Evidence of this was found in the pages of the personal notes of the late Justice Harry Blackmun, who served on the Supreme Court for 24 years. Though his notes were officially released to the public on the fifth anniversary of his death in 1999, these new papers were only released March 4..- Recently found documents reveal that Roe v. Wade was nearly overturned by the United States Supreme Court in 1992, reported Talon News yesterday.
In the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Chief Justice William Rehnquist had an apparent 5-4 majority that would have reversed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Justices Byron White, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy were expected to join Rehnquist in the majority, reported Talon News.
However, while Rehnquist was working on the majority ruling, Kennedy decided he needed to deliberate further on the case.
"I need to see you as soon as you have a few free moments," Kennedy wrote to Blackmun in the note. "I want to tell you about a new development in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and at least part of what I say should come as welcome news."
Blackmun, who wrote the original ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade, simply responded: "Roe sound."
No other written correspondence between Kennedy and Blackmun regarding this case is documented. However, the final ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey allowed abortion rights to be freely given without excessive limitations imposed by the states, reported Talon News.
Ironically, Kennedy joined Rehnquist, Thomas, and Scalia in their dissent of the Carhart v. Stenburg ruling in 2000, which overturned a Nebraska law against partial-birth abortions, Talon News pointed out, suggesting that perhaps Kennedy would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if the opportunity presented itself again.