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Papers Reveal Roe v. Wade Almost Overturned: Blackmun's records unsealed on fifth anniversary of his death

CNN News

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As lawyers and court watchers have long suspected, the Supreme Court was ready to effectively overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion in 1992, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy got cold feet, and the vote went the other way.

Internal notes in the papers of late Justice Harry A. Blackmun reveal the secretive dealings that led to the court's ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that year.

Blackmun's extensive records from 24 years on the court were opened Thursday.

Details of the archives were first reported by National Public Radio, which got advance access.

Blackmun's notes show that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist led a five-justice majority to overrule Roe. Four other justices voting with Rehnquist were Byron White, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Kennedy. Rehnquist himself was to write the majority opinion.

Read the entire article on the CNN website.

Posted: 3/8/04



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