court with an unprecedented breach of confidentiality, clearly meant to intimidate. The Justices mustn’t give in to this attempt to corrupt the process."

  • In another tweet, he said: "The Court should not abide this coordinated assault by the Left. Issue the decision now."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted: "Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) tweeted that "if Roe falls, your constitutional right to birth control will also be in jeopardy."

  • "This has never just been about abortion. It's about controlling & criminalizing our bodies," she added.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) tweeted that the Supreme Court and the Justice Department "must get to the bottom of this leak immediately using every investigative tool necessary."

  • "In the meantime, Roe was egregiously wrong from the beginning," he added.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted that a "woman's right to choose is not up for debate."

  • "A woman’s right to make her own health care decisions is not up for debate," Schiff added. We can't go back. We must not go back. We won't go back. This must not stand."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) tweeted, "The next time you hear the far left preaching about how they are fighting to preserve our Republic’s institutions & norms remember how they leaked a Supreme Court opinion in an attempt to intimidate the justices on abortion."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted, "As we've warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion — they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights. Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas."

  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) had yet to comment on the leak at the time of writing.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said in a tweet that if Politico's report "is true and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has a right to life in South Dakota."

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) tweeted that abortion "will always be safe & accessible" in N.Y.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced in a statement that the state was proposing a "Constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to choose in California."

The Democratic National Committee said in an emailed statement: "Make no mistake: reproductive rights will be on the ballot and this midterm election is more important now than ever before.

"Voters will make their voices heard, we will fight back with everything we have, and Republicans will have to answer for their party’s relentless attacks on Americans’ rights." 

Go deeper: What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more comment from lawmakers.

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