Unprecedented SCOTUS leak of draft opinion repealing Roe v. Wade
In a clear attempt to influence and intimidate justices of the Supreme Court, Politico has published a leaked 98-page draft opinion in the pending case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Association. The draft opinion, written by Justice Alito overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is intended to circulate among justices and lead to further discussion. It is not a final opinion.
By igniting a firestorm, enflaming abortion enthusiasts, the leaker(s) and the journalists hope to influence the final decision and votes. A mob has already gathered in front of the Supreme Court, the first and so far peaceful reaction to the leak. I would not be certain that violence can be ruled out, since, after all, abortion is itself lethal violence.
YouTube screen grab.
This leak is outrageous, and the identity of the leaker ought to be sought out, though with the heavy politicization of the DoJ and FBI, it is unlikely to be a priority. Steven Hayward of Powerline makes the excellent point:
Liberals love to bleat on these days about how Republicans have been breaching "democratic norms," but late today one of the most sacrosanct norms of our political order was breached: Someone leaked a draft Supreme Court opinion[.]
In a Twitter thread, Professor Jonathan Turley stresses the gravity of the leak:
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.
Speculation as to the identity of the leaker centers on Justice Sotomayor or one of her clerks, but so far there is no evidence at all.
A person called Amit Jain clerks for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) May 3, 2022
As a Yale student, Jain blasted Yale for supporting Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.
Jain was quoted in a 2017 Politico piece by Josh Gerstein.
Today, Gerstein published the draft SCOTUS opinion on Roe.
Conventional wisdom holds that such a decision would spark activism and turnout among Democrats in the midterms. But it would also shift focus to state-level races, since, far from forbidding abortion, such a decision would leave it up to the states.
At a minimum, overturning Roe would divert attention from the other woes inflicted in the nation by the Biden administration. However, inflation is not going away, and people are reminded multiple times a week that they are being impoverished.