Olivier Douliery—AFP/Getty Images

In June 2022, the conservative legal movement’s half-century-long project to overturn Roe v. Wade was completed with a stroke of Samuel Alito’s pen.

It was no accident that Alito, a Catholic stalwart of the Supreme Court’s right flank since George W. Bush’s presidency, was chosen to write the majority opinion in the decision that rolled back abortion rights nationwide and reshaped reproductive health care in the U.S. His Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision—which leaked in a stunning breach of Supreme Court protocol weeks before the official release—is strident and self-assured, declaring Roe “egregiously wrong” and comparing it to the infamous case that established the “separate but equal” segregation doctrine.

Abortion has been thrown back into the political arena, and a new generation of women are fighting the same reproductive-rights battles their grandmothers once did. Alito has been on the Supreme Court for 17 years. But in 2022, he cemented his legacy.

Rogers is a TIME editor

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