Skip to content

Alito Abortion Draft Pushes Little-Known Justice Into Spotlight

  • Samuel Alito draft ruling signals end to Roe v. Wade precedent
  • Supreme Court shift to right brings it closer to Alito’s views
Justice Samuel Alito Jr.
Justice Samuel Alito Jr.Photographer: Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg

Justice Samuel Alito mostly avoided the limelight for 16 years, even while being arguably the most conservative member of the U.S. Supreme Court. But that low profile is changing after he authored a draft opinion that would overturn the landmark abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade.

The opinion, if finalized, promises to be one of the most momentous in U.S. history, toppling a 1973 decision that has since allowed tens of millions of women to legally end pregnancies. The leaked draft also raises questions about Supreme Court precedents that protect other rights, including same-sex marriage and contraception.