Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said to Newsmax on Wednesday that he doesn't expect any half measures from the Supreme Court regarding a possible strikedown of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.
On "The Record With Greta Van Susteren," Lee told the new host that he expected the nation's highest court to either support the initial majority draft opinion of Justice Samuel Alito — which was leaked in a May 2 Politico article — or maintain the status quo indefinitely.
In other words, no minor changes.
"My take on it: It's likely an all-or-nothing situation," Lee said, adding that the final ruling would likely be similar to Alito's initial draft writeup.
In addition to his senatorial duties, Lee has been promoting his book "Saving Nine," a reference to upholding the United States' 153-year tradition of nine justices on the Supreme Court, and thus preventing the Democratic Party's proposal to pack the court with 13 or more justices.
As such, Lee has good insight on the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Supreme Court in terms of how written decisions are developed — from the beginning until the definitive ruling.
Everything starts with a court challenge. Then comes the initial draft of a majority opinion. The judges then allow "different iterations" of that draft, calling for text changes and language clarifications.
After that, Lee said, each member of the court is given the opportunity to read the revised majority draft opinion.
From there, the other justices will align around the opinion, either siding with the majority or the dissenting minority.
"This is the kind of change that goes back and forth," said Lee, who is up for reelection in November — taking on Democratic challenger Kael Weston and independent Evan McMullin.
"It's one of the reasons ... why we expect to see a particularly controversial opinion" regarding abortion rights, Lee said.
The Utah senator doesn't have a specific timetable for when the Supreme Court will act on the abortion issue.
Whenever something happens, though, Lee said it will likely be "hotly contested."
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