- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 3, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis denounced the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning the decision that made abortion a constitutional right as a form of bullying and “judicial insurrection.”

Mr. DeSantis, a Republican who is running for a second term and is widely viewed as a 2024 presidential contender, signed a bill two weeks ago banning abortion beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy. The bill takes effect in July but will face legal challenges.

“You want to talk about an insurrection?” Mr DeSantis said when asked about the leak by a reporter on Tuesday. “That’s a judicial insurrection, to be taking that out, and trying to kneecap a potential majority through a kind of extra-constitutional means. I was really surprised to see that.”

A draft opinion authored by Justice Samuel A. Alito and leaked Monday to Politico would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and hand the determination of abortion’s legality back to the states.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. announced Tuesday the court is investigating to determine who was behind the unprecedented leak.

“I think it was really an attack on a lot of the justices,” Mr. DeSantis told a crowd in Fort Myers, Florida. “I think it was an intentional thing, to try to whip up a lot of the public to try to make it very political, potentially to try to bully them into changing one of their positions.”

Justice Alito’s draft opinion upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which is similar to the soon-to-be-implemented Florida restriction.

Mr. DeSantis, who served as a judge advocate general in the Navy, said he expects lawsuits will be filed in state court to try to block Florida’s new abortion limitations.

“There is state law that is out there, that we would have to overcome, to try to sustain those protections,” Mr. DeSantis said. “I think we can do it, but I do think that that’s going to be something that is going to happen once the law takes effect.”

A growing list of Republican-governed states have imposed new abortion restrictions, some far stricter than the ones passed in Florida and Mississippi

Several states, including Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisiana, would ban nearly all abortions in the event the high court rules to overturn Roe.

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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