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Columbia professor goes over the draft process after a leaked draft opinion


After a draft opinion was leaked Monday, a Columbia College professor offers information about the drafting process and what this could mean for future draft opinions.

Many protests erupted nationwide after a leaked draft supreme court opinion. The draft puts away long-standing abortion rights and could make it illegal for women in many states. In response, shock and emotion filled the streets in D.C. all the way to Missouri with advocates pushing to have their voices heard.

Terry Smith, a professor at Columbia College says trust has been broken within the courts and it could take quite some time to regain because the process of coming up with an opinion has always been confidential.

Whoever leaked the draft may have created some questions about the draft opinion process.

"Probably a legal clerk one of the lawyers who work for the judges helps actually write the drafts leaked this to the Politico," said Smith.

Smith says the justice who is in charge of writing the majority opinion has a legal assistant write the draft opinion. Smith says the goal is to try and obtain five votes and then the courts pass a draft back and forth until there is a five-vote majority.

The court has now handled this draft much differently than before, and Smith feels it could change the culture within the supreme court when writing future drafts.

 "The whole culture in the Supreme Court has been assaulted by this leak," said Smith.

Senate Democrats in D.C are looking to hold a vote next week to write abortion rights into law.

Biden also announced Tuesday that the same arguments included in the draft could be used to strike down the rights of same-sex marriage as well as constitutional protections for birth control.

Kennedy Miller


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