According to a report, the FBI might participate in investigating the recent leak of a Supreme Court draft majority opinion published Monday by Politico.
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered the Marshal of the Court to open an investigation into the leak.
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) May 3, 2022
According to CBS News legal correspondent Jan Crawford, the FBI might also be involved in the Roberts-ordered probe.
Chief Justice Roberts is likely to order a full investigation involving the FBI into the reported leak of a draft majority opinion, reports @JanCBS — as some question if it will throw the Supreme Court’s legitimacy into question. pic.twitter.com/rJsIlQqjEU
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 3, 2022
The document drafted by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated within the court on February 10 suggested that the nation’s highest court of law might overturn the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade decision if and when the opinion is adopted.
Do you think the justices voting in favor will stick to their positions?
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“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” wrote Alito, a 2006 George W. Bush appointee, in the draft majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” Alito wrote.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” the draft opinion stated. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The document did not provide indications of the specific justices who were voting in favor of the decision alongside Alito.
However, sources familiar with the court’s deliberations told Politico that besides Alito, four conservative justices — Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — were voting in favor of the decision.
The release of the document is a rare violation of court confidentiality. However, it is essential to note that the document is just a draft opinion. The justices can change their positions leading up to the final decision.
The leak of the document Monday night provoked demonstrations near the Supreme Court. Pro-life and pro-abortion advocates gathered nearby to either express support or opposition to the draft decision, in particular, and abortion, at large.
While pro-abortion politicians and activists fell into a meltdown over the draft document, pro-life advocates, religious workers, politicians and individuals hailed its contents.
“Let’s be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL,” said Planned Parenthood, a pro-abortion organization.
“Americans of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs recognize the injustice and tragedy of abortion violence,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of pro-life organization Americans United for Life.
“We stand alongside all Americans who have waited so hopefully and for so long for the Supreme Court to reverse Roe, to set America on the path to abortion abolition, and to restore justice to our nation. Today is a day for courage and hope.”
The Supreme Court, in a Tuesday statement, confirmed the authenticity of the contents of the leaked document.
“Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” the Supreme Court said. “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said, according to the Supreme Court statement. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
“Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court,” the Chief Justice noted. “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.”