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Chief Justice Roberts releases statement on leaked Roe v. Wade opinion

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II)
May 03, 2022

On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked Supreme Court document that revealed the nation’s top court is currently leaning toward overturning Roe v. Wade.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” Roberts said in a statement. “We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce — permanent employees and law clerks alike — intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court.”

“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” he added.

In the leaked draft opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he continued. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

President Joe Biden responded to the leak Tuesday morning, arguing that Roe v. Wade is about “a woman’s right to choose.”

“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” Biden said, according to Fox News.

“I directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office to prepare options for an Administration response to the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights, under a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court,” he continued. “We will be ready when any ruling is issued.” 

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and others speculated that the unprecedented leak was meant to intimidate justices.

“The left continues its assault on the Supreme Court with an unprecedented breach of confidentiality, clearly meant to intimidate. The Justices mustn’t give in to this attempt to corrupt the process. Stay strong,” Hawley tweeted.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) tweeted that the leak was an “attempt to intimidate justices” and expressed his support for an investigation into the matter.

“Leaking a draft opinion of the Supreme Court is a flagrant breach of its deliberative process and an attempt to intimidate justices and damage the court’s judicial independence. I support the Chief Justice’s probe to investigate this leak and hold this individual accountable,” Moran wrote.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called the leak “horrifying” and asserted that the “integrity of the Court” has been “profoundly” damaged.

“This leak is stunning. Truly horrifying. And profoundly damaging to the independence of the judiciary, the integrity of the Court, and the rule of law,” Cruz tweeted.