Legal expert weighs in on leaked Roe v. Wade draft opinion

A Seattle attorney says he believes a Politico report is legitimate. The report contains a leaked draft majority opinion on Roe v. Wade.

“If this is forgery, if this is not authentic, it’s the most amazing fake I have ever read,” says Needle. “It’s really very, very hard to believe that anyone would go to the trouble to fake something like this.”

Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity the leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court may be be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Roberts also ordered an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”


Needle says the draft is significant because it means that a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade has already been taken by the Supreme Court justices.

The draft cites Justice Samuel Alito as its author. The opinion reads, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Needle states that the document shows it is only the first opinion draft, and that likely more drafts will follow.

“There may be sentences which are taken out. There may be words which are changed to satisfy some of the justices,” says Needle. “But the fundamental holding is not going to change.”

He says justices have changed their votes in the past, while drafts are being written. However, it is rare and unlikely.

Following Monday’s leaked documents, Governor Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter, “NOT HERE, NOT IN OUR LIFETIME. Washington is and will remain pro-choice.”

Needle agrees. “In Washington, it will have no effect whatsoever. … The whole point of the decision is it’s up to the people in each individual state. Some people in some states don’t want it, and they could prohibit it if they want. Other people in other states will allow abortion.”