12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Draft abortion opinion sends major shockwaves

AP/Anna Johnson
Supreme Court protests

To view past editions of The Hill’s 12:30 Report, click here: https://bit.ly/30ARS1U 

To receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: https://bit.ly/3qmIoS9

–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


The leak that just poured gasoline on the country:

Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward obtained a draft opinion from the Supreme Court, showing the conservative majority is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which protects federal rights to abortion.  

If you haven’t read the Politico report, I highly suggest you do so: https://politi.co/39nAoKM 

Let’s break down the leak, the draft opinion and the ramifications if the draft becomes an official ruling.

First, just how rare is this type of leak?: Extremely rare. “No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending.” https://politi.co/39nAoKM 

Has the draft been authenticated?: Politico authenticated the document and describes the document’s writing, citations, appearance and timing as being “consistent with court practice.” Read the 12th paragraph of the report for the full explanation: https://politi.co/39nAoKM 

Watch Josh Gerstein speak to its authenticity: On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today. Watch: https://bit.ly/3KCai3x

BREAKING — Whoever leaked this must be extremely nervous right now:

Via The Hill’s John Kruzel, “Chief Justice John Roberts [just] directed the marshal of the Supreme Court to launch an investigation into the source of a leaked draft opinion showing that a majority of justices were poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.” https://bit.ly/3y92GDa   

From Roberts’s statement: “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed … this was a singular and egregious breach of … trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.”  

The Supreme Court also confirmed the authenticity of the draft: “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”  

Read the Supreme Court statement on the leak: https://bit.ly/3Fq6L7P

It’s Tuesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up.

Notice our new look? We are giving The Hill’s 12:30 Report a little facelift. Like it? Have a suggestion for us? We are always looking for feedback. Email cmartel@thehill.com to tell us your thoughts! 

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: https://bit.ly/3qmIoS9 


What this opinion would do: It would revoke federal abortion rights and would give states the power to decide for themselves.

Who wrote the draft opinion?: Conservative Justice Samuel Alito 

Which justices agree with Alito?Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, Politico writes, citing an unnamed source. 

^ What about Chief Justice John Roberts?: CNN reports that Roberts wouldn’t sign onto this opinion. “Roberts is willing, however, to uphold the Mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy…” Read the CNN report: https://cnn.it/3LB1VGS   

How recent is this draft?: The document includes a note that it was circulated on Feb. 10.  

Read the actual draft opinion: https://bit.ly/3MJEdZh 

How final is this opinion?: Politico notes that “deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid.” There are often multiple drafts and votes can change through the process.


Which states could ban abortion?: “26 states have laws indicating that they intend to ban abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.” The CNN graphic showing the states: https://cnn.it/3LJmhho   

California Democrats are already looking to writing abortion rights into the state constitution: Voters would have to approve the measure. https://bit.ly/3LGFXSW 

This would likely activate Democrats ahead of the midterms: https://bit.ly/3vF9JSD 

Ramifications of the leak itself: SCOTUSblog tweeted, “It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.” https://bit.ly/3s5LsD2 


President Biden declared the right to an abortion ‘fundamental’: “[I]f the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose.” Read Biden’s full statement this morning: https://bit.ly/3kz7HwG 

Republicans condemn the leak of the draft: For example, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said “this breach shows that radical Democrats are working even harder to intimidate & undermine the Court.” Several Senate Republicans, including Mitt Romney (R-Utah), agree: https://bit.ly/3MOpiNi

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called the draft ‘completely inconsistent’ with what Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch said during their confirmation processes: https://bit.ly/37UGxOp

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D Calif.) issued a joint statement: They called the ruling, “an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.” https://bit.ly/3ya11gA 

One perspective that’s gaining traction on Twitter: @TocarraElise tweeted, “Forced birth in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate, no paid maternity leave, no universal, subsidized childcare, no continued birth parent care, and frequently inaccessible mental health care.” This tweet has more than 323,000 likes so far: https://bit.ly/3F9dUJn 

Fencing went up around the Supreme Court soon after the report: Photo from The Washington Examiner’s Cami Mondeaux: https://bit.ly/3MQsfNB 

^ And protesters came soon after: Here’s a video of protests around 11 p.m. EDT last night. Video from BuzzFeed’s Paul McLeod: https://bit.ly/3kFGmcc


Whoopsie daisy:

Via Roll Call’s Chris Marquette, “A Capitol Police officer accidentally discharged their firearm Tuesday morning in the Cannon House Office Building, three sources familiar with the matter said.” https://bit.ly/3KG37HR



Cases to date: 81,227,576 

Death toll: 991,178 

Current hospitalizations: 7,475 

Shots administered: 576 million 

Fully vaccinated: 66.2 percent of Americans

CDC data here. 


What it’s like outside the Supreme Court this morning

Politico’s Olivia Beavers tweeted video: “Right now, the loudest protests outside of the Supreme Court are those chanting ‘hell no we don’t need Roe’ — they have drums and bullhorns.  They mixed in with those with signs like ‘My body, my choice’ and ‘Catholics support abortion access.’ ” Watch: https://bit.ly/3vZKWaO 


The gist: The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in Alabama and Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C. 

10:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Alabama. 

11:45 a.m. EDT: A Senate cloture vote and a confirmation vote. If cloture is invoked, the Senate will then vote at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/38L46JA

2:10 p.m. EDT: President Biden visits a Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Ala. 

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris speaks at the 30th Annual We Are Emily National Conference and Gala.  

7:35 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House. 


Noon: White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3vBLcNZ 

3 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on the security assistance for Ukraine. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3kBFK7v 


Today is National Raspberry Popover Day

It’s basically a celebrity costume party:

Via Page Six, here are some of the most interesting looks last night at the Met Gala: https://pge.sx/3Fb9YI6 

TidbitKim Kardashian says she lost 16 lbs. in three weeks to fit into Marilyn Monroe‘s 60-year-old “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress. The full story from People: https://bit.ly/3yb0Y4n 

Photos of Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s dress: https://bit.ly/3yb0Y4n

And because it’s been a pretty intense morning, I’ll leave you with something lighter: a service dog meeting his icon — Pluto — for the first time: https://bit.ly/3kDZoQt 

Tags 12:30 Report abortion Draft report John Roberts SCOTUS Supreme Court

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video