Others looked at the political consequences, diving into whether this is a good or bad development for Democrats. Some looked at the constitutional ramifications and what it means for certain groups of people.
Meanwhile, court experts asked whether the leak itself is the most significant news.
Here’s what people are saying online.
The leak delegitimizes the court
“Sorry, but whoever the source, leaking a draft opinion isn’t bravery — it’s betrayal. I love a leak as much as the next reporter, and kudos to Politico for its scoop, but unlike Congress and the White House, the court can’t function this way.” — Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus
“The leaker accomplished nothing but another addition to the nation’s sense of fraying and another subtraction from the norms that preserve institutional functioning and dignity.” — Washington Post columnist George F. Will
Overturning Roe is a political act and delegitimizes the court
In brazenly ignoring fifty years of its own precedent, the United States Constitution and the will of the American people, this draft ruling would seriously erode the legitimacy of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the American people.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 3, 2022
The leaked Supreme Court abortion decision is founded not on precedent nor the law nor any concept of justice but rather on corruption & the flagrant, abuse of power. It would not happen but for serial acts of political violence against the intent & spirit of the Constitution.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) May 3, 2022
“The court’s legitimacy rests on the notion that it follows the law, not the personal or ideological preferences of the justices who happen to serve on it at any given time.” — The Washington Post Editorial Board
If the majority Republican justices stay the course, this decision will go down as one of the most supremely political acts in Supreme Court history.— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) May 3, 2022
1. The Supreme Court of the United States will soon join the very long list of essential institutions that has completely broken trust and shattered its credibility. That will be the sad legacy of this era and the Roberts Court.— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) May 3, 2022
The ruling could threaten other precedents
“The opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. adopted such an aggressively maximalist position, not only giving states extraordinary leeway to prohibit abortion but also implicitly inviting a flurry of challenges to other precedents, including cases protecting contraception and LGBTQ civil rights.” — Legal experts Melissa Murray and Leah Litman in a Washington Post op-ed
Alito’s saying abortion “is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions” is the tell ― neither are the rights of women, Blacks or the LGBTQ community.”— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) May 4, 2022
Same-sex marriage, civil rights, contraceptives — all are now in the Court’s crosshairs.https://t.co/yrnGfghhPm
“Just think of the opinions ripe to be overturned: birth control, same-sex marriage, Miranda, etc., which are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.” — Reader Pamela Kincheloe in a Washington Post letter to the editor
Abolish the filibuster and pass Roe into federal law
Democrats must act on abortion. We control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. It’s time for us to lead, and codify Roe.— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) May 3, 2022
In the meantime, it’s important to communicate clearly that abortion is still legal.
Eyes on the prize: The ONLY way to fix this is to eliminate the Senate filibuster and then pass a bill codifying Roe v. Wade. The House has ALREADY passed a bill to codify Roe. We have to elect 2 more Democratic senators and hold the House. That is the *only* solution.— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) May 3, 2022
Abolish the filibuster. Codify Roe. Expand the Supreme Court. Protect abortion rights by any means necessary.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) May 3, 2022
We need all of the above. This is an emergency.
Overturning Roe is a human rights violation
Abortion is a human right.— Amnesty International (@amnesty) May 3, 2022
It’s that simple. Everyone has the right to decide what happens to their body. Criminalizing abortion doesn’t stop abortion, it just makes it less safe.
Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 3, 2022
An extreme wing of the Supreme Court may seek to deny that fundamental truth.
They may try to force their views on a country where 70% of people want Roe upheld.
We will not be quiet and we will not go back.
The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion rights
“There is a deep consensus within the broad conservative legal world that Roe was wrongly decided a half-century ago. The absence of a clear textual right to an abortion, combined with the ruling’s wholly invented trimester system that guided when abortions could be banned, struck conservatives as a quintessential example of a court run amok.” — Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen
The draft majority opinion by Alito is a devastating destruction of Roe and Casey. It doesn't leave a matchstick standing.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 3, 2022
"The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority."
Life starts at conception.— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) May 3, 2022
Our constitution never did and never will give the right to murder another human being in the womb.
Abortion was always wrong.
A Republican controlled Congress will have the moral duty and obligation to pass the Life at Conception Act.
That’s not how the Constitution works
Alito claims Roe V Wade “was wrongly decided because Constitution makes no specific mention of abortion rights.”— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) May 3, 2022
Constitution also does not mention:
•Non-land owner rights
They want to take USA back to 1776.
“Abortion” isn’t in the constitution, but neither is “filibuster.”— Max Berger (@maxberger) May 3, 2022
These are stolen seats
REMINDER: Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett should have NEVER been sitting on the Supreme Court.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) May 3, 2022
1/ People already have concerns about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court with what many believe are two “stolen” seats; Gorsuch who was confirmed after the Senate refused to consider Garland in the last year of a presidency & ACB who was confirmed after voting started in 2020.— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) May 3, 2022
A reminder: Two presidents who became president despite losing the popular vote appointed five of nine Supreme Court nominees, including Samuel Alito, who wrote yesterday’s leaked draft opinion.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) May 3, 2022
This is a blow to democracy
The majority of Americans want to keep Roe. The majority of Americans don’t want to harass trans kids. The majority of Americans want healthcare, and a raise on the minimum wage. But we have a system that is unresponsive to what we want, because it was designed that way.— Read Becoming Abolitionists by Derecka Purnell (@JoshuaPotash) May 3, 2022
This is good for democracy
“The court is poised to make the United States more democratic when it comes to abortion policy. By distorting the meaning of democracy — especially on the narrow issue of abortion — progressives risk draining the democratic ideal of its prestige and moral authority.” — Washington Post columnist Jason Willick
Expand the Supreme Court
While Roe v. Wade hangs on by a thread and abortion is still legal in NY state, the far-right draft decision from the Supreme Court is ominous.— Rep. Mondaire Jones (@RepMondaire) May 3, 2022
Congress has to immediately pass #WHPA to codify Roe. And we have expand the Court to protect reproductive rights.
The Supreme Court won’t stop at destroying Roe. If they are willing to overturn this precedent than any other can be next.— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) May 3, 2022
Yes we need to end the Jim Crow filibuster and pass the WHPA.
But we must to do more.
We need to expand the Supreme Court which McConnell packed.
Just move to another state
Remember, this is more about federal v. State power, than legality of abortion itself.— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) May 3, 2022
Some states will allow for abortion, some will have restrictions and some will outlaw. This is the constant American experiment in action.
You can go to a state in line with your values.
Reminder: Overturning Roe means the decision goes back to the STATES, where more important decisions belong.— George Alexopoulos (@GPrime85) May 3, 2022
The horde isn't angry because it's abortion will become illegal. They're mad because they can't force every State to allow it.
If you don't like your State laws, move.
Striking down Roe v Wade wouldn't ban abortions. It would go back to the states.— Nikki Moonitz (@NMoonitz) May 3, 2022
Vote with your feet. Move to the state that best reflects your ideals.
We've been doing that where our right to bear arms is concerned, & that's an actual Constitutionally protected right.
The decision would disproportionately harm poor women
“Let’s not forget that women who seek abortions are disproportionately poor or economically insecure. A 2014 study found that 3 in 4 women who terminate their pregnancies are low-income and almost 50 percent of those women live below the poverty level. Fifty-five percent are unmarried or do not live with the father.” — Washington Post columnist Michele L. Norris
Supreme Court & states only have the power to ban abortion for poor women.— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) May 3, 2022
They cannot control the choices of women who can afford to travel.
If an extremist Supreme Court overturns Roe, wealthy women will still get safe abortions — by traveling to another state or country. But women of color, those with lower-incomes, and victims of abuse will suffer the most.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 3, 2022
Congress must eliminate the filibuster and protect Roe.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade and sends the law back to each state, poor women better move out of the states outlawing abortion before they consent to sex, or immediately following rape or incest. Once again, poor women are victimized.— Mary Jeans (@MaryJeans8) May 3, 2022
Minority rule is to blame
“Part of the sinister genius of minority rule is that if it is constructed with enough care and comprehensiveness, it can be demoralizing to the majority, which sees no way around it, at least in the short term. That then serves to demobilize the majority and further solidify minority rule.” — Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman
This is politically good for Democrats
“With the extraordinary leak of a draft showing the Supreme Court is preparing to strike down Roe v. Wade, Democrats finally have something they have lacked in this perilous midterm election year: a compelling message.” — Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Karen Tumulty
“If the Supreme Court rules as seems likely, we might not see another Republican president for a very long time” — Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker
This is politically bad for Democrats
“This whole saga might soon get worse for Democrats — that is, if Democratic voters prove to be … unmoved by this latest news [like they were in the recent gubernatorial race in Virginia].” — Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent