An abortion rights activist hangs signs on a temporary fence around the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 5, 2022.
Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
In his statement last week announcing that Chief Justice John Roberts had ordered an investigation into the leak of a draft notice stating that deer v. Wade is set to be overturned, the Supreme Court said that while Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion is genuine, “it does not represent a decision of the Court or the final position of any Member on the issues in dispute. “.
But subsequent reports suggest that nothing has really changed at the Court since the draft was released in February. “Since last week, the majority of the five judges to hit deer remains intact,” according to a Washington Job article published on Sunday. Politico confirmed on Tuesday that this was still the case and revealed that the leaked notice “remains the only draft disseminated by the court” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“No draft dissenting opinions have circulated from any justice, including the three Liberals,” Politico reports. “This might explain why no second version of Alito’s majority opinion has been circulated, as usually both sides react to each other’s written arguments and remake their own.”
Roberts reportedly told his fellow judges that he wanted to uphold Dobbs starting deer partially intact (although it seems impossible), but the other curators wanted to take it down now. If the disagreement persists among conservatives, the Court’s liberals have little reason to offer their answers and hasten the end of abortion rights before the end of the mandate.
We know these details because several people close to the Court continue to leak information to the press, despite Roberts claiming in his statement about this “betrayal” that Court employees are “intensely loyal to the institution.” And while right-wing officials and pundits have expressed deep outrage at the leak, insisting it must come from a liberal and trying to tell the story of the damage inflicted on the Court’s integrity rather than the damage that will be caused by the loss of abortion rights, we know that at least some of these new leaks are from conservatives.
The Job report cites “three conservatives close to the Court” as well as “one person close to the most conservative members of the Court”. The Politico report contains an incredible quote in which a “person close to the court’s conservatives” leaks that the justices are deeply troubled by the impact all of these leaks could have on the court:
“This is the most serious assault on the court, perhaps from within, that the Supreme Court has ever seen,” said a person close to the court’s conservatives, who spoke from anonymously due to the sensitive nature of the Court’s deliberations. “To say they are heavily, heavily burdened by this is an understatement.”
Another source tells Politico that the liberal justices are also upset:
A second person close to the court said liberal justices “are as shocked as anyone” by the revelation. “There are concerns for the integrity of the institution,” the person said. “Views are uniform.”
But this person’s political affiliation is unclear, and there are no quotes attributed to sources close to the Liberals in particular. Meanwhile, a “lawyer close to several conservative justices” suggests to Politico that the right retaliate against Roberts for siding with the left in several major cases in recent years:
“There’s a price to pay for what he did. Everyone remembers that,” said a lawyer close to several conservative judges, who was granted anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the court’s arguments. court.
The judges are due to meet privately on Thursday for the first time since the project was leaked. So stay tuned for more anonymous updates on all the nasty things Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas are saying to Roberts behind closed doors, and how close everyone is to the Court. deeply troubled that these leaks could diminish public respect for the institution.