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May 6, 2022

Biden Falsely Claims Leaked Opinion Would Undermine Other Rights

In response to the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion opposing Roe v. Wade, some pundits and politicians falsely claimed that the court's ruling would negatively impact a variety of other social issues. 

On Tuesday after the leak came out, even President Joe Biden made such claims. He said that if Roe v. Wade was overruled, it "would mean that every other decision related to the notion of privacy is thrown into question."

The President argued that all forms of contraception and legal same-sex marriage could be overturned. "I think the decision in Griswold [a 1965 decision that found that states could not outlaw contraception] was correct overruling; I think the decision in Roe was correct because there’s a right to privacy."

He also suggested that the Supreme Court's decision might allow states to ban same-sex marriage. "What does this do — and does this mean that in Florida they can decide they’re going to pass a law saying that same-sex marriage is not permissible, that it’s against the law in Florida?" he told reporters.

Others have since claimed that the new precedent would even allow legislators to ban interracial marriage. "The Republicans won’t stop with banning abortion. They want to ban interracial marriage," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) wrote on Twitter. "Do you want to save that?" Swalwell wrote. "Well, then you should probably vote."

The text of the leaked draft decision itself clearly refutes these arguments. Justice Alito goes out of his way to clarify that this decision is only meant to rule on the issue of abortion. "None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion," the opinion reads. "They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way."

The Wall Street Journal editorial board published a helpful article on Wednesday that goes through the leaked opinion more thoroughly; refuting the president's arguments and explaining the justices' reasoning at the time that the draft was written. Click here to read it.