On Tuesday, NBC’s TodayAfter Monday’s news of the leaked opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, indicating that the court was ready to repeal Roe v. Wade, panic ensued. The network morning show decried the “bombshell” news and lined up reactions from a series of Democrats and pro-abortion activists to preemptively condemn the potential ruling.
“Breaking news. The Supreme Court is poised to reject Roe vs. Wade. That according to an unprecedented leak of the Justice’s draft opinion overnight,”Hoda Kotb, co-host of the program, declared at the end. She warned viewers, ” “A decision, while not yet final, would alter the nationwide battle over abortion.”
Kelley Robinson, Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s executive director, was heard wailing in the background: “This leaked draft means that our deepest fears are coming true.”
Savannah Guthrie was co-host and worried about the show’s beginning. “This is shocking, unprecedented, to be holding a Supreme Court draft opinion, leaked….a draft opinion that suggests the Court is ready to overturn Roe vs. Wade.”Her melodramatical additions were: “That is a decision that would end 50 years of abortion rights in America.”
Kotb noted that “the news began to ripple across the country overnight” and mentioned: “Some applauding it, others denouncing it, with protesters on both sides quickly gathering outside the Supreme Court.” However, the coverage that followed was far more slanted in favor of those denouncing the news.
Guthrie worried: “If the Roe v. Wade decision is, in fact, overturned, abortion appears likely to become illegal in roughly half of all U.S. states.”
Pete Williams, justice correspondent, spoke about how “the blockbuster story” in Politico “shows the Court overturning Roe v. Wade in a blistering ruling.”
Kristen Welker (White House correspondent) promoted congressional Democrats, mourning about the possibility of a future decision in her second report.
Democrats, Senate Majority Lead Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others made a joint statement. They accused some conservative justices in the bench of lying at confirmation hearings regarding their desire to repeal Roe. Adding, “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.”
Then she teed up an Alexis McGill Johnson clip from Planned Parenthood President: “We’ve never lost a constitutional right. And it is absolutely outrageous.”
Welker at least briefly cited a statement from “the group Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights,” that read, “We wholeheartedly applaud the decision.”
However, moments later, she was back to quoting leftists: “If the high court does overturn Roe vs. Wade, over 20 states are poised to immediately ban abortion according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, making it almost certain the fight over Roe v. Wade will be a major issue in the upcoming midterm elections.”
This is a clip of Amy Klobuchar, Democratic Minnesota Senator melting down “It makes the election for the House and the Senate more important than any we’ve seen in our lifetime when it comes to the protection of women’s rights.”
Welker concluded “…this will be a new flashpoint in the midterm electionsDemocrats fear big losses, while Republicans are preparing for them. The question is, will they find a way to re-energize key voters with this issue and will Republicans find a way to use the issue to build on their momentum?”
Guthrie and Williams were brought back by the ex-Stephen Breyer Clerk, Obama Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.
It’s just devastating to read….five judges, following oral argument in Mississippi’s case in December The most…full-throated resistance they could must be accepted, which was to totally overrule Roe.Support the Mississippi law that bans rape and incest. That law can be applied in all fifty states ….The draft opinion seems to have been written by Robert Bork in 1988, who was the unsuccessful nominee. This opinion is just as extreme as what the conservative legal movement has been advocating for for many decades.
Earlier on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Katyal confessed: “Honestly, I wanna cry. You know, I wanna cry in so many different ways.”
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Below is an excerpt from the May 3, coverage.
7:00 AM ET
HODA KOTB – Breaking news. The Supreme Court is poised to reject Roe vs. Wade. That according to an unprecedented leak of the Justice’s draft opinion overnight. While not yet definitive, such a decision could alter the ongoing national battle against abortion.
KELLEY ROBINSON [EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND]Leaked Draft: Our deepest fears may be coming true.
A stunning breach raises many questions.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY [R-MO]: This is clearly meant to corrupt Court proceedings.
KOTB: Today’s complete coverage of the aftermath, reaction and immediate needs for an investigation.
7:02 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTRIE: It is unprecedented for a Supreme Court to have a draft opinion leaked. It is the Mississippi abortion case. Oral arguments were heard in December. But this draft opinion indicates that the Court might overturn Roe Vs. Wade. It would bring an end to 50 years worth of American abortion rights.
KOTB: The news spread overnight across the country. It was applauded by some, deplored by others, and protesters quickly gathered outside the Supreme Court.
GUTHRIE We should also note that an official Court ruling is unlikely to be issued until the end of June or early July. It is possible that things will change over the coming months.
7.04 am ET
PETE WILLIAMS: The blockbuster story broke overnight on the Politico website, reporting that a draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion shows the Court overturning Roe v. Wade in a blistering ruling. Politico says the draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito and says, quote, “The inescapable conclusion is that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions.” And it quotes him as writing, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s representatives.”
7:07 AM ET
KRISTEN WALKER: Overnight thousands gathered on the steps of U.S. Supreme Court. After the report’s dramatic ending, protesters broke out in a blaze of color. Democrats, Senate Majority Lead Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and House Speaker made a joint statement claiming that some conservative justices were lying at confirmation hearings regarding their desire to repeal Roe. Adding, “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.”
Some Republicans are focusing their attention on the explosive leak.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (I think it is a clear attempt by the Left to alter the outcome of this case and corrupt its process.
WELKER – Planned Parenthood president speaking up overnight
ALEXIS MCGILL JOHNSON [PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD]: We’ve never lost a constitutional right. This is outrageous.
WELKER: While the group Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights, said, “We wholeheartedly applaud the decision.” If the high court does overturn Roe vs. Wade, over 20 states are poised to immediately ban abortion according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, making it almost certain the fight over Roe v. Wade will be a major issue in the upcoming midterm elections.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR [D-MN]: It makes the election for the House and the Senate more important than any we’ve seen in our lifetime when it comes to the protection of women’s rights.
WELKER – What is the actual opinion of people about this issue? A NBC News survey in August revealed that 54% of Americans believe abortion should be legal. This will likely be an important issue in the next midterm election, and Democrats should prepare for large losses. Is there a way for them to reenergize their key voters by using this issue? Or will Republicans use it to continue building on their momentum.
7.09 am ET
NEAL KATYAL [FORMER CLERK FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER]: It’s just devastating to read. It’s only a draft opinion. It’s possible the Court could change its mind. But what this draft opinion says is that five justices, after they heard oral argument in the Mississippi case in December, adopted the most full throated opinion – full-throated opposition they could, which is to fully overrule Roe vs. Wade and uphold the Mississippi law, which has no rape or incest exception. This can be now the law for all 50 US states.
7.11 am ET
KATYAL: I mean, there is a world in which we don’t know how Chief Justice Roberts is going to vote in this case. However, Chief Justice Roberts seems a bit irrelevant in this case. There’s Justice Alito plus four justices to the right of the Chief Justice who’ve signed on to this tentative opinion. So even if Chief Justice Roberts’s vote is in play, unfortunately his vote doesn’t matter. He’s lost the Court. It looks as if this draft opinion was written in 1988 by Robert Bork. This opinion is just as extreme as what the conservative legal movement has been advocating for for many decades.