WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court voted personally to drop the landmark Roe v. Wade case, which has guaranteed abortion rights for nearly half a century, according to a leaked February draft advisory published online Monday evening by Politico.

In the draft opinion, written by Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., a majority of the court voted to topple Roe, Politico said. Justice Alito called it a wrong decision and said the controversial issue, which has animated political debate in the United States for more than a generation, should be decided by politicians, not the courts.

“We believe that Roe and Casey should be overruled,” Justice Alito writes in the document, which Politico calls the “Opinion of the Court”. “It is time to respect the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.”

The release of the 98 page document is unprecedented in modern times. In the court’s modern history, no early drafts of opinions have ever leaked out before the final decision is announced. And early drafts of opinions often change by the time the court’s decision is announced.

But if the judges announce a decision along the lines of the early, leaked draft, it would mark a sweeping change in American law and politics just months before the congressional midterm elections that will decide who will control power on Capitol Hill. .

Abortion has long split the two parties — and the country — although it had receded as a central issue in recent years. A court decision along the lines of the one in the early draft could spark new political battles in Congress and states across the country over whether and how to restrict proceedings.

According to the Politico report, Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were the judges supporting Judge Alito’s opinion. The news organization said judges Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were working on dissent. It was not clear how Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. intended to vote.

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