Reaction to the leak of an alleged draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization by Justice Samuel Alito overturning Roe v. Wade came swiftly Monday night.
According to a report by Politico, Alito wrote in the leaked draft, "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start" and that "we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled." He reportedly added, "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives."
Reaction to the leak spread quicky across social media.
SCOTUSblog said regarding the leak, "It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin."
Benny Johnson reported, "Just spoke with former Supreme Court clerk. They are horrified. This is a quote: 'This leak has to come from a clerk or Justice themselves. It is intended to blow up the court. Criminal investigation needs to happen now.' They suggest Sotomayor has most radical leftist staff."
Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University said, "The alleged leak of the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is nothing short of breathtaking. It would constitute one of the greatest breaches of security in the history of the Court. The article represents the greatest crisis that Chief Justice John Roberts has faced in his tenure on the Court. It is a breach of the most fundamental obligations and traditions of the Court. If this is a true copy of the draft opinion it is hard not to view this as a malicious act. What is the motivation of releasing such a decision? The only intent of such a leak is to trigger a response from outside of the Court. This draft is from February and the majority can shift on such opinions. However, the act of leaking such a draft opinion ranks as an original sin for judicial ethics. The most likely motivation is obviously to pressure the Court and push the legislation in Congress on a federal abortion law before the midterm elections. It will also likely renew the call for court packing."
Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy said, "If this story is true, the Court should issue its opinion right away. Otherwise the disgraceful leak wins. I would say that if my side lost. If we lose the integrity of the Court’s process, we lose the Court. That should be intolerable to all of us who live the country."
Newsweek's Josh Hammer called the leak "Probably the greatest violation of unwritten ‘norms’ in the history of the Supreme Court. And I absolutely guarantee you the leaker spent years railing against President Trump’s undermining of norms."
Reaction poured in from across the political spectrum on the leak and what the response should be.
According to the report, Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett had voted in the majority with Alito after December's oral arguments, and as the court was set to reach a decision. Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer were all opposed to overturning the ruling, which would kick the abortion question back to each state, or will require Congress to act to create a law on abortion that would be effective across the country.
A fence was repotedly erected in front of the Supreme Court building minutes after the report was published. As of the writing of this article, protesters were beginning to gather.
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