“Roe” Attorney Worries Landmark Case May be Overturned

Some critics of U-S Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito believe his confirmation may change the court’s balance and lead to the overturning of the landmark Roe versus Wade decision. The attorney who successfully argued the case before the court more than 30 years ago says she’s worried such a ruling will occur. Sarah Weddington spoke in Columbus yesterday. WOSU’s Sam Hendren reports.

Sarah Weddington was only 26 years old in 1973 when she presented arguments to the U-S Supreme Court on behalf of her client identified in the case as Jane Roe. Now 32 years later, Weddington remains steadfast in her conviction.

Obviously I have to hope it will not be overturned, Weddington says.

The former Texas legislator and staff member in President Carter’s administration presented a lecture at Ohio State University on Wednesday. Weddington says the Supreme Court is closer than ever to overturning the decision that made abortion legal.

If you look at the vote counts recently, there’s been a 5-4 split on the Supreme Court. I think Roberts replacing the chief justice is pretty much a wash. But certainly what we’re reading about Alito is that he would be much more against Roe versus Wade than O’Connor has been. So while we’ve had a 5-4 in favor of Roe, with Alito, we could have a 5-4 the other way, Weddington says.

The Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 found that most laws restricting abortion violate a constitutional right to privacy. Weddington says the future of Roe is vitally important.

“That has to be a major concern because I think we have generations of women who’ve grown up believing it was their decision. And I think it should be,” says Weddington.