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'Stunning on so many levels': CNN legal analyst breaks down draft opinion obtained by Politico
03:15 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Senate Democratic candidates on Monday immediately called for eliminating the filibuster and passing legislation to protect abortion rights after Politico published what it said was a draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade.

“Democrats need to act NOW—end the filibuster, codify Roe, and defend reproductive freedom,” tweeted Wisconsin Democrat Sarah Godlewski, the state’s treasurer. “This fight is too urgent.”

“Democrats have to act quickly — get rid of the filibuster to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act + finally codify Roe into law,” tweeted Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman, the state lieutenant governor. “We cannot afford to wait.”

“Control of the Senate has never been more important: it’s time to end the filibuster, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and fight like hell to make sure all Ohio families are free to make these critical decisions without interference from politicians in Columbus or Washington,” added Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan, a US congressman vying for a Senate seat.

The Democratic National Committee was succinct: “Make no mistake: reproductive rights will be on the ballot and this midterm election is more important now than ever before.”

The push from the Democratic candidates and others is likely to fail, unless some incumbent senators change their minds. In the 50-50 Senate, Democrats need every vote to eliminate the chamber’s filibuster rules. And Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have repeatedly committed to protecting the filibuster, which sets up a 60-vote threshold that requires bipartisan cooperation to pass most legislation.

In February, Manchin also joined Senate Republicans in blocking the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act, which aimed to preserve access to abortion.

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester said it was “premature” to discuss overhauling the Senate’s filibuster rules until it’s clear what the Supreme Court decided.

“I think it’s premature at this point in time because we don’t know if this is true or not,” Tester said.

The draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was circulated in early February, according to Politico. The final opinion has not been released, and votes and language can change before opinions are formally released. The opinion in the case – Dobbs v. Jackson, which concerns a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion – is not expected to be published until late June.

Politico says it has authenticated the draft, but CNN has not independently confirmed the document’s authenticity. A Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment to CNN.

According to the draft, the court would overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to abortion. The opinion would be the most consequential abortion decision in decades and would transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America.

Republican Senate candidates touted the draft’s contents as a long-awaited victory, 49 years after the Roe v. Wade ruling.

“A victory for human life,” said Arizona US Senate Republican candidate Jim Lamon. Another Arizona Senate GOP candidate, Blake Masters, tweeted: “Bye bye Roe.”

US Rep. Mo Brooks said that the breach of court confidentiality aimed to “intimidate” justices before they reached a final ruling.

“They are only leaking this in order to put pressure on and intimidate the Court before the decision officially comes down,” the Alabama Senate hopeful said. “Pray for life and that justice is done.”

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Eva McKend and Sarah Fortinsky contributed to this report.